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Newspaper revives campaign in wake of Whittingdale praise

A campaign to save a city’s landmark buildings from going to rack and ruin has been revived by a regional daily – days after it was praised by the Culture Secretary.

The Liverpool Echo has relaunched its Stop The Rot campaign, which first began 15 years ago in a bid to bring old buildings back to life.

The campaign is being run in conjunction with Liverpool City Council, which is hoping to invest more than £50m in at risk historic buildings as a result of suggestions by the Echo’s readers.

An initial “hit list” of 25 buildings targeted for repair has already been drawn up by the council’s cabinet.

The campaign’s relaunch comes just days after Culture Secretary John Whittingdale praised its initial run as an example of the “campaigning zeal” of the regional press in his speech to the Society of Editors conference.

Its revival was revealed on the front page of Friday’s edition, pictured below, after the Echo ran a piece revisiting some of its past success stories last month.

Liverpool rot

Editor Alastair Machray said: “Our Stop The Rot campaign was launched 15 years ago and its success enabled us to write so many good news stories about the many Liverpool buildings it helped bring back to life.

“But there is still much to do – there are still many historically-important buildings on the sick list.

“We must, for the sake of our city’s image, self-confidence and general well-being, continue to target grot spots and eyesores – exerting pressure on absentee landlords and developers as and when required.

“Liverpool’s landmark buildings help give the city its identity, and we cannot stand by and allow them to go to rack and ruin. Let’s stop the rot – together.”

Charles Smith, Historic England’s Heritage at Risk principal in the North West, added: “We very much welcome the return of the Echo’s Stop The Rot campaign.

“It will focus attention where it’s most needed, ensuring fragile parts of the city’s character are rescued for the benefit of local communities and the wider economy.”