Bluecoat Pioneers New Quarter

by Culture Liverpool

(c)MarkMcNultyLongNight24Sept09The Bluecoat pioneers new quarter idea echoing Manchester Northern Quarter and Brighton Lanes Experiences.

Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the Bluecoat is launching ‘the Bluecoat Quarter’ on 20 September, to create a unique space within the city centre for businesses to celebrate their independent statuses.

Among the 23 retailers and businesses making up the Bluecoat Quarter are Epstein Theatre, Gostins Arcade, Probe Records and Lunya.

The zone for the Bluecoat Quarter incorporates School Lane, Church Alley, College Lane, Hanover Street, Brooks Alley and the nearby environs.

Mary Cloake image by Maddy BellChief Executive at the Bluecoat, Mary Cloake said: “Together we hope to reach out to the lanes, alleys and streets surrounding us to develop a thriving community of independent retailers and enliven our area.

“In doing so, we hope to enhance public interest in the arts as well as creating an alternative area to explore which incorporates shopping, eating, entertainment, green space, heritage and public art. Collectively, we would like to change people’s paths, drawing people from the commercial super-highway, to investigate the hidden gems of the city.


“As a reward for taking an alternative route, people will be treated with public realm art installations, playfully spaced so that they can be appreciated by all, in a variety of ways.

“This network of independent retailers will work together to provide a destination zone for the creative shopper, in which individuals can buy unique, affordable pieces ranging from jewellery and clothing, furniture, furnishings and pottery to first edition books and LPs.”

For those wanting something to eat or drink, the area has a range of places from cosy cafes and a friendly pub to bistros and delis. These welcoming spaces provide a rich alternative to the high street, connecting makers and vendors with their supporters and rewarding visitors with creative ideas, environments and experiences.

The Bluecoat Quarter is working with colleague’s at Liverpool City Council to develop public art, with an aim of commissioning artists to create a visual language for the area, brightening the streets, connecting retail locations and supporting visitors in feeling welcome, safe and connected.

To kick start this initiative the Bluecoat is delighted to have been selected to host the Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award artist-in-residence scheme for 2015. The award will support an artist-in-residence who will work with local children and families through the Bluecoat’s acclaimed participation programme to create an artwork for the front courtyard area. For more information about the residency go to:

By working together, with a shared aim, the Bluecoat hopes to create an atmosphere echoing that of Manchester’s Northern Quarter or Brighton Lanes experience, but incorporating Liverpool’s warmth, hospitality and humour.

The free Bluecoat Quarter launch event takes place on Saturday 20 Sept between 12 and 4pm

The event will celebrate the area, heritage, products and companies on offer in the quarter. Participants will be invited to create pavement art to line the way from Church Street. And there will be music, performers, food, stalls and craft beer in the Bluecoat’s courtyard to energise the space and give visitors a chance to see what’s on offer.

  • The Bluecoat Quarter retailers and businesses


Art, culture and entertainment:

  • The Bluecoat – Centre for contemporary arts
  • The Epstein Theatre – Theatre and venue hire



  • Gostins Arcade – Alternative shopping
  • Kernaghan Books – Vintage books, prints, maps
  • Lalligrass – Arts and crafts of the Himalayas
  • Landbaby – Homemade jewellery, homeware, cards and gifts
  • Liverpool Shaver Centre – Electronic repairs
  • Mark Melia – Fashion
  • Probe Records – Vinyl and CDs
  • R + J Porter – Master-silversmith and engravers
  • Taking Shape – Women’s plus size clothing and fashion
  • The Bluecoat Display Centre – Contemporary craft gallery
  • The Dressing Room – Fashion
  • The Painted Chair – Updated furniture and Annie Sloan paint stockist



  •  Espresso (at The Bluecoat) – Cafe
  • Hole in the Wall Café – Café and outside catering
  • Lox and Caper (inside Merseyside Youth Association) – Cafe
  • Lunya – Deli, restaurant, bar
  • The Old Post Office – Public House
  • The Quaker Meeting House – Quakers Community and Cafe
  • Upstairs Bistro (at The Bluecoat) – Bistro and venue hire



  • Merseyside Youth Association Ltd – general and specialist support services for young people aged 7-25
  • Stitches – Tailoring

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