Culture Liverpool’s Claire McColgan MBE has been appointed to a new role in Liverpool City Council, as Interim Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods.
The move is part of the changes to strengthen the council’s senior management team and deliver further improvements to the organisation, in the wake of the Best Value inspection.
For the next six months, Claire will lead key services such as the city’s libraries, Lifestyle centres, the Safer, Stronger Communities team and Environmental Services, amongst others.
Returning to her community roots, Claire will not be stepping too far away from the portfolio she has nurtured for well over a decade, as she will retain strategic oversight and management of Culture Liverpool.
The Community Services directorate will be reshaped over the coming months to bring in a stronger ‘whole’ neighbourhoods approach – building on the good work that is already taking place.
Claire will bring fresh eyes and a new creative and operational perspective on delivering the City Plan aim of ‘Safe and Thriving Neighbourhoods’.
Further changes to the directorate, once agreed, will be shared with staff in due course.
Claire said: “I am so excited for this new chapter and it feels like I’ve come full circle. I joined the council back in 2000 to develop the creative communities programme and now I have the opportunity to focus on neighbourhoods again and work with fantastic teams who all want to do their best for this city.
“I’m very proud of what has been achieved with Culture Liverpool and I’ll continue to lead the team and deliver the groundbreaking programme people know and love us for. As a city, we are world-renowned for both the events we stage and the creativity that can be enjoyed here all year round. And that wasn’t something we achieved overnight – but with vision, ambition and dedication from the amazing people who work here, we knew we could be the envy of cities around the world.
“I want to bring that ambition, enthusiasm and energy to this new role. The last couple of years have been tough for everyone, but one thing the pandemic has taught us is that we can evolve, we can adapt for the greater good of the city and, by working with our local communities, we can bring about real, lasting change.
“Liverpool is my home and I want to play my part in making a positive difference. I can’t wait to get stuck in!”
Chief Executive Tony Reeves said: “Claire is an outstanding leader with an incredible track record in engaging with local communities and delivering large-scale, transformative projects. I’m delighted she has agreed to take on this interim role, bringing her considerable knowledge and skills to help create thriving, safe, inclusive and welcoming neighbourhoods across the entire city.”
As Director of Culture Liverpool for the last 12 years, Claire has spearheaded multi-award-winning major events, attracting millions of visitors to the city; overseen the growing success of Liverpool Film Office and the city’s Cruise Terminal, and steered cultural policy to boost the city’s profile, bringing in more visitors and investors and making Liverpool one of the most exciting cities in the UK.
A champion of public engagement in arts and culture, in 2000 Claire developed the successful participation programme ‘Creative Communities’ that was instrumental in Liverpool’s transformative Capital of Culture bid. In 2006, she was appointed Executive Producer of European Capital of Culture with responsibility for major events, public participation and community engagement. In 2009, she received an MBE for her services to culture and art.
Claire is a national and international advisor on best practice for the Arts Council England,theBritish Council and the Local Government Association,amongst others.
The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport has appointed Claire Deputy Chair of UK City of Culture.