Get creative with a hidden gem

Local people are being given an opportunity to develop ideas that would make the Oratory and St James Gardens, located outside Liverpool Cathedral, more inviting places to visit.

Hidden Liverpool are holding a creative design  workshop on Saturday 25 January, the first in a series that will give people a chance to think creatively about how some of Liverpool’s buildings and spaces could be reused and improved.

Whether you want to see the Oratory made more accessible, or someone who takes regular walks in St James Gardens and has ideas of how to make it a more welcoming place to spend time, or a student who wants the opportunity to find out more about real challenges designers face, this workshop is open to everyone.

The Hidden Liverpool team want to utilise the passion that local people have for Liverpool and their enthusiasm for its’ future to help those who own or are managing underused spaces generate ideas for their future.

The free workshop will be hands-on, exploring the design challenge of developing the Oratory and St James Gardens and will be a fantastic opportunity to share ideas on how to improve a city centre gem. There will also be a rare opportunity as part of the workshop to see inside the Oratory.

Participants will be working with landscape architects Elaine Cresswell of reShaped, Graham Marshall of Prosocial Place and architecture graduate Lizzie Edge to come up with ideas to bring new life into this fantastic oasis and heritage gem on the edge of the city. The ideas developed will be presented to the Friends of St James Garden, who have been working tirelessly to bring new life into the gardens.

The workshop runs from 10am – 3pm with a break for lunch and will take place at the Sir Giles Gilbert Scott Suite, Anglican Cathedral. No design experience is required. Places are strictly limited, so booking is essential. To book your free place email

The Friends of St James group are also leading a tour of the gardens at 1pm on Saturday 18 January. This presents an excellent opportunity to find out more about the work they have done in the gardens, and also gain a better understanding of the site before the design workshop. The tour is also free and is optional.

Please note – lunch is not provided. There is a cafe in the cathedral building and a variety of options for food locally.  More details can be found on the Hidden Liverpool website

Hidden Liverpool is a yearlong project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which focuses on collecting memories and stories of some of the fantastic buildings that have played a part in the history of the city but are currently lying empty. The aim of the project is to provide an accessible way for everyone to share and learn about what lies behind Liverpool’s closed doors, unlocking the city’s history in a new and exciting way before thinking creatively at how empty buildings could be reused.

The project includes a year of community focussed activities including exhibitions, design workshops a conversation series, and a schools programme. The ‘People’s City’ photography competition and exhibition will be the first major event in this ambitious programme, and is the first of a series of exhibitions, with the other two taking place in spring 2014.
PLACED is a community interest company that raises awareness of and engages young people in the built environment and architecture, through creative workshops delivered by a volunteer team of Ambassadors led by Director Jo Harrop.
PLACED won the SEN ‘Powerful Together’ 2013 ‘Arts and Cultural Champion’ award sponsored by Mitchell Charlesworth and the ‘Mayor’s Award for social innovation’ sponsored by Liverpool City Council.
Hidden Liverpool is devised and managed by Placed and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Liverpool Waterfront