Liverpool’s cultural sector secures £22m injection

A new £2m music attraction for Liverpool waterfront and £10m each for National Museums Liverpool and Tate Liverpool were announced in the Budget on Wednesday. Tony McDonough reports

Tate Liverpool
Tate Liverpool has secured £10m from the Budget


Liverpool will see a new waterfront attraction celebrating its music heritage and extra investment for Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool in a £22m cash injection.

In his Budget on Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced two separate investments for Liverpool as part of the Government’s ‘levelling up” agenda that will focus on the city’s cultural assets. They are: 

The Pool

Championed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, The Pool (a working title) will be a new £2m development on the waterfront, which will create a new destination dedicated to celebrating and creating music.


National Museums Liverpool and Tate Liverpool will receive a £20m (£10m each) investment following a successful bid spearheaded by Liverpool City Council.

Liverpool’s waterfront and the city’s musical heritage are recognised and loved across the world with The Beatles and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra attracting tens of thousands of music fans each year. 

The city holds the title of UNESCO City of Music, and the ambition for The Pool is to build on these foundations and create a collection of visitor experiences and musical performances.

These will be aligned to Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) – which would be a centre for elite and emerging talent and a place to bring artists, communities and ideas together. The project will also encourage more walking and cycling, and building towards net zero carbon.

Tate Liverpool will use its £10m to modernise and update its gallery. This will enable it to accommodate new forms of contemporary art, and to reconfigure the external public realm so it connects more clearly with the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.

And £10m for National Museums Liverpool will see it take forward the transformation of the Canning Dock Project, part of the organisation’s 10-year masterplan of reimagining the waterfront. This project will transform the area between the Royal Albert Dock and Mann Island, increasing access to museums and galleries and conserving the fabric of historic buildings for the next generation.

As a result of the funding, improvements will be made to the public realm which will have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. The Government’s Levelling Up Fund is worth in total £4.8bn.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson said: “Liverpool is known around the world for its historic waterfront, but it is really important that it doesn’t stand still and we continue to invest in it. This announcement feels like a real line in the sand moment in the wake of UNESCO’s World Heritage decision, and we can now move forward and do things differently.”

Joanne Anderson
Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson. Picture by Liverpool City Council


When Tate Liverpool was established in 1988 it was intended as a pioneer for arts-led regeneration of industrial cities. Helen Legg, Director Tate Liverpool, said: “This investment will enable us to remain at the cutting-edge for the next 30 years and beyond.

“We want to be bold with the work we show and to tell the story of modern and contemporary art through the lens of Liverpool and the north.

“The money from the Levelling Up fund will be invested in remodelling our gallery spaces to meet the scale and ambition of today’s most exciting artists, while also creating social spaces that better connect with our city and the communities we serve.”

And Laura Pye, director of National Museums Liverpool, added: “We are incredibly excited and thankful to have successfully secured funding which brings us a step closer to realising our ambitions.

“The news follows the appointment of a design team last month, who will take forward the transformation of the public realm, which includes new bridges spanning from the Pump House to Mann Island and bringing historic dockside buildings back into use.”

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