Liverpool 08 is not so bleak for local creatives

As one of Merseyside’s largest full-service creative consultancies, we agree there has been a lack of representation of the design sector in the official prog ramme of events for the European Capital of Culture festival in Liverpool (DW 17 January), but we see a more positive picture emerging.

Liverpool Culture Company has perhaps sometimes been guilty of overlooking local creative talent in favour of the larger Manchester-based groups and there has been a perceived sense of disappointment felt by some local groups keen to get involved in promoting their city.

However, we’ve found that since the programme officially launched, momentum has started to build.

In the past few weeks, my consultancy has been invited to get involved in a number of Liverpool 08-related initiatives. These include providing the creatives for the Great Royal Liver Easter Egg Hunt, a citywide promotion which takes participants on a tour of the city’s cultural hotspots, and which may culminate in the appearance of a stunt which sees a giant egg being ‘laid’ by the city’s famous Liver Birds.

This is one the first projects to come from the new Open Culture branch of the LCC, which has been set up by Phil Redmond to stimulate the engagement of local communities and businesses in the 08 programme. We have also created a short film about the city’s major 08-led regeneration projects, which has just been picked up by Sky TV.

There is still some cynicism out there, but there are real opportunities too. As a city, Liverpool is getting a reputation for being a hot-bed of edgy, new creative talent, and people are sitting up and taking notice. I anticipate 2008 will be a very exciting year for Liverpool’s creative sector. My hope is that the opportunities will continue to grow for local designers, not only for established groups like us, but also for some of the city’s smaller creative consultancies.

Ian Jackson, Creative direc tor, Ice, Wirral CH41 5LH


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