It was a frantic, breathless day.

From the moment Chancellor Rishi Sunak casually mentioned a new Beatles attraction for Liverpool's waterfront, everything went into a bit of a frenzy.

Mr Sunak had poured praise on Liverpool-born Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries for securing £2 million towards developing a new Fab Four project in an announcement that took those who had been working on the plans for several years by surprise.

Read more:New details of plan for 'immersive, world class' Beatles attraction in Liverpool

Understandably, the manner of the announcement and who was giving it led to plenty of disgruntled responses here in Liverpool.

For many, it felt like quite patronising offer to a city that has some of the biggest challenges in terms of deprivation and poverty in the country.

Some rightly questioned whether 'another Beatles museum' was what this city needed and pointed out that while Liverpool is incredibly proud of its most famous sons, this place has a fair bit more about it than one band.

In reality, Sunak's announcement grossly underplayed plans that have been in the works for several years here in the city.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram was the first to intervene, keen to explain that this would not be another museum where you could look at some old clothes worn by Ringo Starr, but instead the money would essentially be for developing plans for a 'globally significant, immersive and cutting edge' project that could be an 'unbelievably important tourist attraction.'

In his comments to the ECHO, Mayor Rotheram said he had been in talks over the plans for several years, but his intervention added to the frustrations felt at Liverpool Council's culture department, who would later explain this project has been led by them.

Cabinet Member for Culture Harry Doyle tweeted: "This is being led by Culture Liverpool, our regeneration team and local stakeholders. Amazing commitment from our council officers."

His words were measures - but it is understood the mood around the Cunard was positively indignant.

Later in the day, an extensive press release was issued, one which had clearly been worked up over some time, featuring comments from Mayor Joanne Anderson, Culture Director Claire McColgan (understood to be a key driving force behind the plan) and Ms Dorries, the Culture Secretary.

Plans are being put together for a major Beatles-led project at Liverpool's waterfront
Plans are being put together for a major Beatles-led project at Liverpool's waterfront

Interestingly, this release did not mention The Beatles once when referring to a major new waterfront project that the city council has given a working title of The Pool.

A statement said: "The city proudly holds the title of UNESCO City of Music, and the ambition for The Pool is to build on these incredible foundations and create a unique collection of visitor experiences, music performances - aligned to Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) – which would be a centre for elite and emerging talent and a place to bring artists, communities and ideas together."

This left some understandably confused, is this going to be a Beatles attraction or a more wide-ranging project aimed at celebrating and developing the city's musical culture and talent?

Or both?

Later in the day, the council's interim Regeneration boss Mark Bousfield, another key figure in these plans, put some more meat on the bones and explained that the project will be Beatles-led, but will be about a lot more than the Fab Four.

He said: "The Pool starts with our fixed aim to celebrate the Beatles’ history for the future. Government’s £2m contribution will help us start with a global treasure trove, and wrap around it the city’s musical future, with LIPA, the Phil and others sharing a new place on Canning Place.

"The best heritage we can offer a gang of musical innovators is excitement about our new talent."

So as you can see, the waterfront plans are for much more than a £2 million Beatles museum as - understandably - some may have inferred from a rushed and fairly chaotic day of announcements.

That £2 million, which was part of a Levelling Up Culture bid (and so could not be spent on other areas), will go towards drawing up more extensive plans for what could be a pretty significant project at the waterfront.

Naturally, The Beatles will always make the headlines, but the hopes from the city authorities is that this project will be about about much more than one legendary band.

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