- Date: 30 October 2009
- Region: North West
Not only will this prestigious award showcase four of the world-class arts organisations in the region but will provide the winner with £10,000 cash and support from the Northwest's most influential business leaders.
The Lever Prize is judged by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), which comprises of 28 of the region's largest companies, in partnership with support from Arts & Business Northwest.
This year the prize is also being supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).
Following a rigorous assessment of the written submissions, the judges short-listed the following outstanding entries - FutureEverything 2010, Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust; NOISE Festival and The Whitworth Art Gallery.
Geoffrey Piper, chief executive of NWBLT, said the quality of entries this year had particularly impressed judges.
He said: "The judges have been extremely impressed by the exceptionally high standard of the Lever Prize entries for 2010.
"Representatives of each of these shortlisted organisations recently presented to the panel of judges, meeting this year in Liverpool at the offices of Hill Dickinson, one of the NWBLT members.
"All four finalists put forward really creative ideas for maximising the potential of the year-long collaboration with NWBLT members and for investing the cash prize on offer from NWBLT, Arts & Business North West and the Northwest Regional Development Agency.
"The aim of the Lever Prize is to highlight the Northwest as being a bright, contemporary place for art and culture to develop and we believe that this can be achieved best through collaboration with business.
"Following further deliberation by the judges, involving each of these Lever Prize sponsoring bodies, the winner of The Lever Prize 2010 will be announced early in the New Year.
"2010 promises to be a significant year for art and culture and in particular for the eventual winner of the Lever Prize."
The award is not just for art groups - but buildings, events, festivals, libraries and archives who are all eligible not only for the cash prize but for a year long collaboration with the region's top business leaders.
Brenda Parkerson, regional director for Arts & Business, said: "The standard of submissions for the Lever Prize 2010 was very high and Arts & Business would like to acknowledge all the organisations that entered for their contribution to culture in the North West.
"Judging has been no easy task and, indeed, we have shortlisted not three, but four organisations.
"The shortlist shows the depth and range of work by the region's cultural organisations: world class visual art, exposure to international acclaimed designers for young creative people, the best in British theatre and visionary ... well ... everything."
Peter Mearns, executive director of Marketing and Communications at the NWDA, added: "The Lever Prize is an excellent way of strengthening the hugely beneficial relationships which exist between business and the arts, and building on the quality of our cultural offer across the Northwest.
"There is a huge amount of innovative and unique work being done in the region to develop the arts and cultural sector and it's having a real impact on our economy and our communities.
"Cultural and creative industries contribute £3 billion to the regional economy and employ 140,000 people so it is important to recognise that hard work and talent through initiatives such as the Lever Prize."