Today I want to tell you about something else that’s going to be happening in the former Georg Henry Lee building in the middle of Liverpool. Along with the now open Independents Biennial that I told you about the other day, in a few weeks time the much beloved building will also become Ed’s Place.
‘What’s that then?’ I can already hear you wondering.
Well that’s what the bulk of this blog post is about if you’d like to read on.
But in short it’s going to be one great big room in the former George Henry’s, the old Gifts Department in fact, where a whole load of us – including you if you want – will be able to dream, discuss, plan and debate what a greener and more vibrant future for our city centre would look like. Design sessions, talk sessions, displays, thoughts and stories of what might be possible, over the several weeks that we’ll have the use of part of the grand old building.
Fancy it? I do and that’s why I’m going to be one of the people taking part it it all.
But for now I’ll shut up while my friend Jo Harrop of PLACED, the main organiser of Ed’s Place, tells you more about it all and invites you to get involved. Here’s Jo.
Ed’s Place pops up at the old George Henry Lee building this summer
People will imagine how Liverpool city centre could be better for everyone
People will imagine how Liverpool city centre could become a greener and more vibrant place for everyone at the city’s old George Henry Lee building this summer.
Ed’s Place will pop-up on the ground floor of the much-loved building during Liverpool’s Independents Biennial festival. Workshops, events and exhibitions will be open to the general public, with special activities for young people and families.
The month-long programme will look at how Liverpool city centre could be reimagined and revived, including future uses for empty shops and greener outdoor spaces. People that have already delivered change in their neighbourhoods will share their experience of what works. Ed’s Place will provide a creative space for people, decision makers and developers to come together.
The project is being delivered by award-winning social enterprise PLACED in partnership with the University of Liverpool’s School of Environmental Sciences.
Last summer, PLACED toured Liverpool in Ed the Campervan, (you might have read about this on the blog here) giving people their say on regeneration plans and how places such as Williamson Square could be improved. People told PLACED that they want to be more involved in planning and decisions, but don’t always feel listened to.
Jo Harrop, Founder and Director of PLACED, says:
‘City centres are changing. Shops are not used in the same way and there are lots of empty units going to waste. We believe this is an opportunity for imaginative thinking about how our city centre can be a better place for everyone. We’re going to bring people together in creative ways to think differently about town and share ideas.”
Jo adds: ‘We’re lucky to have support from our network. This includes our volunteer Ambassados and Ronnie Hughes from A Sense of Place. We’re looking for groups and individuals that want to get involved in Ed’s Place. We’re also seeking new volunteers and sponsors to grow this programme.’
Ed’s Place will launch on Thursday, 30th August and will be open to the public from Saturday, 1st September until Sunday, 23rd September. PLACED will be sharing full details of opening times and what’s on through its website, social media and the A Sense of Place blog.
Young people aged 14-18 are also invited to get involved in a hands-on, three-day Summer School at Ed’s Place from Tuesday, 28th August to Thursday, 30th August. Delivered by PLACED with sponsorship from the University of Liverpool School of Environmental Sciences, the programme will develop skills for the future and open doors to exciting careers.
Dr Sam Hayes, Lecturer in Environmental Planning at the University of Liverpool, says:
‘Engaging communities in shaping their own places is really important, but the planning system and processes are often complex and hard to access. Activities like Ed’s Place are great to demystify planning and help to truly empower communities to shape their own places. The School of Environmental Sciences is proud to support Ed’s Place to help support community discussions of the future of the city.’
Since 2011, PLACED has worked with over 15,000 people of all ages through education and engagement programmes, making better places together. And now it’s the turn of Liverpool City Centre. The big neighbourhood that all of us in Liverpool share together.
So there we are. Closer to the dates when we’ll get the use of the space I’ll be telling you more about specific events on here.
You might also want to read this old blog post of mine called ‘Breathing Spaces’ to get the idea of the sort of outside places we’ll be discussing, though we’ll be discussing the insides of buildings too.
In the meantime, if you want to come to the summer school Jo mentions at Ed’s Place, talk to PLACED about sponsorship or about getting involved in some way, then please: email Jo Harrop at PLACED here.
I think it’s going to be great.
PLACED is an award-winning social enterprise, founded by Jo Harrop in 2011 which engages people in design, planning and development through creative and inclusive education and engagement programmes.
PLACED is largely run by volunteers. Projects are supported by a collective of over 80 Ambassadors, who are all professionals or students working in architecture, planning or construction.
Recently, PLACED has worked with Port Sunlight Village Trust, Fabric District CIC, Liverpool City Council, Knowsley Council, Wyre Council, Royal Albert Dock, SLH (South Liverpool Homes), Byrne Avenue Trust and local schools to engage people in making better places.
Passionate about opening doors for young people, PLACED has worked with the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to deliver its Summer Schools. PLACED also works with developer Capital & Centric to deliver the Regeneration Brainery, an immersive learning programme for young people that is backed by Homes England.