Search for operator to run St Luke’s Church

A search has started for an operator to run St Luke’s ‘bombed-out’ Church in Liverpool when it reopens later this year following essential repairs.

It follows a consultation in 2015 which found that the majority of the 6,300 people who responded were supportive of limited development and events taking place at the site, which was bomb damaged during the blitz in 1941.

In return for a 21 year lease on a peppercorn rent, the successful applicant will have to demonstrate that they can run a financially viable programme of events with profits reinvested into the operation, maintenance and improvement of the site. They will also be required to allow public access to St Luke’s at no charge when events are not being held.

The new operator is expected to take over in December 2016 following completion of £500,000 of structural work, funded jointly by Historic England and Liverpool City Council. Crumbling high level stonework is being replaced and, over the coming months, there will also be repairs to the tower, lower level stonework and perimeter railings.

Councillor Mark Norris, Heritage Champion at Liverpool City Council, said: “We are absolutely committed to preserving and protecting St Luke’s Church. It is one of Liverpool’s crown jewels and is of huge cultural and historical value to the city.

“The huge response to the public consultation demonstrated how much affection there is for the Church and people gave us a very clear message about the type of development and events that they wish to see.

“We now want to find the right operator that is sensitive to the very special nature of the site and can come up with an events programme that respects the surroundings and is consistent with the results of the public consultation.”

Interested parties have until 7 March to confirm their intent to submit an application, and the deadline for final submissions is 27 May. They can apply at www.liverpool.gov.uk/bombedoutchurch