1. ITV Report

Blog: Andy Bonner explains why Liverpool is the perfect fit for the national museum of pop

It is, without doubt, one of the main reasons visitors come to Liverpool.

Now a national museum is heading here for the same reason: music.

I was invited to take a look around the empty century-old rooms that will soon be transformed into the British Music Experience.

Development Director Liz Koravos shows Andy Bonner around the building Credit: ITV Granada

After five years at the O2 Arena in London, and an extensive search up and down the country for a new home, bosses decided on Liverpool.

They say it was a natural fit.

It is of course the birthplace of The Beatles.

Their legacy generates a fab £81m each year locally - but the city is more than that.

Liverpool as a whole has made more than 60 number one hit singles.

Just last year it was given the revered status of UNESCO City of Music.

Work has started on the entrance to the new British Music Experience museum on Liverpool's waterfront Credit: ITV Granada

The venue itself is a natural fit too.

This is the Cunard Building, one of Liverpool's iconic Three Graces.

Thousands upon thousands of passengers said their final goodbyes here as they embarked on long journeys across the Atlantic.

But it was the returning sailors, the so-called Cunard Yanks, who first brought a new type of music to these shores.

Without the imported early rock and roll, blues and soul tunes soaking into the suburbs during the 1950s, The Beatles - and the course of music history - simply may not have been.

The Beatles: John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison in 1964 Credit: 91040/DPA/PA Images

The former ground floor passenger hall here is an empty shell, unused for years.

The marble pillars and ornate skylight contradict the derelict feel.

I'm told the building still contains the big old safes where the first class passengers kept their valuables before setting sail.

It seems like a big job but the developers have five months to work their miracles.

The BME is due to open with fanfare in February 2017 - and Liverpool will be centre stage.