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The Nabe searches for a new home

Lost: the former New Look store that was to have been the centre's home
Lost: the former New Look store that was to have been the centre's home

A new Liverpool youth and performing arts centre supported by the Royal Court theatre has lost its building before even moving in.

The Nabe had an agreement to move into the former New Look store in Liverpool’s Williamson Square next month – but the building was leased to HMV while the theatre was waiting for planning permission.

The new centre would bring together many youth and community groups in Liverpool. As well as the Royal Court’s youth theatre, community choir and amateur theatre groups there have been discussions with the Liverpool Empire, Catalyst Performing Arts, Positive Impact, The Comedy Trust and other local groups and artists interested in using the space.

“We have been looking forward to opening up The Nabe for a long time,” said Miriam Mussa, head of community and education at the Royal Court. The New Look building was perfect – near to the theatre with enough space to make it our own.

“We were looking forward to being in there by half term, but now we are left without a home and over 300 disappointed young people; lots of plans but no place to go!

Royal Court executive producer Kevin Fearon said: “We understand St John’s going with a commercial client – it is a business and has suffered like all of us in the pandemic.

“But that doesn’t change the shock of the sudden news that we have lost the building. We had an agreement, we’d spoken with the council about our plans, had applied for planning permission and had told staff and participants about the move.”

The theatre is now looking for another space of around 8,000-12,000 sq ft and is keen for landlords and building owners to get in touch here about suitable premises.


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