Legacies & Bequests

In a climate where funding is challenging, personal bequests can continue to secure the Bluecoat Display Centre’s future. By leaving a gift in your will to Bdc, you will make your own personal contribution to the continuing development and success of our exhibition, event and outreach programmes.

If you wish to leave a legacy gift to us, our team can discuss this in more detail. Please call us on 0151 709 4014 or email us at crafts@bluecoatdisplaycentre.com to make an appointment to discuss your bequest.

How Your Bequest Can Help

–   It will enable us to continue our outreach programmes working with social care groups and local hospitals to demonstrate the benefit that craft can have on a person’s health and wellbeing. Individuals who have benefited from our programme of outreach workshops include those with autism, depression, dementia and other mental health issues, stroke patients, woman at-risk, and young carers.

–   It will help us to maintain our national and international reputation for contemporary craft, and to continue to provide stimulating exhibitions of local, national and international artists.

–   It will enable us to host an on-going programme of talks, workshops, trips and events.

–   It will help us continue to provide a platform for over 250 independent studio based artists and makers.

–   It will enable us to continue to engage with over 30,000 members of the public in exhibitions within the gallery each year, and engage nearly 40,000 online visitors with our website.

Stories Behind The Bequests

The Carter Preston Prize

Julia Carter Preston (1926 – 2012) exhibited regularly at Bluecoat Display Centre and was also a studio neighbour. Our annual exhibitions of her unique sgraffito ceramics with their beautiful lustre glazes drew large crowds of private collectors and her works were also purchased for public collections around the UK.

Julia always supported young artists, and was Artist in Residence at Liverpool Hope University for the last 2 or 3 years of her life.

Her bequest enabled Bdc to set up a prize exhibition, in partnership with Liverpool Hope University, for early career and emerging artists. The Julia Carter Preston Prize was a fitting legacy to a unique artist, with which she would have been delighted.

The Backhouse Bequest

The Backhouse Bequest was donated by David Backhouse, an architect, ceramicist and trustee of the Bdc, and his brother, Roy, in memory of their parents: Arthur & Lilian.

The bequest supported an exhibition of recent ceramics graduates from the North West and a winning award of £1,000 for one maker, to support their early career.


“National Museums Liverpool has had a long association with the Bluecoat Display Centre, which continues to be the pre-eminent gallery from which to buy unique contemporary craft and design in Liverpool. Over the years NML has supported the work of the Bluecoat Display Centre through a number of discerning purchases of ceramics, glass and jewellery for its expanding British craft and design collection, a selection of which is on display at the Walker Art Gallery.”

– Myra Brown, Head of Art Gallery Exhibitions, National Museums Liverpool

“When I set up my jewellery business in 2001, the Bdc was one of the first galleries to notice and display my work. They have continued to support my artistic development ever since. Through the Bdc, I have gained an extensive local following, and my work has been showcased in prestigious international exhibitions as far away as Chicago.”

– Local Jeweller

“Bluecoat Display Centre is a vital leader within the crafts sector both locally in Liverpool and nationally.

The Crafts Council is the national UK charity for craft. We inspire making, empower learning and nurture craft businesses. We believe craft skills and knowledge enrich and uplift us as individuals and, in doing so, will change our world for the better – Bluecoat Display Centre embody and deliver across these beliefs and have done so for 65 years.

The valuable contribution the Bluecoat Display Centre has made to the sector is extensive and varied.”

– Natalie Melton, Executive Director, Crafts Council

Image: The Backhouse Bequest exhibition at the Bluecoat Display Centre (2017).