Bid for bigger portion of Government funding from Liverpool City Region LEP

Liverpool has launched a bid to win a bigger slice of funding for its successful events, exhibitions and conferences sector.

The Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has submitted proposals to the Government ahead of a review of funding for the English events industry.

This comes from the Government’s pledge to work in partnership with the events sector to develop a joint strategy, supporting growth in the conference, exhibitions and events sector.

There have been concerns over the disparity in financial aid that the sector gets from the devolved Scottish and Welsh governments and, to an extent, London.

The LEP has therefore made a submission on behalf of its city region partners to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; which includes a call for central Government funding to support the delivery of new “transformational” events activity and marketing.  It also points out that major conference and exhibition centres across the UK already operate with spare capacity, raising questions about the supply of further capacity.

Sara Wilde McKeown, chair of the region’s Visitor Economy Board. said:

“We were quite keen there was a clear case that if there was any Government funding, how it would be used. That could be support for major international business events, or even the River Festival.

“One of the things driving this from our perspective was looking at how other parts of the UK operate, like Scotland and Wales who have a strong record for event bidding. There was a concern that England’s regions might be missing out on opportunities.”

And she added that there is no case to build venues around London and the South East when there are excellent venues like Liverpool’s ECHO Arena and BT Convention Centre which are capable of taking major events.

“This is a highly lucrative sector for us to operate in. The yield is much higher from business events than other visitors, and they are coming in in mid-week. It is attractive on many levels.”



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