A LIVERPOOL university is mourning a former director whose passion helped bring a £27m arts academy to the city.
Martin Downie, who spent 16 years shaping the art and design provision at Liverpool John Moores University, died on November 23 after a short illness.
Today the university paid a warm tribute to Mr Downie, from Crosby, who was affectionately known for his sharp suits, bright suits and ponytail.
But it is his passion for the arts and his role in developing the blueprint for the university’s stunning £27m Art and Design Academy – a stone’s throw from the Metropolitan Cathedral – that will be his lasting legacy.
The Everton supporter was director of the university’s Liverpool School of Art and Design (LSAD) – which dates back to 1825 and is the oldest school of art and design in England outside London – for six years and also served as head of product design for more than 10 years.
Mr Downie is survived by his wife Gaynor, their son Edward and three other children from previous relationships, Nick, Alex and Jenny.
A Liverpool John Moores University spokesman said: “Martin was an exuberant personality who cared passionately about education.”