Major cultural events in Liverpool generate £73m for economy

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Major cultural events in Liverpool generated £73 million for the local economy in 2012.

That is the finding of a new independent report, which has looked into the impact of five Culture Liverpool events: Sea Odyssey, Olympic Torch Relay, Music on the Waterfront, Mathew Street Music Festival and the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta.

The giant spectacular Sea Odyssey made the biggest impact – attracting 800,000 visitors and generating spending of more than £46 million.

Despite this year’s Mathew Street Music Festival being a one-day event due to extreme weather, crowds came out in force and 180,000 people descended on the city centre. They spent a total of £20 million – the same as during the two-day festival in 2011.

The impact of London 2012 was also felt in the city.  The study reveals that 125,000 people lined the streets to cheer on local torch bearers taking part in the Olympic Torch Relay, and 23,000 descended on the Pier Head to take part in the evening celebration, which featured the Wombats in a special homecoming gig. The event brought in £2.5 million to the city.

Other figures show:

  • The two night Music on the Waterfront event, which saw the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Russell Watson, Paul Carrick and Joe McElderry perform, pulled in crowds of 24,000 and generated £2.3 million.
  • The Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta attracted 70,000 people and brought in £2.1 million.
  • The average visitor spend was £38.82 per person.
  • People staying overnight in the city spent an average £27.65 per person on accommodation.
  • More than half the visitors (53.2per cent) were from outside of Liverpool.
  • And the city’s events were also given a ringing endorsement by people who attended. Almost all of those interviewed for the report – 94.5 percent – described the event they were attending as very good/good, with 97 per cent of people saying they would recommend a Liverpool event to friends and family.

Liverpool City Council’s director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan said: “This report highlights the important role cultural events play, not only in terms of bringing much-needed money into the local economy, but also in engaging and inspiring people from across the city.

“It’s encouraging that despite the tough economic times, people still value culture and come onto the streets in their tens of thousands to enjoy high-calibre events, and at the same time spend money in our cafes, shops, bars, hotels and restaurants.

“2012 was of course an exceptional year as the city welcomed and fell in love with three giant visitors as part of the Sea Odyssey spectacular and an Olympic torch lit up many of our communities – the financial impact was welcomed and I’m sure both these events will live long in the memory of those lucky enough to have been part of them.”