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Shakespeare North Playhouse rolls out the red carpet for the 2023 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Award winners.

  •  Winners announced in 13 categories including artists, creatives, volunteer and community groups from across the city region

  • Awards ceremony hosted by Sunetra Sarker took place at the magnificent Shakespeare North Playhouse

  • 39 finalists were shortlisted by independent judging panel

Hundreds of excited finalists flocked to the region’s latest cultural crown jewel to find out if they would be taking home a prized Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Award.

Ackley Bridge and Casualty star Sunetra Sarker took to the stage to host the glittering ceremony at the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot celebrating the creative talent and achievements of people in the city region.

A woman standing at a lectern presenting an awards ceremony

Sunetra Sarker hosted the awards.

13 lucky winners were crowned including World in One City, which took the People’s Choice Award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture voted for by the public, with nearly 4000 people placing a vote.

World In One City is a volunteer-run football tournament using the universal language of the sport in a creative way. Communities represent their countries of origin showcasing the diversity of our city region and celebrating ethnicity and identity.

A group of people celebrating an award

World in One City after winning their award.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Culture plays such an important role in what makes our region great. From community organisations and individual artists to Hollywood stars, we have so much to be proud of.

“A big well done to all of this year’s winners. These awards recognise the imagination, inspiration, and innovation – and the immense value that the sector has contributed to our region in the past 12 months and beyond.

“And where better to play host than the wonderful Shakespeare North Theatre, the latest jewel in our region’s cultural crown, made possible with £10.5m of Combined Authority funding. A massive congratulations to all of our winners – and an even bigger thank you to everybody nominated for your fantastic contributions to making our region great!”

Man in a tuxedo standing at a lectern

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, welcomes people to the awards.

Other winners included Sonia Bassey MBE who received the Inspiration Award (Lifetime Achievement) for her contribution to race equality, community engagement, inclusivity and social justice through art and culture spanning nearly 40 years. Abdulwase Sufian was named Inspirational Young Person for his intergenerational digital project capturing Yemeni cultural heritage. And DefProc Engineering won the Environmental Award for H2Go, the first low-cost domestic hydrogen sensor detecting hydrogen leaks so people can safely embrace greener fuels.

Chair of the Cultural Partnership Sir Phil Redmond said:

“I hope we continue to celebrate how creativity contributes to the way we interact and support each other as we have at this year’s awards. It makes life better and enables economic growth.

“The Culture and Creativity Awards are part of the city region’s long-term cultural strategy, they unearth, nurture, exhibit and promote the region’s creative energy and remind us that creativity is not always about searching for something new but can also tackle recurring issues or find new opportunities.”  

Host Sunetra Sarker said:

“It was a fantastic evening and I’m in awe of some of the winners. The breadth of their work and what they have achieved – some at such a young age – is admirable.

“I love coming home and seeing the amazing projects and meeting the talent emerging from the city and region. There is so much ambition and originality – I am proud to come from a place where we champion our cultural creativity and I hope it continues to be celebrated for many years to come.”

Liverpool born Sunetra is largely known for her acting career which spans over 30 years beginning in Brookside and continuing with her recent debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is a regular face on Celebrity Gogglebox and is a panellist on Loose Women.

Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Councillor Mike Wharton said:

“Congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s awards. This is not just an awards ceremony, it’s a way of acknowledging and celebrating the hard work and commitment people give to their art, whether that’s on a stage, in a lab or on a football pitch.

“Every year I am bowled over by the new and innovative ways culture and creativity is used to support the communities which make up the 1.6 million people living in the Liverpool City Region.”

The Culture and Creativity Awards were established as part of the Mayor’s commitment to culture through his 1% for Culture initiative.

This year’s event is sponsored by ACC Liverpool, Adaptable Recruitment, Davies Partnership, Intx, LCR Connect, Liverpool One, Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village and MTC.

Artist / Creative of the Year


Ali Harwood


Arts Organisation of the Year


Culture Knowsley – Borough of Culture 2022


Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’


Knowsley Borough of Culture Volunteers


Business in the Arts Award


Daniel Davies – Rockpoint Leisure


Community Cohesion Award


Granby Street Market


Environmental Award


DefProc Engineering


Health & Wellbeing Award


Liverpool Lighthouse


Improving Education & Learning Award


Agent Academy


Inspirational Young Person Award


Abdulwase Sufian


International Reach Award


Dr. Emma Roberts


Preparing for Work Award


A Place for Us CIC


People’s Choice Award – Outstanding Contribution to Culture


World In One City


Judges Inspiration Award – Outstanding Achievement


Sonia Bassey MBE


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