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Shakespeare North Playhouse rolls out red carpet for awards ceremony

Hundreds of excited finalists flocked to the region’s latest cultural crown jewel, the Shakespeare North Playhouse, to find out if they would be taking home a prized Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Award.

Ackley Bridge and Casualty star Sunetra Sarker took to the stage to host the glittering ceremony in Prescot, celebrating the creative talent and achievements of people in the city region.

Shakespeare North Playhouse rolls out red carpet for awards ceremony

13 lucky winners were crowned including World in One City, which took the People’s Choice Award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture voted for by the public, with nearly 4000 people placing a vote.

World In One City is a volunteer-run football tournament using the universal language of the sport in a creative way. Communities represent their countries of origin showcasing the diversity of our city region and celebrating ethnicity and identity.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: 

“Culture plays such an important role in what makes our region great. From community organisations and individual artists to Hollywood stars, we have so much to be proud of.

“A big well done to all of this year’s winners. These awards recognise the imagination, inspiration, and innovation – and the immense value that the sector has contributed to our region in the past 12 months and beyond.

“And where better to play host than the wonderful Shakespeare North Theatre, the latest jewel in our region’s cultural crown, made possible with £10.5m of Combined Authority funding. A massive congratulations to all of our winners – and an even bigger thank you to everybody nominated for your fantastic contributions to making our region great!”

Other winners included Sonia Bassey MBE who received the Inspiration Award (Lifetime Achievement) for her contribution to race equality, community engagement, inclusivity and social justice through art and culture spanning nearly 40 years. Abdulwase Sufian was named Inspirational Young Person for his intergenerational digital project capturing Yemeni cultural heritage. And DefProc Engineering won the Environmental Award for H2Go, the first low-cost domestic hydrogen sensor detecting hydrogen leaks so people can safely embrace greener fuels.

Full list of winners:

Artist / Creative of the Year

This award is to celebrate an individual whose work has stood out and contributed to the cultural and creative reputation of the LCR. This could be for a piece of work or a number of arts, cultural or creative projects that collectively have been consistently outstanding.

The winner is: Ali Harwood

Arts Organisation of the Year

This award is to celebrate an organisation whose work has stood out and contributed to the cultural and creative reputation of the LCR. This could be for a piece of work or a number of arts, cultural or creative projects that collectively have been consistently outstanding.

The winner is: Culture Knowsley – Borough of Culture 2022

Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’

This award is to celebrate a shining star from the Liverpool City Region’s 2022 Borough of Culture, Knowsley.

The winner is: Knowsley Borough of Culture Volunteers 

Business in the Arts Award

This award is to celebrate businesses that make a significant contribution to economic growth within the arts, culture and creativity sector.

The winner is: Daniel Davies – Rockpoint Leisure

Community Cohesion Award

This award is to celebrate the impact culture and creativity has on bringing communities together.

The winner is: Granby Street Market 

Environmental Award

This award is to celebrate the impact culture and creativity has on the green agenda, including environmental sustainability and contribution to net zero targets.

The winner is: DefProc Engineering

Health & Wellbeing Award

This award is to celebrate the impact culture and creativity has in health and wellbeing.

The winner is: Liverpool Lighthouse

Improving Education & Learning Award

This award is to celebrate the impact of culture and creativity to achieve positive outcomes in education and learning.

The winner is: Agent Academy

Inspirational Young Person Award

This award is to celebrate the impact of a young person under the age of 25 who displays an innovative and inspiring approach to art, culture and/or creativity.

The winner is: Abdulwase Sufian

International Reach Award

This award is to celebrate the impact culture and creativity has on strengthening international relationships.

The winner is: Dr. Emma Roberts

Preparing for Work Award

This award is to celebrate the impact culture and creativity has on developing technical, transferable and life skills in preparing young people for the world of work.

The winner is: A Place for Us CIC

People’s Choice Award – Outstanding Contribution to Culture

This award is to celebrate an outstanding contribution to culture and creativity, which has made a significant difference to the quality of life at either local, Borough or City Region level.

The winner is: World In One City

Judges Inspiration Award – Outstanding Achievement

This award is to celebrate and recognise an individual’s outstanding creative contribution to the Liverpool City Region. This award has been decided by the judging panel and it goes to:

Recipient: Sonia Bassey MBE

Chair of the Cultural Partnership Sir Phil Redmond said:

“I hope we continue to celebrate how creativity contributes to the way we interact and support each other as we have at this year’s awards. It makes life better and enables economic growth.

“The Culture and Creativity Awards are part of the city region’s long-term cultural strategy, they unearth, nurture, exhibit and promote the region’s creative energy and remind us that creativity is not always about searching for something new but can also tackle recurring issues or find new opportunities.”  

Host Sunetra Sarker said:

“It was a fantastic evening and I’m in awe of some of the winners. The breadth of their work and what they have achieved – some at such a young age – is admirable.

“I love coming home and seeing the amazing projects and meeting the talent emerging from the city and region. There is so much ambition and originality – I am proud to come from a place where we champion our cultural creativity and I hope it continues to be celebrated for many years to come.”

Liverpool born Sunetra is largely known for her acting career which spans over 30 years beginning in Brookside and continuing with her recent debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is a regular face on Celebrity Gogglebox and is a panellist on Loose Women.

Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Councillor Mike Wharton said:

“Congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s awards. This is not just an awards ceremony, it’s a way of acknowledging and celebrating the hard work and commitment people give to their art, whether that’s on a stage, in a lab or on a football pitch.

“Every year I am bowled over by the new and innovative ways culture and creativity is used to support the communities which make up the 1.6 million people living in the Liverpool City Region.”

The Culture and Creativity Awards were established as part of the Mayor’s commitment to culture through his 1% for Culture initiative.

This year’s event is sponsored by ACC Liverpool, Adaptable Recruitment, Davies Partnership, Intx, LCR Connect, Liverpool One, Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village and MTC.

READ MORE: First look inside new Shakespeare North Playhouse

READ MORE: Shakespeare North Playhouse unveils opening programme

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