Launching the Academy!

The summer holiday programme

At the end of July, 40 of the PLACED Academy participants came together for a four day Summer School, kindly hosted by our partners at the University of Liverpool School of Environmental Sciences. 

The Summer School developed and explored the group’s ideas on what the priorities for the future of the Liverpool City Region should be through a range of independent and group activities. This included reflecting on the areas they live, considering their priorities for the future, and undertaking a design project that allowed them to respond to issues common to towns and cities.

The week was full of fast-paced, interactive and fun activities which helped develop their skills confidence, knowledge and friendships, introduced them to university students and professionals and in the industry, and also allowed them to shape policy for our partners the Liverpool Combined Authority by exploring their views and priorities of the places they live.

Activities over the week included team building games, a site visit to the Fabric District to learn about how areas can be regenerated, a two day design project, model making, sketching, and presenting.

We were so impressed by the range of ideas, skills and experiences that all of the participants bought together!n Now, we’re in the process of doing our 1-2-1’s so that we can shape the programme around their individual interests.

Well done for all of the participants who completed this programme, and we look forward to the next steps coming soon which currently includes input from Fabrik District, Wedge Collective, DTM Legak, OMI, H. H. Smith and Lister Steps Library.

Watch this space!


This programme would not be possible without the generous support of our Sponsors and Partners.

We would also like to give thanks to the volunteer ambassadors who helped support the programme by sharing their knowledge and experiences with the group, and helped them develop their ideas.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Wes Storey who captured many of the wonderful photographs on this page.

The Launch

The programme launched on 11th July with a launch event kindly hosted by our venue sponsors, RIBA North. We were thrilled that so many participants, parents, partners and sponsors were able to join us for the event, which ensured the programme got off to an exciting start.

Thanks to everyone who came to support the programme, learn more, and get the inaugural Academy off to a great start!

Academy taster session

On the 18th May we invited prospective participants of the Academy to join us for a taster session to find out more about the programme, meet each other, and take part in a short design challenge.

We framed the design challenge to respond to our current engagement work with Liverpool City Region to ask: How have our high-streets changed over time, and how could we design to reinvigorate it for local communities?

In only 45 minutes groups took on a different aspect of the high street, from retail, public spaces, health and wellbeing, hospitality and entertainment.

The result was an exciting mix of things such as pop-up shops in eye catching abstract buildings, intergenerational park spaces, and a restaurant on a boat which sources it’s food from the water.

We had a great turn out and it was lovely to see the group working collaboratively and getting to know each other.

Many thanks to our amazing sponsors and host for this event, plus those to come in the future, RIBA North.

We’re looking forward to our launch day of the Academy on 11th July!

Free Taster Session on 18th May

Thinking of applying to the Academy, but have questions? Want to get a better idea of what the Academy will involve before signing up? Then come to our FREE Taster session!

On 18th May we’re holding a free taster session to give people thinking of applying to the Academy, but who would like to find out more information before signing up.

The Taster Day will be an opportunity to:

  • Meet the team and other people who are applying
  • Hear more about the programme and ask any questions you may have
  • Have fun taking part in a practical activity to give you an idea of what you’ll be doing on the full programme.

Venue: RIBA North, 21 Mann Island, Liverpool L3 1BP See map for details

Date: Saturday 18th May

Time: 1.00-3.00pm

To Book: Booking is essential. Email Jo on to reserve your free place.

Press Release

PLACED Academy is a brand new programme designed to inspire the next generation of place makers from the North West about the built environment. The programme offers an array of events and professional development activities, to develop the skills of participants, make their CV stand out from the crowd, build confidence and prepare them for their next steps.

Open to anyone who will be studying in Years 10, 11 or 12, in the academic year 2019-20, PLACED Academy has an emphasis on being accessible to all and pushes for diversification in the creative sector. Unlike many courses, it is completely free to attend the year-long programme.

PLACED will work with young people who are considering college, university, an apprenticeship or work experience as their next step. Young people do not need any specific skills, knowledge or previous experience – just enthusiasm to get involved and take part. PLACED will work with participants to develop a bespoke programme to support their desired path.

Applicants will work alongside professional architects, planners and urban designers, as well as current students – providing real insider knowledge, which would otherwise be restricted for those looking to study or gain experience in the field in the future.

PLACED Director, Jo Harrop states:

‘PLACED are thrilled to be building on our experience in delivering education programmes that inspire young people about the built environment, developing their skills, knowledge and confidence. The PLACED Academy will provide a tailored programme of support, whilst connecting young people with those working and studying in the sector. By working with young people from a wide range of communities and supporting those under-represented in the sector, we can help to diversify the sector for the future. We are very grateful to our partners and sponsors for making this programme possible’.

PLACED are partnering up with The Regenda Group and the University of Liverpool School of Environmental Sciences, along with sponsors including Buttress, FWP, OMI Architects, Planit-IE, The Sheila Bird Group, ABW and DTM Legal to deliver the programme.

Dr. Sam Hayes, Department of Geography and Planning, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool says: 

‘The School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Liverpool is proud to be a partner on the PLACED Academy because it helps us to get the message out about interesting and rewarding career paths available in the built environment. PLACED are amazing at helping us to spread this message and we hope the project will encourage young people from the city region to consider studying and working in the built environment, and ultimately to make places better for everyone.’

Lesley Penton, Partnerships Manager for The Regenda Group explained:

‘We are delighted to be a partner on the PLACED Academy and to help inspire the next generation of place makers in the region. The Regenda Group is passionate about regeneration, raising aspirations and creating opportunities for people, so it is a natural fit for us to support the programme. We look forward to meeting the future sector leaders, partners and sponsors’.

PLACED works across the North West to deliver creative education and engagement programmes about the built environment. The Liverpool-based social enterprise has delivered projects such as nationally recognised ‘Hidden Liverpool’ and month long pop-up, Ed’s Place.

PLACED are looking for other companies to get involved by sponsoring individual places for young people to help make the programme accessible for all.

Meet James!

Next up to say hello is James. He talks skills, confidence, standing out, and why he thinks the PLACED Academy is an important way to encourage young people into pursuing careers in the built environment.

As he reaches the end of his degree, it was a pleasure to reflect with him about the impact extra-curricular activities with us have impacted on his education.

James is now part of our student ambassador network, and has assisted us on several educational and engagement activities, and we’re sure there will be plenty of future opportunities to come.

We’re also a big fan of his drawings. He kindly donated this sketch to us as part of our stall at Ed’s Place. Thank you James!

A6 Postcard James

Meet Vikki!

Vikki has been on a journey with PLACED since attending a Summer School, volunteering with us in community engagement sessions, supporting educational programmes and having some work experience with us over the Summer.

She spoke to us about the value she got out of the programme, and how it has helped her in her personal and professional career.

Are you interested in going on a similar journey yourself? Find out more and apply!

Meet David!

We spoke to David who has joined us as a participant on several PLACED programmes. He told us what he thought about being part of a diverse and inclusive team, and the effect this has had on his work and career.

Thanks for sharing your views!

On the look out for sponsors!

With not long now until the launch of the PLACED Academy, we’re excited to spread the word and meet other partners and sponsors who want to be a part of our journey.

With support we can grow our passion for delivering educational programmes to provide a supportive programme over a year, and help the next generation of place makers reach their full potential and increase the sector’s diversity.

Find out more on our Sponsor Us page, or email for details.