Hope Street Limited takes a final bow… JOB DONE!
After 30 years of providing training, guidance and support to emerging artists Liverpool’s Hope Street Ltd will close in September 2018, making its current production,
“Climate Change is Rubbish!” its last
 

Being dropped as a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England has led to the demise of Hope Street, and with an increasing number of organisations providing support to emerging talent, Hope Street was faced with no other choice but to wind-up.
 
Director Peter Ward, who has led the organisation for many years since it was founded by the Merseyside Everyman Theatre and Liverpool City Council in 1988, explained: 
“When we started we were unique and we have been integral to developing many of the events now familiar in the cultural calendar: Liverpool’s Lantern Parades, Brouhaha Carnival, Physical Fest and 20 Stories High’s forthcoming 6 month training programme for emerging artists are part of Hope Street’s legacy.
 
“Hope Street also supported the creation of many theatre companies including Tmesis, Spike and Rejects Revenge and launched the careers of performers and artists now working in every cultural institution in Liverpool. Our alumni also went on to the RSC, the National, Globe Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Traverse – even NASA in Houston, Texas!
 
“Our model has since become much imitated in cities across the UK and I am truly delighted that many arts organisations locally have now established their own programmes to develop artists and artforms based on our model. Our work is done!”
 
Over the last 30 years, Hope Street has presented 300 original shows performed to nearly 4 million people and has moved over 750 trainees into professional employment.
 
Chris Sims, Chair of the Hope Street Board since 1999 added: 
“Our mission was to nurture and develop talent and to support those who came through our programmes into sustainable employment. We have been extremely successful in this respect but the funding landscape has changed and regular investment from Arts Council England was withdrawn in 2017. After considering other funding options we have decided it is time that other organisations take up the mantle that we have carried for so long.”

Claire McColgan MBE, Director, Culture Liverpool said: 
“I have known Hope Street for the last 28 years as a participant, partner and more recently as a funder.I have seen it grow and change and I can’t imagine my generation of culture professionals being still in Liverpool without them.This is a great way to end the Hope Street story but its memory will live on in the thousands of people it touched throughout its history. A special mention to Peter Word – a true Liverpool spirit, a true professional and a brilliant inspirational leader.”

Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England said:
“Hope Street, under Peter Ward, has contributed a huge amount to the creative ecology of Liverpool - something that’s recognised by many. Their legacy is secured through the number of creative individuals who started at Hope Street and are now themselves at the heart of culture in the city. We will continue to work with stakeholders and the artistic community in Liverpool to help foster and develop talent and to keep that cultural ecology thriving.”
 
Many of the funding and partner organisations, artists and alumni that have worked with Hope Street over the last 30 years are full of praise for its achievements. 
 
Actor Keddy Sutton, part of the Everyman Repertory Company, said: 
“Hope Street mentored me as a young person before I went to Drama School...many moons ago...and when I left drama school I updated my skills with their workshops and expertise. They have always been a valued source to me and my career...and I consider them as dear friends as well as well as treasured life coaches. Thank you, Hope Street."
 
Paul Smith, Executive Director of Liverpool Biennial said: 
"Liverpool Biennial valued Hope Street both as a partner and a unique part of the region’s cultural life. The innovative, cross genre work that Hope Street produced helped the Biennial to reach new audiences and to present work in different formats.”
 
Writer, singer and artist Aleasha Chaunté said: 
"You have supported me since I first came to the city. Very proud to be associated with an organisation that is able to use its energy and resources to help people thrive. Without Hope Street I think that the cultural landscape of the city would look very different.”
 
Climate Change is Rubbish, the final project will feature 18 professional artists working with 24 trainees, 25 volunteers and 60 people involved in 12 community groups. The show will culminate in performances on 26 -28 July 2018. 
 
Not only did Hope Street lead the way in talent development but Director Peter Ward also initiated and led COoL (Creative Organisations of Liverpool) which provides a voice for the small and medium-sized organisations in the city. 
 
Contact Peter Ward for interviews and images This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0151 708 8007

30 Years in numbers
New and original performances = 300
Number of performances = 6,690
Audience = 3,870,000
Number of artists employed = 3,420
Volunteers = 3,750
Trainees = 750
% of trainees into employment = 92%
Number of workshops delivered in the community = 21,660
Number of participants of community activity = 324,900