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Liverpool to Limassol by Alastair Upton Chief Executive at the Bluecoat

I'm just returning having been a guest of the Limassol municipality who are finishing the final draft of their application to be the Cyprus European Capital of Culture in 2017.

As a fellow port city, which had been a successful Capital of Culture, Limassol had chosen to visit Liverpool as part of their research a few months ago.  The Liverpool City Council had arranged some meetings and the astute Chysses had turned up for a meeting. As we had coffee he explained ideas for big exchanges of artists and events he had. None of them seemed right for the Bluecoat.

After that we walked around the Bluecoat and I explained our history and how we worked.  His face lit up, ‘we have an old market place that less and less people are using. Perhaps we could use some of the Bluecoat ideas in Limassol.’

It was encouraging but I thought little more about it until a few weeks ago. They wondered if they could fly me over to look at the market, explain the Bluecoat to the mayor and city councillors, and offer some advice.

I'm averse to arriving somewhere, having a quick look and telling people what they should do but it is a privilege to explain the Bluecoat to people and it certainly started a very vibrant discussion.

The market was 100 years old, beautiful and huge and around the outside were large, high ceilinged spaces. It would, with imagination and subtlety, make an amazing space for studios, workshops and market spaces for both food and creative goods. 

This sketchy germ of an idea is now getting some life and is going into the outline Limassol bid and who knows, maybe in 2017 there will be a new art centre, based on our work, opening on the 300th anniversary of the Bluecoat.


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

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