Cardboard Castles come to Liverpool City Region

Six extraordinary structures made of cardboard, tape and community spirit will be created in each Borough this Summer in what is a cultural first for Liverpool City Region.

Lost Castles will see hundreds of volunteers work with thousands of cardboard boxes to build monumental castle-inspired structures, some of which will be based on actual medieval forts or historic structures which were in the region at one time.

Members of the public – individuals and community groups – are being urged to get involved in the event which is set to take place from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 August*.

Anyone who signs up can help create these magical structures and then join in the fun of toppling them at the end of the weekend.

Some of the creations are expected to be as tall as 20 metres and will be located in:

  • Williamson Square (Liverpool)
  • Knowsley Safari Park
  • Norton Priory Museum (Halton)
  • Ashton Park, West Kirby (Wirral)
  • North Park, Bootle (Sefton)
  • Victoria Square, near the Town Hall (St Helens)

The concept is the brainchild of French artist Olivier Grossetête and is the first creative project to take place across the entire city region.

Olivier and members of his team will work with people across Merseyside at a number of free workshops which will take place in July and August – these are drop in sessions and people can get involved as much or as little as they like. Find out more by visiting www.lostcastles.co.uk.

The project has been made possible thanks to support from Arts Council England and is supported by the City Region Combined Authority, and the Global Streets Strategic Touring Programme which aims to bring the very best international outdoor art to towns and cities.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Culture should be for everyone, and that’s why I’m delighted that Arts Council England has awarded this grant for an exciting cultural project that will take place in all of the boroughs of the Liverpool City Region.

“I introduced 1% for Culture to kick start delivery of the new Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Strategy, to help unlock other funding and change the way we work together.

“Exciting engagement projects and events such as Lost Castles, which is all about telling stories at a local level, can only come about through partnerships. All of our local councils have all worked fantastically well on this and it’s great that Arts Council England has helped us to bring Lost Castles to life.

“We look forward to a strong working relationship with Arts Council England and together we can increase access to excellent arts and culture for all over the coming years.”

Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England said: “The Lost Castles project is a great idea and a way of getting the communities of all six Liverpool City Region boroughs involved in marking the ten year anniversary of Liverpool08. I’m pleased that we have supported this endeavour through our National Lottery Project Grants and look forward to seeing how the castles materialise.”

All the cardboard will be responsibly recycled after the event.

*Please note, the timing of the build and performances will differ across the boroughs. Full build schedule and event details will be announced at a later date. Visit www.lostcastles.co.uk for the latest information.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Better Health and Building Arts and Culture, Councillor Gill Neal said “This year we’re celebrating 150 years since the formation of St Helens, with an exciting programme of cultural events happening across the borough, and we’re thrilled to be supporting the Lost Castles project locally.

“We’ve made a thriving arts and culture scene a real priority going forward, and as the Liverpool City Region’s seminal Borough of Culture, we’re building – this time literally – upon our already great foundations.

“This type of cultural event is one that communities will be talking about for years to come. Heritage is a big part of what we’re doing for St Helens 150, and a key element of this is our historic partnership with the German town of Stuttgart.

“The twinning St Helens and Stuttgart was the first such arrangement in Europe following World War II. Among other events, including our International Food and Drink Festival (6-7 July), we will pay homage to this partnership by building in cardboard part of Stuttgart’s iconic 10th Century Old Castle on Victoria Square.”

Pictured: Christchurch Arts Festival – New Zealand 2017 Erica Austin

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