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HOPES: The Hope Street Association :

  • This page contains the text of the (two) Hope Street Papers (Liverpool), 1999-2001


  • Reviews (below) of the completed HOPES / Hope Street programme of works, dated 21 July 2008 and 5 December 2012.
  • The full archive of HOPES: The Hope Street Association is now held by the University of Liverpool (Sydney Jones Library site).

The Hope Street Papers (Liverpool), 1999-2001

HOPES: The Hope Street Association, the not-for-profit arts and regeneration organisation of which I was the founding and continuing  (honorary) Chair from the mid-1990s until around 2010, when most of our work had been done, held a number of regional and national conferences and meetings in Liverpool during the run-up to the Millennium and the years immediately thereafter. The purpose of these events was to examine and refine the concept of developing Hope Street as a Quarter – a cultural and knowledge hub which would be of enormous benefit overall to the Mersey region, the City of Liverpool and, very importantly, to the people who live and work in or nearby (e.g. Toxteth) the Quarter itself.

One of the major outcomes of these events organised by HOPES was the Hope Street Papers of 2000 and 2001.  (The essence of the 1999 Conference is attached as an Appendix to the Year 2000 Papers.)   These papers were presented by a number of very significant players in the regeneration and cultural fields; our sincere thanks to them all.

We were of course particularly delighted that Chris Smith (then an MP and Secretary of State for Culture; now in the Lords) wrote an introductory piece for the HSP2000 in which he acknowledged the work and progress we were making.

Whilst we were unable, despite serious effort, to find a formal publisher for these Papers – the significance for the Hope Street Quarter of which was probably not then recognised – they were published in a draft ‘handout’ format, and circulated widely.

I was the initiator and Commissioning Editor of these materials, which comprised the texts which, along with a Postscript by Joe Riley [see also below], then Arts Editor of the Liverpool Echo, now follow:


Art at the Heart

~ the Role of Established Cultural Quarters in City Renaissance

>> Here is the text of the HOPES Millennium Commission Presentation
(London, 22 September 2000)

Appendix 2 [below] refers to the proceedings of the Hope Street Conference, 1999. 
Please note: the first line of the paragraph on Conservation and Development should read ‘…(HOPES Chair) and Louise Ellman MP (Liverpool Riverside…’

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Nurturing the Best

~ a consideration of issues around the retention and attraction in the NorthWest of England of Exceptionally Skilled Future Leaders (ESLPs) – that is, those young people who in the next generation will be extremely high flyers across the knowledge economy

With thanks to all contributors:

David Ainsley, Prof John Ashton, Jo Beddoe, Cllr Gideon Ben-Tovim, Arthur Bowling, Pamela Brooks, Chris Brown, Hilary Burrage, Dr Ray Buss, Graham Carswell, Gerald Cary-Elwes, Monsignor Peter Cookson, Shona Coppin, Prof Cecilia Crighton, Prof David Dunster, Louise Ellman MP, Mark Featherstone-Witty, Graham Frood, Richard Gant, Hannah Groth Larsen, Richard Gordon-Smith, Sabine Kazich, Graham Lee, Prof Lewis Lesley, Dr Rob MacDonald, Charlie Parker, Sandra Parr, David Scougall, Karen Sims-Neighbour, Tony Siebenthaler, Bill Skilki, The Rt Hon Chris Smith, Adrian Simmons, Peter Steniulis, Alistair Sunderland, Robin Thomas, Dr Emlyn Williams, Tony Woof

Many thanks also to Dr Rob MacDonald for the inspiring graphic  (map) above and to Shona Coppin the wonderful visioning artwork below, created  way back in 1996:

>> Also, here’s a very kind Postscript in 2006 from Joe Riley, who was Arts Editor of the Liverpool Echo for many years….

>> And, in chronological order to follow Joe Riley in 2006, a final word from Jim Gill who was (in 2007) Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision:

Liverpool Vision’s Jim Gill Reflects On Hope Street Quarter.


HOPES and Glory (Liverpool City Council’s acknowledgement of HOPES’ work.)

