Liverpool nightlife sees post-COVID surge

Liverpool city centre’s night-time economy is surging ahead compared to other UK cities with as many as 2m people flooding in on Saturday nights, new data shows. Tony McDonough reports

Club, bar, party, dancing, partying, revellers, night-time, hospitality
Liverpool’s night-time economy is booming post-COVID, according to new data


New data shows Liverpool’s night-time economy has recovered strongly from the COVID pandemic.

Days after it was revealed the city region visitor economy was now worth more than £5bn a year, new figures reveal Liverpool’s reputation as a party town is well founded.

Financial services platform Square looked at the percentage of in-person payments made in bars, cafes and restaurants between 7pm and 4am in several UK cities in the first half of 2023.

Liverpool came top with 40% ahead of Birmingham at 37%. London was third at 35%. LIverpool’s percentage in 2019 was 36%.

And Liverpool BID Company, which represents more than 860 levy-paying businesses in the city centre has released footfall data for the same period and also between 7pm and 4am.

It found a 43% increase in footfall compared with 2019. It has cameras located in key locations around the city centre, they are able to track the flow of people as they move around core locations. This area doesn’t include Liverpool ONE.

BID’s figures show the busiest nights of the week are Friday and Saturday with more than 1.5m people counted on cameras on Fridays and almost 2m on Saturdays.

Tuesday is 4% busier than Monday, Wednesday is 1% busier than Tuesday, Thursday is 9.84% busier than Wednesday. Friday is 30% busier than Thursday and Saturday sees it rise again by another 20%.

Jennina O’Neill is chair of Liverpool BID Company’s Retail & Leisure Board and centre manager at Metquarter, said: “The pull of Liverpool’s world famous night time economy shows that, despite the cost of living crisis, people still want to have a great night out.

“When we saw the shift in the night-time economy take place in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic we needed to see if the trend continued. The demand is still there.


Jennina O'Neill
Jennina O’Neill, chair of the Retail & Leisure BID, and centre manager at Metquarter


“What this shows is the need to really value the importance of our night-time economy, which contributes both to Liverpool’s brand as well as its pocket.

“At Liverpool BID we have extended our street ranger service to help keep areas within the BID clean and cleansed. We have also continued our partnership with Merseyside Police to have dedicated officers within BID areas to keep people safe.”

New data from marketing Liverpool released earlier this week showed that while the city region visitor economy was worth more than £5bn in 2022, in the city itself this figure now stood at £3.58bn. The city welcomed 31.5m people in 2022, up from 23.9m in 2021.

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John Hughes, chair of Liverpool’s Nightlife CIC, added: “Other cities put a great deal of strategy and focus onto their night-time economy and they are not as successful as Liverpool’s.

“It is vital the industry has a voice at the table, especially at a time when so many venues are struggling to meet increased costs.

“A vibrant nightlife is a bellwether of many positive factors, including a younger city centre resident population and a city that attracts visitors from other places, but that needs both support and investment.”

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