About COoL

COoL is a collective of 25+ key arts organisations based in the Liverpool City Region.

It is the leading cultural partnership model of its kind in the UK.

Our members create exciting art in many forms, including visual arts, theatre, film, dance, comedy, music, literature, multimedia, craft, design and festival production.

We play a pivotal role in promoting the cultural offer of the Liverpool City Region by championing inclusivity, diversity, participation and collaborative working practices.





  • Creates arts partnerships locally, nationally and internationally
  • Encourages pioneering artistic practices
  • Passionately promotes access, diversity and inclusion
  • Actively lobbies and advocates for the arts

To achieve this, our members actively collaborate across four subgroups to drive forward our collective activities. These subgroups are: marketing and advocacy, development, CPD skills and resources, and Festival Forum.

COoL also facilitates collaborative projects that bring together the strengths of member organisations to create new exciting opportunities and work packages.

Economic Impact:

  • COoL contributes at least £8 million to the Liverpool City Region economy every year


  • COoL members’ activities have a collective audience of over 3 million people annually


  • Every year COoL creates over 1,000 full-time, part-time, freelance and volunteer opportunities within the Liverpool City Region


  • Over 800 newly commissioned artistic projects and 4,000 events each year with work winning awards and critical acclaim worldwide

COoL places emphasis on developing new regional, national and international partnerships in order to strengthen the resilience of small-to-medium cultural organisations and the sector.

COoL Collectives letter to ACC‘s management that lodges our objection to the delivery of the Electronic Warfare event they are currently holding (not on their website) known as AOC Europe 2021.

Liverpool ACC Group Ltd

Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront Merseyside
L3 4FP

To: Liverpool ACC Group nominated officers

c/o First Take. 1 Maryland Street, Liverpool L1 9DE


29 Sept 2021

John Corner – Director, from 1 July 2021; Alexandra Cousins – Consultant, from 1 July 2021;
Faye Dyer – Corporate Services Director and CEO, from 29 June 2019; Alastair Machray – Director, from 1 July 2021, Max Steinberg – Commercial Director, from 19 Dec 2018

Dear Messrs Corner, Cousins, Dyer, Machray and Steinberg,

Creative Organisations of Liverpool members would like to add their support to the early day motion submitted on 9 Sept 2021 by the Right Honourable MPs Ian Byrne (primary sponsor),
Kim Johnson, Paula Barker, Dan Carden, Mick Whitley and Margaret Greenwood (supported
by a further 20 cross-party MPs). Additionally, we endorse Dan Fieldsend’s 38 Degrees Campaign to ‘Stop the Electronic Arms Fair’ (you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-liverpool-electronic- arms-fair over 6k petitioners), which eschews welcoming arms merchants such as Elbit Systems and Leonardo to Liverpool. Many of our members joined the march against the AOC Europe 2021 event (11 Sept) which gained tens-of-thousands of protesters and petitioners.

We are a collective of 30+ arts and culture organisations, many recipients of Liverpool City Council Culture and Arts Investment Programme funding, thus ‘kith’ with ACC. We are against the delivery of Clarion Defence and Security’s AOC Europe 2021 electronic warfare event, due to take place 12-13 Oct 2021, at Liverpool’s Arena and Conference Centre (ACC). We strongly oppose whatever system or financial incentive permitted this event’s progression and ask for it to be withdrawn in light of the damage it could do to our city’s global reputation and cultural value, not to mention the loss
of life such trading may yet cause.

We appeal to those officers who have commenced office since the contract’s award (May 2019) to overturn the decisions of your predecessors, based on new sector scenarios and the fierce opposition the event faces. It was cancelled in Nov 2020; can it be permanently removed from Liverpool’s event roster?

Liverpool has been severely harmed by war. Its response has been to spend 50+ years promoting peace, developing an openness to visitors, celebrating unity through music and promoting collaborative behaviours throughout our faith, sporting and educational institutions.

That the ACC’s decision has inspired artists to boycott (e.g., Massive Attack) indicates the potential knock-on effects the sector could suffer. After HM Government has invested so heavily in to cultural recovery funding (#HereForCulture; £2.97m to ACC; £711.7m to Liverpool City Region), now would be the worst time to further harm an already destabilised sector. To continue to run an arms fair, loathed by the sector that ACC purports to be part of (‘music’, as reported to Arts Council England), seems at odds with that position. The ACC’s suggestion of a £1m economic impact is negligible when compared to the public investment made and could do a lot more harm than good. We don’t believe this is a good use of -or alignment with- that public funding.

Encouraging war or arms-based transactions, of any description, in an entertainment and conference venue -following the Manchester Arena bomb attack (still very raw in our collective conscious)-
is in poor taste for the North West and at odds with Liverpool’s pacifistic and socialistic stance.

Please reconsider the delivery of this event. The potential ramifications -perceptually and financially- are very high for very little, if any, glory. We ask that AOC Europe 2021 is cancelled without delay.

We welcome your consideration,

Creative Organisations of Liverpool