Macca to play at Liverpool's European Capital of Culture festival

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London, Jun 1 : Sir Paul McCartney is to play a concert in his native Liverpool, to mark the city's Capital of Culture Year.

The 65-year-old will play for 35,000 fans at Anfield in Liverpool Sound concert, which is billed as one of the highlights of the yearlong celebration.

However, residents' groups have claimed that despite the showpiece arts events and high-profile regeneration of the city centre, their own run-down neighbourhoods have not yet seen any benefit.

When Liverpool was honoured as European Capital of Culture for 2008, it was billed as a way to promote the arts while fostering the regeneration of communities by providing more jobs and a stronger economy.

However, Bob Blanchard, community development officer for Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council, an area whose streets are among the most deprived in Britain, said: "We were sold the whole Capital of Culture idea on the basis that it was about people coming to our community and learning about what we're about.

"But then all of a sudden it seemed to go high-brow. All the events they are putting on seem to be city centre based. They are not actually travelling into communities like ours," he added.

Blanchard said that the funding his group had managed to secure for workshops had run out after only six weeks.

"In the early days there were some very small projects put together where we worked with Capital of Culture but that fell by the wayside because there was no continuation funding," the Telegraph quoted Blanchard, as saying.

Frank Prendergast, Labour councillor for Everton, said that his area was just ten minutes from the city centre, but it had seen no major developments from Capital of Culture festival.

"'Capital of Culture' is a saying, because it hasn't touched most people's lives," he said.

"The opening ceremony was fantastic but I don't know about the other stuff. We've got Paul McCartney's concert down the road, 440 yards from here, but I only know one person who's going. It's just too expensive for most people here," he added.

The concert, the last to be staged at Anfield before Liverpool FC moves to a new home, will also include The Kaiser Chiefs, Dave Grohl and The Zutons.

McCartney said: "I'm very excited about Liverpool being the European Capital of Culture in 2008."

ANI

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