£4.37m fund to attract major events to Liverpool

Just days after Liverpool secured the Eurovision Song Contest for 2023 a new £4.37m fund will be set up to attract other major events. Tony McDonough reports

ACC Liverpool
ACC Liverpool on the banks of the River Mersey


A new £4.37m fund will be established to attract major events to Liverpool.

In a five-year plan unveiled by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) there will be a new push to attract major conferences and sporting events to the ACC Liverpool complex on the banks of the Mersey.

Under the strategy, the CA would contribute £1.42m with the rest coming from “private sources”. The CA money would support the project until it “transitions to a commercially self-sustaining model”. The remaining funds will come from a proposed new city centre Business Improvement District (BID).

Since opening in 2008 at a cost of £164m, ACC Liverpool has been a key driver of the city centre visitor economy which, pre-pandemic, was worth £5bn a year. Including the M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, it has been successful in attracting concerts, major conferences and sporting events.

Over the past week it has been revealed that the complex will host the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2023. And LBN revealed that the Labour Party will return to the venue for its annual conference next year after the success of its recent event in September.

This latest strategy aims to capitalise on that success by stepping up efforts to bring even more events to ACC Liverpool, which is wholly-owned by Liverpool City Council. The fund would also go towards research and engagement support at the Liverpool Convention Bureau. A CA meeting on Friday will be asked to approve the funding.


Labour Conference
Labour Conference at ACC Liverpool in September 2022


Hoteliers and serviced accommodation owners in Liverpool will start balloting on October 28 over creating an Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID). This would provide the private sector funds for the initiative.

Culture, Tourism and the Visitor Economy Portfolio Holder at the CA, Cllr Mike Wharton, said: “Our visitor economy is vital to our region’s prosperity and business visitors and conferences are a crucial part of that sector.

“If approved, this investment will enable us to really sell the city region, attract high-profile conferences and sporting events, and ensure that we can compete with major cities.”

This proposed Strategic Investment Fund-backed project would start in April 2023. It seeks to stimulate inward investment and business growth through its support for major events.

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