IFB could be Liverpool’s MIPIM

A business leader is calling on Liverpool to embrace the International Festival for Business as its own and host the event on a biennial basis with or without government support.

Frank McKenna

Downtown in Business chief executive Frank McKenna said:

“Week two of the International Festival for Business and from hoteliers and taxi drivers to property developers and professionals, the city’s business community has embraced the jamboree of events, networking and deal making in positive fashion.

“Of course the scale of this ambitious project means that mistakes will be made and lessons learnt. However, the overall opinion from Liverpool’s business leaders about IFB so far is a huge ‘thumbs up’.

“Already there is a growing appetite, among Downtown members at least, for the city to seize the opportunity of hosting an IFB Festival if not annually, then certainly biennially.

“Seven weeks may be a tad too long for a regularly hosted festival, but organising something throughout the month of June every other year seems eminently sensible and achievable.”

Mr McKenna announced that Downtown will be hosting a series of ‘IFB Legacy events’ in association with Liverpool Vision from July, and expects that there will be much to discuss and debate.

“My initial thoughts are, it’s great for the city; Liverpool puts on a good show; and although the £5m from central government towards the cost of the programme was gratefully received, and would be again, there is no reason why we should be awaiting permission from BIS, UKTI and Ministers, before announcing that Liverpool is up for hosting IFB 2016. Aside from anything else, with a more generous run up to that potential Festival, I am sure we could pull in at least that amount of cash in private sector sponsorship.”

Downtown in Business hosted its own programme of events this week, attracting over 600 delegates to forums that discussed a range of issues including the future of entrepreneurship, the future of property & regeneration, and the future of business finance.

The business lobby group also hosted an event with the chief executives of Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs, discussing the business of the game and the economic impact the clubs have on the city region.

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