Police ‘justify’ armed stop, buildings that need saving & new theatre

These are the latest ECHO headlines this morning. Merseyside Police say armed stop of innocent young black men was 'justified' Merseyside Police have claimed that an armed stop and search of two innocent young men was "justified", despite claims the force is '"institutionally racist".

Last night the ECHO published footage of an incident which took place in Mulgrave Street, Toxteth at around 9.30pm on Monday evening. The video showed armed officers pointing guns directly at the young men as both raise their hands. Subsequent footage shows one of the men being handcuffed and searched.

The footage has caused anger in the Liverpool 8 community and beyond. The area's MP Kim Johnson has said it "shows" the force is "institutionally racist" and accused police of "scapegoating and profiling". READ MORE: Officers point guns at young Black men as Merseyside Police accused of racism

Merseyside Police have defended their actions and insisted that the circumstances surrounding the stop search meant it was "justified". The ECHO asked the force for a full explanation and response to the accusations. Responding, Superintendent Diane Pownall said: "We are aware of video footage which is currently circulating on social media of armed officers carrying out a stop search on two men in Toxteth last night (Monday 27 June).

"I would like to clarify circumstances surrounding this incident and why the stop search was required. Shortly after 9.15pm last night members of the public called us to report they had seen a man carrying a handgun at the junction of Princes Road and North Hill Street and he then tucked it in to his waist band." Read the full explanation here.

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Historic Merseyside buildings deemed 'at risk' and need saving

A number of Merseyside buildings are "at risk" and in need of saving, according to a heritage campaign group. Save Britain's Heritage, a charity campaigning to rescue historic buildings, has today added 60 new buildings to its 'at Risk Register'. The register already holds around 1200 buildings from across the country which are at risk of demolition or further deterioration.

Every year a crop of new buildings are added to the list in what the charity says is a bid to "publicise the plight of historic treasures". It adds that with "a little imagination" the buildings could find a new lease of life, with the register a useful tool for attracting "wider attention" and "interest". READ MORE: Historic Liverpool landmark deteriorating and empty five years after renovation plans were approved

Six Merseyside buildings have now been added to the list. These include Sandheys in West Derby, a grade II listed Victorian mansion which was later used as a World War One veteran's orphanage and then a school. Plans were drawn up to convert the building into 20 flats, but Save Britain's Heritage said these plans appear to have been shelved and is now at risk of further deterioration.

A similar building in West Derby, Eddesbury, has also been added to the register, although the near 140 year-old Victorian villa is the subject of an application for conversion. Read the full article here.

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First look inside Liverpool's newest GBP38m theatre with unique touch Images have shown the inside of Liverpool's newest theatre ahead of its grand opening in July.

The ground-breaking new venue, Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot, is home to the only 17th-century style, timber-built "Cockpit" theatre outside London, able to seat 450 spectators. Built entirely during the pandemic with public funds and donations, the new venue is anticipated to attract over 140,000 visitors a year. Lead architect for the project is Helm Architecture, and Austin-Smith: Lord as support architect.

Shakespeare North Playhouse will open its doors to the public with free festivities from July 15-17, forming a key part of Knowsley's Borough of Culture celebrations. READ MORE: Gove vows to 'get a grip of Liverpool' and slams 'weak leadership' The venue is also home to a fully-accessible outdoor performance garden funded by the Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation, exhibition gallery, 60-seater studio theatre, learning centre, events spaces, and a cafe and bar with outdoor piazza.

Melanie Lewis, chief executive of the Shakespeare North Playhouse, said: "Revealing the building is wonderful. It's a culmination of more than a decade of work by so many people, and yet in many ways this is just the start. "Experiencing the building again but through the senses of our audience and our community will be a joy.

I'm feeling their excitement and curiosity.

It's a privilege."

View the latest images from inside here.

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