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Dr Mike Jones, from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Popular Music, will join city culture chiefs as an official member of the inaugural Beatles Legacy Group.
The Beatles Legacy Group has been established following a report released earlier this month, co-authored by Dr Jones and Dr Simeon Yates from the University’s Institute of Cultural Capital, which revealed that The Beatles legacy is worth £81.9m to the Liverpool’s economy and supports 2,335 jobs.
The report is the first study of contemporary value to examine the impact of The Beatles on the city, and although it recognised the popularity and success of the current visitor offer, it also noted the challenges facing its future and the need to find a way to curate and maintain the authenticity of The Beatles heritage for both existing and future fans.
The Beatles Legacy Group will be chaired by Liverpool musician, Peter Hooton and also includes Director of Culture Claire McColgan MBE; Marketing Liverpool Director, Chris Brown and Chief Executive of the Liverpool BID Company Bill Addy, alongside Dr Jones.
Dr Jones said: “The formation of a Beatles Legacy Group is a necessary first step to ensure that visitors coming to Liverpool to ‘meet the Beatles’ encounter and take away experiences of the highest quality.
“There are many facets to the Beatles industry locally, and it will be the job of the Beatles Legacy Group to co-ordinate these so that the visitor experience is a seamless one.
“The group will be able to set goals and foster innovation in ways that single enterprises working alone cannot.
“The City of Liverpool recognises that it has a duty of care to preserve and develop the legacy of the Beatles, and this duty must be exercised with the same energy and imagination that the Beatles captured in their music.”
An initial meeting has already taken place which established that the aim of the Legacy Group is not to represent individual interests, but to look at the wider remit of the offer, working with key stakeholders such as organisations linked with The Beatles and residents who live in and around key sites such as Penny Lane and Mathew Street. Forums will be held for the wider Beatles industry where people can feed in and have their say on certain proposals.
Explorations will also be made around licensing and control of operators, and a kite mark that certifies a particular Beatles experience is a quality one will be established in the forthcoming months.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The Beatles legacy report was a fascinating insight, and although it was encouraging to see just how successful the current offer is, if we want to build on this we need to look at the bigger picture and improve the experience across the board.
“Setting up a Legacy Group was one of the main recommendations of the report and from the outset, I wanted an artist to be the Chair and Peter was my first choice – he understands the industry, and the value of the Beatles to Liverpool and will always look at the bigger picture in terms of making decisions that are best for the city and the city’s reputation.
“After an informal meeting the wheels are already in motion – each member of the group brings different expertise to the table which will result in us building on what is already in place and introducing new initiatives to make sure that fans from the UK and across the world have an unforgettable Beatles experience for all the right reasons.”
The Beatles Legacy Group is set to have its first official meeting in March.
The Institute of Cultural Capital, the organisation behind the report into The Beatles legacy, is a strategic partnership between University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.
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