Liverpool’s 807th birthday is being celebrated with the announcement that a new Liver Bird – The Spirit of Liverpool – is to appear in the city.
Work has started on a 6ft modern version of the historic bird which will welcome millions of commuters and tourists at the entrance to Merseyrail’s Liverpool Central Station.
Liver Birds Inc have been planning the project for a number of years and are delighted to have received initial funding from the Liverpool Commercial District Partnership.
The Liverpool Central Station bird will be dedicated to the memory of the late Paul Rice, former Chief Executive of Liverpool’s Commercial District Partnership.
Bill Addy, Chief Executive of the Commercial District BID, said: “It is fantastic to see that Paul, who did so much to improve and promote Liverpool, is to be remembered at a high profile city centre location in such a striking fashion.
“The fact that it’s the emblem of the city and his beloved football club – his two great passions – is a fitting tribute.”
Local businesses are to be invited to sponsor the new bird which will carry their names for all time. It will be located just outside the entrance to the busiest underground station outside London, used by 16 million passengers each year.
Hundreds of smaller Spirit of Liverpool birds have already been sold throughout the UK and around the world.
Rick Myers, the bird’s sculptor and a director of Liver Birds Inc, said: “The bird celebrates the new Liverpool and recognises the massive number of ‘firsts’ that have been achieved here over the years, arguably more than any other city in the world.”
Former ECHO journalist, Arthur Johnson, who is also a director of Liver Birds Inc, said: “The Spirit of Liverpool has proved a huge hit particularly with ex-pat Scousers. We expect the 6ft bird to be a popular photo spot for tourists, football fans and shoppers.
“A children’s book about the history of the bird, written and illustrated by Rick Myers, has been published along with a DVD of the story. A special Liver Bird song has even been recorded.
“I know how much the Liver Bird means to the people of Liverpool because when I was features editor of the Echo there was a suggestion that the bird should be taken off the City Council’s logo. I started a SOB (Save Our Bird) campaign which received the backing of thousands of Scousers from all over the world, and the bird is still part of the council logo.”
Liver Birds Inc have teamed up with Claire House with support from Liverpool BID Company to create a special Spirit of Liverpool trail of birds about 2ft high. Next year they will be available for businesses or individuals to buy and display with a donation from every sale going to Claire House.
The third director of the company, Paul Andrew, said: “These will be ideal for businesses to demonstrate their pride in the city by displaying them in their windows or reception areas.”
Work has now started on the Liverpool Central Station bird and it is hoped it will be in place early next year.
City centre Councillor Nick Small, who has backed the project, said: “This project will create a fantastic piece of artwork that will be seen by up to 50,000 people a day.
“It is a fantastic way of celebrating the city’s proud history and showcasing the uniqueness of the Liver Bird.”
For further details of the project, how local businesses can get involved, how birds, books and DVDs can be purchased go to www.liverbirdsinc.com
The Spirit of Liverpool Liver Bird already has a high profile. One was presented to the Queen as part of the Royal Liver Building’s centenary celebrations and support has been received from many Liverpool celebrities ranging from John Bishop to Peter Sissons.
The Captains of cruise liners making their inaugural visits to Mersey are presented with a bird, and the city’s town crier has one on top of his staff.