Liverpool’s 8 Water Street to provide new creative arts hub in Business District

Water Street

Abstract spoken word readings kick off the entertainment at 8 Water Street

The largely empty six-storey building  in Liverpool’s business district is to be transformed into a new front for Liverpool’s creatives, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke charts Liverpool’s latest addition.

Liverpool has had a tumultuous rotation of live ventures as of late, one that’s set to continue with last Thursday’s opening of 8 Water Street, the business quarter site that’s metamorphosing into a valuable new centre for Liverpool’s creatives.

The six-storey venue has, until now, had the majority of its space remain unused, but in a new movement sponsored by disability arts charity Shape Arts, and led by the If Only… performing arts collective.

For this, their current project, the  group are in the process of transforming the downtown space into a venue for ‘a wide variety of performances, workshops, artist studios, exhibitions and much much more’ in what’s apparently a largely rent-free arrangement.

The re-opening party is suitably eccentric, with some of Merseyside’s true characters in attendance and bizarre, outlandish DJ sets providing a startling soundtrack.

Water Street Creative Hub

Radio Merseyside’s Roger Hill aka Mandy Romero addresses attendees

Those at last week’s opening were treated to an opening speech from Mandy Romero (aka Radio Merseyside’s Roger Hill), and a three-person reading of an abstract spoken word piece.

A guided tour reveals copious space, available to rent for around £50 a month, though the six stories available still bear the scars of their office-block past. All that will obviously change as the artists begin to arrive, with the project still somewhat embryonic as Getintothis gets its look-in.

If Only…‘s previous projects in Merseyside include a recent residence at The Bluecoat Centre last year, taking over the centre’s Gallery 3 for Occupy, a similar blend of artistic performance and interaction.

It’s welcome news for the city following the recent loss of MelloMello, until now a similar hub of sorts for Liverpool creatives. 8 Water Street also joins DumBULLs on Dublin Street and the re-opened Jacaranda on Slater Street as the latest centres for Liverpool’s music and arts.
Pictures by GetintothisTom Adam