CAMPAIGNERS want to create a new centre for the creative arts in the name of legendary Wirral-born DJ John Peel.
The John Peel Memorial Centre would be based at Birkenhead Town Hall, which is currently home to the Wirral Museum. However the centre could close in Wirral Council's controversial strategic asset review.
It would be run by a board of trustees and would include a John Peel Music Database encompassing the late Radio 1 DJ’s record collection which is the most comprehensive private collection in the world, with plans to add the music of young modern composers and musicians to continue Peel’s work.
There would also be a Teenage Kicks Music Foundation, named after Peel’s favourite song, to help young people pursue a musical career.
Wirral Academy of Arts would have a home at the new centre, while a Wirral Premiere Theatre would showcase new plays and Wirral Theatre of the Surreal would put the area at the cutting edge of playwriting and performing.
Comedy, poetry and acoustic clubs, a new gallery, a Left Bank Festival, Wirral Proms, writers and composers-in-residence, meeting and rehearsal rooms, and healthy arts, Shakespeare, business, education and peace centres would be set up.
John Gorman, who is one of those behind the plan, said: “The Hamilton Quarter opened in 2002 at a cost of £87m, but six years on the potential has still not been realised.
“We’re in the process of drawing up a business plan in the next week to look at how much the centre would cost to run.”
A Wirral Council spokesman said: "We have had specific interest interest in a number of council premises, but we are not inviting formal expressions of interest at the moment.
"We will consider all these once the consultation phase of the review is out of the way in January.
"If the decision is made to dispose of any of our buildings, the council will invite formal expressions of interest and consider all propopsals for alternative uses."