45 finalists in total have been whittled down from more than 700 nominations from across the whole of the city region this year, in a huge show of support for the cultural sector which has suffered a massive impact in the face of Covid-19.

They were chosen by a judging panel led by Chairs of the Culture Partnership, Phil Redmond and Maggie O’ Carroll who have also decided on the beneficiary of this year’s Inspiration Award for Lifetime Achievement, but it’s now down to the public to decide on the winner of the People’s Choice.


The six finalists are:


  • Bill Elms – Liverpool Theatre Festival – The Liverpool Theatre Festival held 19 show stopping performances of 12 productions for live performance fans for its inaugural staging at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool.
  • BlackFest – A grassroots, homegrown arts festival developing work by Black artists including music, theatre, film, visual arts, spoken word and poetry.
  • Gaynor La Rocca – The Artistic Director at Imaginarium Theatre, a community arts based theatre organisation, which provides an extensive creative community programme for local people.
  • Milap – an Indian Arts and Culture company, producing a performance programme of festivals, events and tours, for Indian music and dance students and artists.
  • The Atkinson – Sefton’s home for music, theatre, art, literature and history offering an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts.
  • Writing on The Wall – WoW promotes and supports equality, diversity and inclusion. Their exciting writing development programme nurtures new and aspiring novelists, poets and spoken word artists.


Votes can be cast online at https://www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020/ people can vote for more than one of the six finalists but cannot send multiple votes from one email address. The vote closes on 26 January 2021 when the results will be totted up and the winner announced at a digital ceremony on Friday 19th February.


Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:


“It has been so impressive to see how our Culture and Creative Arts sector has adapted to keep going over the past year.  As we head into 2021, and the vaccine rollout picks up pace, I am sure that the sector, which is such an important part of who we are, will play a key role in our economic recovery.


“Good luck to all of the People’s Choice nominees, everyone has worked incredibly hard in tough circumstances and any one of you would be a worthy winner.”


This year’s awards cover arts and cultural events, innovation and creative activity that has taken place within the Liverpool City Region during the period 1st April 2019 to 12th November 2020 which included activity which specifically took place during the first lockdown.


Ian Maher, The Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy at the Combined Authority and Leader of Sefton Council said:


“Covid-19 has meant an incredibly difficult year for the cultural and creative sector and these awards recognise the hard work of everyone whether that’s within traditional setting or across our communities in the Liverpool City Region. I’d like to encourage everyone to vote in the People’s Choice category and wish all of the finalists good luck.”


All entrants must live, study and/or work in the Liverpool City Region (e.g. Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) or have created work/projects that significantly benefit the residents or visitors to the Liverpool City Region and/or has positively contributed to the development of the local economy.


To cast your vote or for more information on the finalists please go to: https://www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020/