Sean Lennon opens Liverpool performance centre in honour of mother Yoko Ono

Video report by ITV Granada's Entertainment Correspondent Caroline Whitmore.

Sean Lennon, the son of Beatles frontman John Lennon, has opened a "world class" performance centre in Liverpool named in honour of his mother, Yoko Ono.

He visited his father's birthplace to officially unveil the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, home to the University of Liverpool's new 400-seat concert hall.

The New York-based musician appeared at the ceremony on Friday, 25 March, on behalf of his mother.

After he drew back the curtain to reveal the plaque, the 46-year-old said: "I'm very happy to be here. It's a beautiful building and my mum sends her love to everyone here."

Sean Lennon opened the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre in Liverpool. Credit: ITV News

The centre will include the 600-seat Paul Brett Lecture Theatre and The Tung Auditorium - a 400-seat space designed to accommodate a wide variety of genres.

In an exclusive television interview, Sean Lennon told ITV Granada Reports: "I know it means a lot to [my mum]. She loves music and she loves this school especially so it's really nice.

"It's a good time to start recognising women. My mum's story is complicated in terms of her relationship to Beatles fans.

"My dad was often frustrated by people's reaction to he and my mum being together. They were a couple that had sort of merged into one super-human person and I think a lot of people took issue with that. I think he was very hurt by that, as was my mum.

"He would be very glad that that attitude has subsided and now people are embracing her, as they should do."

He said Yoko has always cared a lot about Liverpool and brought him to the city during his childhood.

He added, "She cares a lot aboout Liverpool and it means a lot to her that my dad's legacy is looked after well here."

Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono, 2014. Credit: PA images

The university's vice chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer, said: "Over the past 31 years, more than 650 students have benefited from the John Lennon Memorial Scholarship which was established in 1991 by Yoko Ono Lennon in memory of her husband.

"The scholarship supports students from Merseyside who are in need of financial support and have raised awareness of global and environmental issues as part of their studies.

"Being able to name this wonderful building in honour of Yoko Ono Lennon cements her status as one of our university's greatest benefactors and the venue celebrates her unique artistic vision and cultural significance."

The artist and peace activist Yoko Ono recently said that she was "thrilled" at the honour.

She said: "Liverpool has become part of me from years of going there, and with this new centre part of me will always be there - for that I'm very thankful. I think John is smiling about it too."

Her son revealed he has been on secret walks around Liverpool during his visit and popped his head into the Cavern Club to see where his dad played.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1970. Credit: PA images

During his visit, Sean Lennon also met postgraduate students who are taking the first master’s degree in The Beatles and learning about the band’s influence on popular music and culture.

He said: “I think it’s such a cool time that you can get a degree in Beatles.

"The world is evolving and I do think that it’s a worthy area of study because The Beatles are such an important part of modern culture, not just musically speaking but they are sort of part of the fabric of our modern society.

“I think the phenomenon of The Beatles is very important and it’s worthy of trying to investigate and understand.”