Lister Steps Wins Heritage Dragons

Lister Steps, a charity in Liverpool working to reuse a redundant library, wins the Heritage Dragons Competition and secures twenty days of pro bono support

On the 3rd October, we ran our first Heritage Dragons Event! This one-day event of talks, workshops and discussion offered a chance for four community groups to receive expert advice on their heritage-regeneration project. This was followed by presenting pitches to three fierce-some 'dragons' who had over 400 hours of pro bono support to give away. 

We put this event together as part of the Heritage Investment Working Group. A cross-sector group including Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, Architectural Heritage Fund, Locality, British Property Federation, Churches Conservation Trust and many more!

The four community groups were able to sit down with experts in finance, business planning, heritage, architecture, community-engagement & governance to talk about their projects, their concerns, the obstacles, the potential and how to ensure that their precious local heritage is rescued, reused and regenerated.

The Groups were:

  • Lister Steps, Liverpool: a charity looking to restore and resuse a local Grade II listed redundant library in Liverpool
  • Hill Primary School, Perth: Grade B listed building boarded up  - that local campaigners are trying to restore and reuse
  • Old Black Lion Pub, Northampton: a Grade II listed pub, local group working with other historic sites and projects to create heritage hub that will benefit the local community
  • Northern Counties Club: impressive iconic 3-storey building that local trust want to rescue and reopen for local residents.

By working with the experts in the room, these brilliant projects put together pitches for the 'dragons' in the afternoon:

The Dragons were:

  • Clive Dutton OBE, the Executive Director  for Regeneration at Newham Council responsible for delivering the London 2012 Olympic legacy in the borough
  • Leading architect and Bristol Mayoral candidate George Ferguson
  • Ian Marcus, Managing Director of leading private investment firm, Evans Property Group and our brilliant Chairman.

After some questioning, deliberating and healthy grilling...the winner was announced as Lister Steps in Liverpool, walking away with 20 days of pro bono support in business planning and more. The other projects put forward excellent pitches also and have hugely important projects - they each were given 10 days of pro bono support.

It was a brilliant day - there was a lot of debate, sharing of information, contacts and rescources. We absolutely believe the key to creating successful regeneration projects is through cross-sector parterships and coming together to share ideas and skills.  We hope that this event will act as a springboard for further discussion and collaboration. 

To read more about the projects & the Heritage Investment Working Group - please follow our page on

Here is a picture of the winning project. What a stunning building!