Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts

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Bluecoat receives Capital grant from Arts Council England to improve sustainability

We are delighted to have been awarded £450,000 to improve the arts centre’s environmental sustainability. The grant will enable us to upgrade facilities for visitors, including the building's reception, café and outdoor spaces, and expand our children’s area, as well as  increasing the visibility of artists and their work.

The grant follows Bluecoat’s celebration last year of  the tercentenary of its building, the oldest in Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site and also he UK’s first contemporary arts centre.2017 demonstrated the public interest in the building’s story, which we told through working with a diversity of artists from across the visual, performing and literary arts.

Ten years after our last major capital scheme, the building’s public areas are in need of a refresh and our facilities, notably the toilets, need an overhaul. Also, the need to become environmentally sustainable, particularly in a Grade One Listed building, is increasingly pressing, and the main beneficiaries of the grant will be arts audiences and building visitors.

Arts Council Capital Grants help ensure that National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) like Bluecoat are housed in the right buildings and have the appropriate facilities to deliver their work and become more sustainable and innovative as businesses.

The grant will enable us to improve how the public approaches, uses, engages with, understands and interprets Bluecoat. The scheme will include reconfiguring public entrances and the main reception and café area (the Hub); expanding our ‘children’s corner’ facility; upgrading toilets, heating and lighting; enhancing our outdoor courtyards;and improving wayfinding and orientation across the building.

Importantly, the scheme will also make the work of the artists we work with - both as tenants in our building and those who exhibit in our gallery and perform in our live programmes - more visible to the public.

Bluecoat’s Chief Executive, Mary Cloake, said, ”As custodians of such an important part of Liverpool’s cultural history, we are delighted at this award, which will enable us to carry out much needed improvements and enhancements to our current offer. As a result, Bluecoat will be a more robust, accessible and sustainable centre for the arts right at the heart of the city’s cultural life, and a flagship arts venue for the North.”


 About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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About the Bluecoat

Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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