Royal Albert Dock reports soaring summer visitor numbers

From April to September 2018 the Liverpool waterfront attraction saw a 13% rise in footfall with expanding events programme a key factor. Tony McDonough reports

Royal Albert Dock
Royal Albert Dock enjoyed a surge in visitor numbers in summer 2018


Liverpool’s Royal Albert saw summer 2018 visitor numbers rocket 13% compared to the same period last year.

And executives at the Grade I-Listed attraction on the city’s waterfront said its expanding events programme was a key factor in the rise in visitors for the six-month period from April to September.

The dock, which offers bars, restaurant, shops and visitor attractions such as Tate Liverpool and the Merseyside Maritime Museum, is already one of the most popular free tourist attractions in the UK with an annual footfall of more than 6m.

Earlier this year the dock was granted ‘Royal’ status ahead of its 175th birthday celebrations in 2021.

Royal Albert Dock’s programme of family events began this year with Heritage on the Dock at Easter (showing a 29% uplift in footfall on the 2017 event), through to Steam on the Dock in the spring, followed by Football on the Dock, Folk on the Dock and Pirates on the Dock during the summer, with the latter recording a 16% increase in footfall on last year’s event.

It was also announced on Wednesday that all flagship events will return in 2019 – with Folk on the Dock moving from its traditional August bank holiday slot to July, and Football on the Dock expanding under the new name, Summer on the Dock.

Sue Grindrod, chief executive, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “I am thrilled with these numbers as it affirms all we are doing in our ambitions to position the dock as a world-class leisure destination, where visitors come back to again and again to discover new and exciting things here.

“Our events continue to resonate with people of all ages and it remains one of the key priorities of our 175 strategy to grow and develop these in the future, as we gear up to our 175th anniversary year in 2021.”

Dates for next year’s events confirmed:

Heritage on the Dock (April 12-14)
Steam on the Dock (May 11-12)
Folk on the Dock (July 12-14)
Summer on the Dock (July 22-August 12)
Pirates on the Dock (September 7-8)

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