By Tom Horton, PA
The UK Government’s funding boost for a new Beatles visitor attraction will not inspire young people to pursue a career in music, a charity boss has said.
In his Budget on Wednesday, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £2 million (€2.3 million) for the new Beatles attraction on Liverpool’s Waterfront.
The project is intended to help inspire the next generation of musical talent.
However, Music Venue Trust chief executive Mark Davyd said the Liverpool band “weren’t inspired to be the Beatles because of a plectrum in a display case”.
He added: “Rock and pop music, and the rich tapestry those generic terms might include, isn’t a semi-detached day out, gawping at history in exhibitions.
“Stormzy didn’t start rapping because he saw an animatronic figure clutching a Rickenbacker, bouncing up and down on two fake legs.”
Mr Davyd said Liverpool “has a vibrant and thrilling culture of creativity that you can already visit, feeling the visceral pulse of new music beating out of an under-lit and wonky stage delivered by the next generation of great artists from the city”.
It’s infrastructure of grassroots music venues, the places that actually inspired and developed the Beatles, is massively under invested in, crippled by the Covid crisis, and in desperate need of support. pic.twitter.com/2DXQgz8JB8
— Mark Davyd (@markdavyd) October 28, 2021
“Its infrastructure of grassroots music venues, the places that actually inspired and developed the Beatles, is massively under-invested in, crippled by the Covid crisis, and in desperate need of support,” he added.
According to the UK Government, the funding will help the Liverpool City Region “develop a business case for a new Waterfront attraction celebrating the work and legacy of the Beatles, and consider future funding for this project subject to the business case”.
Mr Davyd said the funding “doesn’t buy a single brick”.
“Headline-grabbing, pointless nonsense that no-one needs or wants and does precisely less than the sum of bugger all to support genuine creativity, eating up real money that could make a real difference,” he added.
Plans for a new global visitor attraction, the redevelopment of two of Liverpool’s leading cultural institutions & a new public realm have been given a huge cash injection #TheNextChapter #LevellingUp
— Liverpool City Council (@lpoolcouncil) October 27, 2021
On Wednesday, UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the story of The Beatles “personifies” the levelling-up agenda.
“They came from humble backgrounds in Liverpool and went on to be the most important band in history,” she added.
“This funding will help unlock opportunities so that any child, no matter what corner of Liverpool they come from, or beyond, can become the next Lennon or McCartney.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson previously said the Beatles attraction will provide “a blueprint for the future of music education, but most importantly it will create opportunities and joy for the people of this city”.
A £20 million boost of Levelling Up funding was also announced for Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool.