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Sefton Borough of Culture 2020

After an amazing roster of events that wowed crowds of over 400,000 attendees throughout 2019, the Borough of Culture crown has been passed from Wirral on to Sefton for 2020.

Wirral’s highlights for last year included Wirral Food & Drink Festival, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, Concerts from The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Christians, China Crisis as well as Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon and the spectacular River of Light.

The title awards a £200,000 funding package to support cultural events through the year, delivered as part of the city region’s pioneering 1% for Culture programme.

The focus of Sefton’s programme will be on stories – about us, by us, and for us…all of us!

It will embed the theme of ‘Myths and Realities’.

Engaging with local communities and partners to see what they would like to see from the 2020 programme, the two key themes that stood out: local history and the environment.

The first part of 2020 will focus much on storytelling, relating to local heritage and recognising the nature of history and stories over time. The second half of the year will focus on the environmental theme and will hopefully coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit.

The build up to Sefton Borough of Culture 2020 began back in November last year, when the Parabolic Lightcloud – a huge light constellation lit up Crosby Coastal Park.

The focus of Sefton’s year will be on stories, celebrating narrative around the Bootle Blitz, Red Rum and the Grand National, the borough’s amazing coastline, Southport’s tourism and Maghull amateur astronomer Isaac Roberts.  

A list of 10 stories was chosen to vote on with 4 more being added to the final list. A blank box was also added enabling people to champion stories or individuals they think that might have been missed and one of these was included as well.

An online poll was set up on www.mysefton.co.uk for people to cast their votes, encouraging groups and individuals to champion different stories telling why they should be celebrated. The poll ran until January 13, 2020 with the full list for the Sefton Stories Project to be announced shortly afterwards.

Community groups and local organisations can also apply for support to help run projects as part of Sefton’s Borough of Culture year.

Groups can express interest in securing support from Sefton Council with their proposals. This may include bidding for money to help them organize events throughout 2020 with two different tiers of funding available – up to £5K and £5k-£15K.

It may also include support with such areas as event management, communications and marketing, or connections with other partner organisations. Forms are available to download at www.sefton.gov.uk/sefton2020 and once completed, will be reviewed and if support is allocated, groups will be notified within 4 weeks for non-financial support and for support up to £5K and 10 weeks for £5K-£15K applications.

What is the Borough of Culture?

The Borough of Culture title is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up our city region, as part of our 1% for Culture programme. 

Its six local authorities are Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

The purpose of the Borough of Culture award is to stimulate new cultural and creative opportunities; highlighting the unique character and distinctiveness of its people and places, and developing  the skills and talents of its residents in order to create an exciting year of cultural events and activity that everyone can enjoy and take part in.

Each host borough will create its own programme of cultural and creative events, activities and opportunities, but all will include five key elements:

  • Children and Young People – accessing, enjoying, learning through culture and creative engagement, developing skills and talents.
  • Positive outcomes – wellbeing, health, education, cohesion and future world of work.
  • Communities – increased opportunities for participation and involvement
  • Distinctiveness of place – promoting the creative and culture offer to local people and visitors
  • Infrastructure and Legacy – building future cultural and creative opportunities beyond the Borough of Culture year.

The Borough of Culture initiative is designed to utilise many of the region’s existing assets and talent to stimulate cultural and creative opportunities, both formal and informal, wherever they can be found.

For further information or updates visit www.sefton.gov.uk/sefton2020

READ MORE: The Sefton Saga!

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