ST HELENS has been announced as the Liverpool City Region's next Borough of Culture, five years on from its first time as host.

The idea behind the Borough of Culture came from Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram's '1% for Culture' initiative, which commits to invest one percent of the Combined Authority’s annual budget directly into culture and creativity.

Supported with a budget of around £200k, the title has rotated around each borough in the City Region to showcase the unique cultural attractions and identities in each area. 

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Named as the first Borough of Culture in 2018, St Helens hosted a number of events and exhibitions across the borough, including the award-winning Lost Castles project in Victoria Square.

Next year, the plans are to celebrate the region's sporting triumphs, homegrown stars, and industrial history.

There will also be the acknowledgment for the anniversaries of key organisations in St Helens; including the 100th anniversary of St Helens Rotary, 90th anniversary of the St Helens Council Voluntary Service, and the 150th anniversary of St Helens Rugby League. 

St Helens Star:  award-winning Lost Castles project in Victoria Square when St Helens was Borough of Culture in 2018. award-winning Lost Castles project in Victoria Square when St Helens was Borough of Culture in 2018. (Image: St Helens Council)

Councillor David Baines said: "It is with great pleasure and pride that we accept the formal handover of the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture title from Knowsley to St Helens Borough.

“We want to use this year to tell stories of our sporting triumphs, our homegrown stars of national stage and TV, our workers whose ingenuity and backbreaking work drove the Industrial revolution and who still innovate and excel today, and stories of the incredible strength and solidarity we saw in our communities through the pandemic and other challenges.

In the coming year we will look to celebrate all this and more - celebrating our past, and building our future.”

St Helens Star: Metro Mayor Steve RotheramMetro Mayor Steve Rotheram (Image: Liverpool City Region)

Steve Rotheram added: "It's hard to believe that it's been almost five years since St Helens was crowned our region's first Borough of Culture. It was an incredible debut year that saw the town showcase its unique blend of creativity and culture, which contributes so much towards making our region one of the most vibrant places to live and work.

"Our area is the UK's cultural capital for a reason - because nowhere has the same flair for bringing together creativity and celebrations quite like us! I'm really looking forward to seeing how the St Helens community pulls together once again to share its story and shine a spotlight on the very best of what the town has to offer."

The council stated events and activities to mark the occasion will be confirmed in the coming weeks.