ACC Liverpool lobbies for return of major events

ACC Liverpool, which comprises the Conference Centre, the M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool remains closed due to coronavirus restrictions. Tony McDonough reports

ACC Liverpool
Exhibition Centre Liverpool, part of the ACC Liverpool complex


Liverpool’s waterfront arena and convention centre is pushing the Government to allow the resumption of major events and conferences.

ACC Liverpool, which comprises the Conference Centre, the M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, has been closed to events since the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in March.

From July 4, the Government has allowed bars, restaurants, museums and hotels, along with other businesses, to open with relaxed social distancing measures. But large events venues are having to remain closed for the time being.

However, ACC Liverpool chief executive Bob Prattey, says other countries are allowing events to resume. He is joining forces with other venues across the UK to urge the Government to consider allowing events in this country to resume.

He added: “We are ramping up our lobbying efforts and very much hope that the UK is able to follow the example of some European countries who have been able to work to a staged return of organised events.”

ACC Liverpool is owned by the city council and, for the past three months, it has been used by the authority as a food and personal protection equipment distribution centre, supporting health workers and the most vulnerable members of the community.

Now the venue has started its detailed preparations to ensure its spaces as as safe as possible for when events do eventually return. Prior to the lockdown, ACC was hosting major events and welcoming conference delegates from all over the world, bringing in millions of pounds in revenue to the city.

READ MORE: ACC Liverpool close to £2bn economic benefit barrier

It is  issuing a new set of COVID-19 secure operational guidelines for event organisers. Revised operational plans include new space capacities for conferences and exhibitions, virtual and hybrid production solutions, adapted food and drink offers and enhanced safety and hygiene measures.

Its plans have been developed following advice from Public Health England, Visitor Economy Guidance and the All Secure Standard developed by the event industry. The venue has also just been accredited with the National Tourist Organisation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ standard for COVID-19 secure operations.

Mr Prattey added: “We wanted a way to show our event organisers just how much work has been going on in the background to make sure we are ready for their return.

“Our campus has been operational throughout this time, working as a distribution centre for Liverpool City Council, which is still ongoing, therefore, all social distancing protocols and management have already become second nature to our teams.

“The issuing of our new operational guidelines to event organisers is a real statement of intent from us as a business – we are ready to welcome people back and are already working with clients to develop solutions for them in this new event environment.”

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