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Budget allocates £2m to plan Beatles-inspired attraction in Liverpool

Beatles

Budget allocates £2m to plan Beatles-inspired attraction in Liverpool

A new Beatles-inspired mega attraction on Liverpool’s waterfront, secretly in its planning stages since 2017, is to get a government cash injection of £2m.

The money was announced in a budget which included a blizzard of northern England “levelling up” projects, although some eyebrows were raised that a significant chunk was going to leafier suburbs rather than places with more pressing claims.

The wider museum and cultural sector broadly welcomed measures which included one for tax relief. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said he was doubling tax relief for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries and it will be extended to March 2024, in order to help them rally after the worst of times.

Money from the government’s much-vaunted levelling up fund included £232m to 12 projects in north-west England; £187m to 10 projects in Yorkshire and the Humber; and £100m to 5 projects in the north-east England.

In the north-east the projects include reopening the Whorlton Bridge over the River Tees, the UK’s oldest suspension bridge, which is four miles from Barnard Castle.

There was also regeneration money for the arguably prosperous, leafy towns of Yarm and Eaglescliffe. Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP for Stockton North, said: “I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t have the money but there are places like Billingham which are in far greater need and they should have had money as well.”

The Beatles attraction cash is essentially scoping money for a new immersive experience which the city authorities have been in unpublicised talks about for at least three years.

Claire McColgan, the director of culture for Liverpool city council, said it would be much more than a new Beatles attraction. It would be an enormous and celebratory music hub which may have a new secondary school in it, rehearsal space for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and other music education facilities.

She said: “It will be huge and it will be much more than the Beatles.” The Fab Four will be the hook but “what we are really excited about is how this gets kids from the some of the poorest areas of Liverpool to create and explore their passion for music”.

The council is looking at two sites on Liverpool’s waterfront for the development, which has a working title of The Pool. How much it costs and how long it takes to create – if the plans go ahead – remain to be seen. McColgan predicted five to 10 years and was optimistic it would be closer to five.

Liverpool’s metro mayor, Steve Rotheram, said it would not be a stuffy museum. “It’s an immersive experience … we want something other than just looking at old artefacts, John Lennon’s underpants in a glass case,” he said. “We want something really that people will be attracted to.”

The project is getting Treasury money because of the support given to it by the new culture secretary, Liverpool-born Nadine Dorries. “If anything personifies levelling up, it’s the story of the Beatles,” she said.

“This funding will help unlock opportunities so that any child, no matter what corner of Liverpool they come from, or beyond, can become the next Lennon or McCartney.”

McColgan said the £2m would allow those involved to build the case for The Pool and work out how much it would cost.

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2023: NBC Tasks Broadcasters On Professionalism

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has tasked broadcasters to handle political campaigns with professionalism.

The director-general of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah said this on Monday at a multi-stakeholders dialogue held in Abuja.

As campaigns for the 2023 elections are set to begin on September 28, Ilelah asked broadcasters to ensure not to allow hate speech or fake news on their platforms.

“This is in addition to ensuring equity in airtime allocation and coverage of political parties’ activities, particularly during prime times,” he said.

“It is also the time for you to make money from political adverts and campaigns, but ensure that this is done within the ambit of law.

“Broadcasters are also required to handle live political rallies with care and due professionalism. This is in addition to studio-based live political interviews/broadcasts. Because of the sensitivities of such programmes, broadcasters are advised to install delay mechanisms.

“Remember that broadcast stations are held responsible for any breach. The stations shall, therefore, assume and accept editorial responsibility”, he added.

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IPOB Accuses Police Of Blackmail

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to a statement credited to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, linking ESN and IPOB to a planned attack on political campaigns and the forthcoming 2023 elections.

Director of Media and Public Relations of the group, Comrade Emma Powerful, in a statement on Monday, said the IG of Police should “leave IPOB volunteers and ESN Operatives alone to focus on things that matter instead of trying to get them involved in Nigeria Government and its fraudulent political processes.”

He also added that Nigeria’s security agencies were fond of blackmailing the organization with allegations of sundry crimes.

The statement read: “If Nigeria Police have concluded their plans to commit crimes during political campaigns and tag it on IPOB and ESN they will fail as usual.

“Any time Nigeria Security Agencies raise a false alarm, know that they have planned attacks to blackmail IPOB and ESN Operatives but we cannot allow them to continue their business of blackmail.

“These Security agencies have allegedly killed innocent people in an effort to blackmail IPOB but Chukwu Okike Abiama (God) has always vindicated us,” they said.

“We have always maintained that we are not interested in anything that has to do with Nigeria let alone taking any side in their fraudulent political process. IPOB are not Zoo politicians. The only political process that IPOB will participate in is an UN-supervised Biafra Referendum that will usher in Biafra Sovereignty and Independence”, he added.

 

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ASUU: F.G Makes U-turn, Withdraws Circular Ordering Resumption

The Federal Government on Monday withdrew its earlier circular which directed vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

This is coming hours after the government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), directed the opening of varsities in compliance with National Industrial Court order.

A circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

Hours after, in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which was also signed by the Director, Finance and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022 on the above subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils, as well as vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards.”

The university teachers began a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, and extended it thrice after the Federal Government failed to meet up with its demands.

 

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