The Beatles tourism offering in Liverpool will expand next year with the opening of Strawberry Field, where John Lennon played as a child.
The inspiration for the Beatles’ hit song Strawberry Fields Forever, the attraction will be open to the public for the first time from September 2019.
It was previously the site of a Salvation Army children’s home, and thousands of fans have had their photo taken at Strawberry Field’s famous red gates.
The new venue will also provide work experience for young adults with learning disabilities, enabling them to learn a trade and find meaningful employment.
As a visitor attraction, Strawberry Field will include an interactive exhibition, with audio guides in several languages, exploring stories of the site’s history, Lennon’s childhood, and the writing and recording of the song.
Visits will include a tour of the garden and woods where Lennon played as a child, and there will be a café and shop selling Strawberry Field souvenirs.
The attraction will complement other significant Beatles attractions in Liverpool, such as The Beatles Story, the Cavern Club and the Magical Mystery Tour.
Chris Brown, Marketing Liverpool director, said: “The Beatles are and will remain a huge draw for our international visitors, underlined by the phenomenal level of interest we continue to receive from media and travel trade contacts across the world.
“That is set to increase even further with the opening of Strawberry Field. We have no doubts that this is going to be a fantastic new addition to the city’s offer, and that it will have a significant economic and social impact.”
Julia Baird, Lennon’s sister and honorary president of the Strawberry Field project, commented: “I am sure that John would have been thrilled that Strawberry Field is to become a bastion of hope for young adults as well as an inspirational visitor experience.”
Julius Wolff-Ingham – fundraising and marketing director for The Salvation Army which owns and operates the site – added: “Strawberry Field will weave together educational, cultural, heritage and spiritual exploration in one bold, imaginative site. It’s going to be a vibrant visitor experience, which we hope will inspire people today as much as the place inspired the young John Lennon.”
Strawberry Field is about 15 minutes’ drive from Liverpool city centre. Drop-off and pick-up parking spaces will be available, as well as nearby coach parking.
Travel trade professionals will have access to dedicated staff who will organise all aspects of group visits and group organisers will get free access to the exhibition.