The people of Liverpool are being called on to share their memories of the iconic Littlewoods building on Edge Lane.
A heritage project by Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU) and Metal, in collaboration with CAPITAL&CENTRIC, is set to launch early next month.
With funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will document the building’s social history – telling the story of working life in the 20th Century.
Having laid derelict for years, the building is set to become the new home for the big and small screen with plans to create a Hollywood standard filming complex.
CAPITAL&CENTRIC, the building’s owner, is planning the £50 million ‘Littlewoods Studios’ with the UK’s oldest film studios, Twickenham, as the anchor tenant.
Despite a fire that devastated part of the building last year, the plans for new development alongside the restored art deco building are on track with work expected to start on site by the end of the year.
Built in 1938, the building was home to the Littlewoods Pools for 60 years with more than 30,000 employees working for the family-run business at its peak.
The planned intergenerational heritage project will record and interpret the rich history of the building, which is at risk of being forgotten.
A team of academics, artists, volunteers and former employees will revivify the building’s past through interviews, workshops, events and screenings.
The heritage will be preserved on a website and smart technology will be installed on-site, enabling access to incredible stories of the building’s past; stories which still resonate today.
Ruth Doughty from LJMU says: “The Littlewoods empire has left an important legacy in Liverpool and beyond. The building itself reveals how working life transformed throughout the 20th Century.
“So many local people have a personal connection to the building. We’re looking to record memories from former employees; stories that reveal what it was like to work for Littlewoods at the Edge Lane site. It is important that we capture these memories before this history is lost.”
A launch event will be held at LJMU’s Redmond Building on 4 July from 6-8pm.
This free event is open to all former employees and those with an interest in the project.
John Moffat from CAPITAL&CENTRIC adds: “As we set about restoring the building it’s always been really important to us that we celebrate its amazing history.
“Littlewoods is one of Liverpool’s most loved buildings and we can’t wait to create something that gives it the same buzz and excitement that it used to have.
“We’ll be creating jobs and opportunities for generations to come, helping to regenerate this part of the city and give the building the future it deserves.”