North West’s newest culture club

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The North West has been giving the country a bit of a run for its money in the arts and culture department of late. The 2011 Manchester International Festival was a roaring success, with performances from major artists such as Björk and Snoop Dogg and the premiere of Damon Albarn’s opera, Dr Dee.

The festival itself is a fantastic way to promote Manchester, positioning it as one of the UK’s leading cities for the arts. Hot on the heels of its neighbour, tomorrow Liverpool will see the opening of the largest national museum to be built in Britain in over 100 years.

As I come from that neck of the woods myself, you’d be right to say that I’ve got a lot of love for all things Liverpool. The city has transformed over the past five years with the Echo Arena, Liverpool One, and now, The Museum of Liverpool being constructed. A few months ago, a fellow Peppermint and I were lucky enough to take a tour of the museum and I can honestly say it’s one of the most stunning buildings I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

What’s more endearing is the choice of dignitary to open the museum. The obvious option would have been to invite a few famous faces; perhaps a visit from Paul McCartney followed by a group sing-song. But instead, it will be opened by Finn O’Hare, a six-year-old who wrote to “Mr or Mrs In Charge of the Museum”, explaining he was “really good at opening things”. It’s a great way for the museum to show its links with the local community and that it’s up for doing things a little differently.

It really does feel like the North West is giving the rest of the nation a run for its money in the culture steaks…and I for one couldn’t be happier!