Hope Street award

HOPES and glory

Liverpool City Council has thanked a community group for their important role in helping the city scoop a prestigious national award.

Liverpool’s iconic Hope Street has just won The Great Street Award in the national Urbanism Awards 2013. Co-ordinated by the Academy of Urbanism, the awards recognise the best urban places in Europe.

Now, the city is paying tribute to HOPES: The Hope Street Association, for the part it has played, for more than a decade, in shaping Hope Street into a leading cultural and knowledge hub.

The charitable organisation, made up of volunteers – many of whom work in the fields of regeneration, community development and culture – developed a vision in the 1990s for Hope Street as a Quarter.

They held a number of conferences in the city – in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the Millennium – to explore how the potential of the area could be unlocked.

Their efforts led to the development of the Hope Street Papers in 2000 ( which laid the groundwork for the development of the area. HOPES also developed these proposals via the dozen annual Hope Street Festivals – the HOPES Millennium Festival was chosen by the Millennium Commission as their national exemplar – and many other community engagement and stakeholding events which the charity created and delivered.

This important work was followed in 2006 by the city council and partners delivering a £2.9 million regeneration programme for Hope Street. It included improved paving and kerbs, the transformation of the Mount Street Triangle into a fitting home for the “Suitcases” artwork, new traffic signals and pedestrian crossings, new lighting, and resurfacing.

Work was also been carried out by Liverpool City Council, following consultation with HOPES and their identified stakeholders, to make Hope Street more pedestrian-friendly and inviting through the use of public art and a community space.

The public realm works which have taken place on Hope Street – along with the area’s unique cultural, architectural, arts, educational and hospitality offer – helped it beat of competition from Exhibition Road in London and Chapel Street in Penzance to win the national Urbanism Award.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “Winning this prestigious award is fantastic news, not only for Hope Street, but for the city as a whole.

“A range of partners – businesses, arts organisations and our cathedrals and universities brought together by HOPES – have worked together with the City Council to make Hope Street the place it is today. It’s important that we pay tribute to the volunteers at HOPES, who proposed and worked tirelessly for this idea to happen. Hope Street is now a vibrant and unique part of Liverpool life.

“I’d like to thank HOPES for their fantastic contribution over the years, which really helped to put this important cultural and historical asset on the map.”

Hilary Burrage, founding member and honorary chair of HOPES, said: “I am very proud that the work over a decade by HOPES: The Hope Street Association has had such a profound and positive impact on our city. In the decade spanning the Millennium we brought together a very wide range of organisations and interests, and we were delighted when the Council agreed to work with us to deliver the vision which we carefully developed and shared for this unique and hugely significant area of the city.

“The Award by the Academy of Urbanism, like the Millennium Award of a decade ago, reminds us that all our hard work and faith has been well worth while. I know that everyone on Hope Street will be delighted by the Academy of Urbanism’s exciting new vote of confidence in the vision for the future which we, together with the City Council, have delivered.”

Located at the heart of the city’s Georgian quarter, Hope Street and the surrounding vicinity is an area of stunning architectural beauty with some of the finest 18th and 19th Century housing and buildings in the North West.

It is home to Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, and some of the most significant performing arts organisations in the City Region, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Everyman and Unity Theatres.

It is also a cultural hub for some of the City’s leading arts organisations such as Hope Street Limited and Merseyside Dance Initiative and is its academic heart, with Liverpool University, Liverpool John Moores University and LIPA all based there.

It counts the Victoria Gallery and Museum, The Hardmans’ House and the annual Hope Street Feast amongst its attractions, several historic pubs and locations significant in the Beatles history, the independent boutique Hope Street Hotel and the 60 Hope Street restaurant group.

Between them, Hope Street’s organisations, businesses and attractions have attracted numerous regional, national and international awards recognising the excellence of their cultural, tourism, food and dining offers. The Everyman Theatre will re-open in 2013 following a two-year £28 million redevelopment programme, and there are plans for a £12 million refurbishment of the Grade II* listed Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

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