Following the announcement today that the English National Opera will work with Greater Manchester to develop a new home for the opera company, the Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Liam Robinson, and Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram have responded to the decision.
Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Liam Robinson, said:
“We would like to congratulate Manchester – we’re pleased the ENO is coming to the North West and hopefully we can work with together to ensure the new opera programme is mutually beneficial for all in the northwest.
“While we are disappointed with this outcome, we look forward to working with colleagues at the DCMS and Arts Council England on our ongoing plans to support Liverpool’s growth as the UK’s Music City and provide opportunities for all those in the city region to have greater access to the arts.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:
“Naturally, we’re disappointed not to have been chosen as we were able to satisfy every request by the ENO team and feel that we set out the strongest, most sustainable case that would allow the company to flourish as it enters its next chapter.
“While we respect their decision and wish the ENO team nothing but the best for the future, this result again highlights the impossible situation facing areas like ours. Just because there are no current opera companies and facilities, shouldn’t be an impediment.
“Indeed, it should have signalled the growth potential to expand operatic performances within a cultural hub. We had never hosted Eurovision event before this year’s event, but demonstrated that we have the capacity to make a huge success of such opportunities.
“Cities should not be pitted against each other to fight for much-needed arts investment. Instead, what we need now is for Arts Council England to deliver a proper funding strategy – especially for those towns and cities that already invest heavily in their cultural economy. We do so because we genuinely believe in the power of the arts – and it’s long overdue that we start to receive recognition for the contributions we continue to give to the sector.”