The Lyceum on Bold Street was once a Gentlemen’s club as well as the first lending library in Europe.
The Neo-classical building was built in the years 1800-1802 and was established as an alternative meeting place to the rowdy coffee houses for several of Liverpool’s abolitionists, such as William Roscoe. The building has always had a rebellious feel to it and this was only heightened when the Liverpool branch of the occupy movement chose this building as the place to protest. With such a strong history, it is incredibly sad to see the shadow of its former self. The once glossy coliseum style podiums have gathered dust. The once bustling steps are now shelter for the homeless and the abandoned divinity has become too hard to not notice. It is easy to get distracted by the stats of how many new places are opening, but what about the places closing or staying closed?
With your help, we’ve come up with a few incredible suggestions that would suit the future of such a beautiful building and Liverpool, as a whole. Just look at The Bombed Out Church, last summer they housed everything from beer festivals to psychedelic picnics and are proof that these spaces are versatile. Whilst all suggestions were great, we’ve gone with the ones that would generate enough interest and money to keep it going.
Food Marketplace and Restaurant
Think Billingsgate Market meets Leeds Trinity on Bold Street. Imagine a place with a fishmongers, butchers, cheese mongers, bakery, fruit and veg and all sorts of lovely produce that then turns into a restaurant in the night to show off the fresh produce in one room. Liverpool’s fishmongers are disappearing beneath our very feet and this would encourage a lot of people to fall back in love with the trade as well as buying sustainable fish.
We’ve heard Liverpool been described as a walkable-London and we would often agree but one aspect we’re missing is an opera house. A place for the beautiful and dramatic art form to ensue. We’re quite a cultured lot in Liverpool and whilst we’re boasting some incredible theatre venues and up and coming actors, we think an opera house would be a lovely cherry on top. Something like the Buxton Opera House would work perfectly with the feel of the building.
Independent Department Store
Leeds Corn Exchange is one of Britain’s finest Victorian buildings and a Grade 1 listed structure. It holds tremendous significance both as an architectural masterpiece and cultural icon. It champions the very best in creative, innovative and independent retail enterprises, and the building’s striking features provide the backdrop for a unique shopping experience. One building full of Liverpool’s makers and shakers that’s actually affordable? We’re in. REX in Met Quarter is a great example of how this can work.
Small venues are often about more than just music. They can be places of rebellion and good for the community they belong in. Independent music venues aren’t just incubators for bands – they play a vital role in a healthy urban ecosystem. DIY music venues are about non conformity, they’re fuelled by passion, inspired by culture and art, and stand for good time. Liverpool has been dancing to the Mersey beat for some time now and with the recent closures of places like The Kazimier and Mello Mello, we could do with an injection.
Arts and Craft Centre
A place for the handmade and heartfelt. Liverpool isn’t short of incredible artists, illustrators, candle stick makers and more. There are monthly craft stalls but is it enough? Can Liverpool artists make a living on Etsy or are they drowning under a sea of cheap Banksy phone cases? Arts Hub 47 on Lark Lane, One Art on College Lane, The Bluecoat Courtyard and Made Here in MetQuarter are all good examples but imagine a much grander ensemble that can give Liverpool’s art scene strength through unity.
Picture by Ronnie Hughes
Pop Up Events
We’re experiencing pop-up mania. In a world with rising business rates and rent, the advent of pop-up has flourished. The Secret Diners Club are the perfect example of how to successfully do this. They remove any preconceptions of where you’d fine dine and keep where you eat a secret until the very day. From abandoned railways to graffiti covered urban wonderlands, these lads can turn anywhere in the city into a night of memories. And The Secret Dining Club are just one example. Imagine the endless possibilities of events that could take place in such a beautiful setting.
Co-working has become increasingly popular in Liverpool as of late. The company might end up being the inspiration your business has been seeking. The idea is that the osmosis of passion and creativity will spill over to the person next to you. Basecamp, Launch 22 and Igloo are all great examples of this in our very own city. For those just starting up who can’t afford a grand office with a breed of dog even Google hasn’t heard of, it could be the difference between an idea happening or not. Fill The Lyceum with nice desks, good coffee and passionate people and watch the city’s entrepreneurs come out to play.
Bold Street Market
Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce. It is a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat – chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who just happen to love eating and drinking. But it’s not just the sheer quality of the food on offer that makes Borough Market special – it is also about the people and the place. Sound like Liverpool? We agree. Much like the first idea but less educational and with no restaurant.
Junk Food Cafe (Pay As You Feel)
It’s time to talk junk. We, as a country, throw away tonnes and tonnes of food each year and it’s time we waged a war on waste. This idea sparked a junk food revolution across the UK and even one in Liverpool. There is now a restaurant in Everton open on weekends that serves food that would have otherwise been binned and at the end people pay what they felt it was worth. A great way to fill stomachs, end food wastage and give this beautiful building purpose.
Live Poetry and Immersive Theatre Space
In immersive theatre, the audience are not merely passive bystanders. They are part of the story, however small their role may be, and they are in the middle of the action. Liverpool is also a city full of writers and poets that would flourish on the right stage. Wouldn’t those two work nicely together in a building like The Lyceum? Check out the Under 27 and Above Club and A Lovely Word who are making awesome moves in this area.
Other ideas that were suggested that we liked were; an aquarium, a community centre, an adult learning centre, a post office, a homeless shelter, a hotel and a wedding hall.
Got a better idea? Join the debate and let us know by emailing us email@example.com