The Beautiful North

The Beautiful Ideas Co. was created as a result of the Beautiful North campaign, supported by Liverpool City Council and some 40 other partners and designed to change attitudes and perceptions of, and in, North Liverpool, between 2010 and 2013.

Over half of the city’s population lives in North Liverpool, at one time the home of the busiest few miles of docks on earth. Some of that trade still exists, but is mostly carried out in the container port at Seaforth now. This change impacted on the economy and fabric of North Liverpool. Over a 30 year period, North Liverpool became defined by its deprivation as it competed for funding allocated according to problems and needs. The funding competition reinforced perceptions that the area, its residents and businesses relied on external funds and solutions and could not help themselves.

Beautiful North was set up in response to the crash, as development projects stalled, national government withdrew regeneration funds and imposed austerity cuts. It was to explore alternative ways of delivering public services and regeneration with no additional money. The North Liverpool — Show Your Beautiful Face campaign focused on what is positive and possible.

Partners were asked to bring their own staff and cash. 40 organisations and over 80 staff got involved over a four year period. Action led innovations were designed to use existing resources differently, with each Action-led by a different organisation. Solutions for challenges ranging from social isolation to void housing to viable youth services emerged. Many have been sustained and some have influenced delivery city-wide and been replicated in other cities.

Six years later few people talk about the problems of North Liverpool. We talk about the potential, the opportunities.


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