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FACT Liverpool Rob Battersby

National Lottery at 25: Five ways funding has supported FACT



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For 25 years, the National Lottery has transformed organisations up and down the country. For it’s 25th Birthday, we’re looking at 5 major ways that the National Lottery has helped us to enrich people’s lives through film, art and creative technology.

Our building

National Lottery funding gave us our Liverpool home. Opened in 2003, we welcome over 250,000 people into our award-winning building each year. Since then, we have become an international centre for art, science and creative technology, inspiring people with bold and ground-breaking projects that transcend the boundaries of what art can be.

Our building has given us a space to engage with over 10,000 young people and adults from across the Liverpool City Region annually, as well as a space for talent development with over 21 artists and curators being in residence last year alone. Having a diverse group of people in residence helps us to embed new ways of thinking into our organisation and encourages us to challenge and explore.


Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, the way we work intergenerationally has been transformed. We believe that people of all ages can learn together and from each other - we create opportunities for participants of all ages to work together and collaborate with family and community problems within the city.

Our current project has seen participants from youth groups and FACT’s over-60’s group, The Digital Ambassadors, come together to help develop a new virtual reality artwork called Why Can’t We Do This IRL? (2019) in collaboration with artist Megan Broadmeadow. Following a viral clip from video game Red Dead Redemption 2, the artwork exists as an act of justice - taking the in-game character to trial for the murder of a suffragette. Blurring the lines between the game world and the ‘real’ world, participants have been encouraged to work together to explore ideas around the lawlessness of the online space and who is responsible for online scandals.


A major off-site installation as part of the Liverpool 2018 celebrations, AURORA by Invisible Flock saw Toxteth Reservoir transform into an ice cave, a tropical rainforest and a monsoon - giving over 4,000 people over three weeks the chance to walk on water. Working with local schools to create an awe-inspiring soundtrack as well as international artists and creative technologists, this immersive installation reminded us of the importance of water in our everyday lives and won Small Tourist Event of the Year at the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards.

Tagging Communities

Our Tagging Communities project focused on six areas across Liverpool, and aimed to delve into the last 150 years of history. Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the app brought together personal stories and histories from local people, as well as animation, films and maps old and new - breathing life into Liverpool’s history. The project involved community groups, schools, residents and military veterans from a number of areas in the city; Anfield, Everton, Vauxhall, Kirkdale, Garston and Speke.

Networked Narrative

Networked Narrative was a four-year partnership programme between 2014 and 2017, which aimed to empower young people with art and technology. Young people in Burnley, Wigan and Hull were encouraged to take a role in making decisions on two art commissions by artists Re-Dock and Mark Titchner, for both online and public spaces. The project saw artworks on display across public spaces in the Northern Powerhouse corridor, as well as an online commission encouraging young people to build a fictional world based on their real world surroundings.

FACT is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and is funded by Liverpool City Council.

Why Can’t We do this IRL? (2019) was commissioned by FACT as part of Young At Art, a partnership between FACT, Open Eye Gallery and National Museums Liverpool and funded by Arts Council England and The Baring Foundation and with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Courtesy of the artist.

Aurora was co-commissioned by FACT and Invisible Flock in partnership with Liverpool City Council and Dingle 2000. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and British Council.

The Tagging Communities project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Networked Narrative was made up of four key partners: FACT, Hull Culture & Leisure Ltd, Inspiring healthy lifestyles and Lancashire County Council, with the support of public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England's Strategic Touring fund.