Oh, the crumbs of culture can be very meagre indeed in the English provinces. Slicing for Liverpool a thin, crusty shard of insight from his generous loaf of celebrity came Loyd Grossman, wafting into Screen Two of FACT like the shogun of culture he is, come to save us all from our ignorance of the wealth around us, come to ‘celebrate’ Liverpool’s architecture alongside a man who has done so much to save that architecture. Loyd comes to Liverpool a lot, he no longer impresses me. For me, Tom Bloxham was the draw here. Expensive suits and inexplicably white-blond hair belie someone with rather more ingenuity than the average businessman. Someone with taste; a patron of quality architecture, no less. His property company, Urban Splash, is almost a household name, at least in North West England. Liverpool, of all places, was the city that became the beachhead for the steady invasion of ‘Manhattan’ loft-living, now to be found from Newcastle to Clarkenwell. Concert Square started it all. The impact of this trend on British culture has been negligible, but in architectural terms there is indeed much to celebrate. Continental café bars may soon descend into the violence-and-vomit hell of drinking barns, but a well converted building remains true to its design. You could term it industrial gentrification, I guess, as opposed to the residential kind where the brave middle class take what were beautiful houses in beautifully planned inner districts, lick them with paint and, waddayouknow, create beautiful houses again. From the very start of Urban Splash, Tom Bloxham saw amongst the genuinely gritty filth of the city some amazing buildings that demanded new life. Now much imitated by brainless corporations but never, as far as I’ve witnessed, bettered, Tom Bloxham and Urban Splash have a special place in my tiny pantheon of heroes. I know it’s small in there Tom, but go on, make your self comfy. Ask Jonathan Meades for a cheesy ball.