Hope Street named as UK’s greatest

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Hope Street won the Great Street Award 2013

One of the most iconic streets in Liverpool has won recognition for its cultural diversity at the Urbanism Awards 2013.

Hope Street won the Great Street Award at a prestigious ceremony at the Connaught Rooms in London after beating off fierce competition from Chapel Street in Penzance and Exhibition Road in London.

The awards were aimed at recognising the best examples of urban places in Europe.

Kevin Murray, Chairman of The Academy of Urbanism, said: “Hope Street is truly a worthy winner of this award.

“It has transformed itself from a street dominated by vehicles, to the backbone of Liverpool’s cultural offer. The street, backed by the businesses, residents and community organisations, has shifted perceptions of the whole neighbourhood.”

The winning street was voted for by the 500 members of the Academy, which includes industry-leading architects, planners, engineers, developers and designers. The judges praised Hope Street for its ability to incorporate mixed uses and integrating urban life into the local area.

Each winner at the award ceremony had to recite a poem specifically written for their street, neighbourhood, place, town or city by Ian McMillan, instead of the usual acceptance speech.

Representatives from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hope Street Hotel, Blackburn House and the No 60 restaurant group were present at the ceremony to receive the award.

One of the representatives, Mary Colston, Creative Director of Hope Street Hotel, told JMU Journalism: “Our vision is for Hope Street to be recognised by all visitors as a unique and essential part of their visit to Liverpool, so to have national recognition of our remarkable street was a great moment and very very satisfying.”

On why she thought Hope Street won the award, Ms Colston said: “We are located at the heart of the city’s Georgian quarter with some of the city’s finest 18th and 19th Century architecture. If you look at our organisations, businesses and attractions, all winning numerous regional, national and international awards recognising their excellence of their cultural, learning, tourism, food and dining offers – all within a five-minute walk – it is extraordinary”

The poem commissioned by Ian McMillan specifically for Hope Street:

Imagine an axis; imagine a washing line

Hung across a city, Cathedrals, a theatre

And a hotel hang from the line

And flap in the century’s breeze…

The is Hope Street; imagine an artery

Pumping life through a city, imagine

A walk from one end of Hope to the other end

Of Hope on a moonlit evening…

Yes, that’s right. You’re walking through Hope.

Imagine a street where the soul is brightened

And the coffee is the best you can get in a city

That loves to keep itself awake

Hope Street. Aptly named. See you there.


About Alice Kirkland, JMU Journalism