£85 million boost to city from Liverpool 2018 celebrations

Liverpool City Region's 10 year celebration of being named European Capital of Culture saw 2.2 million visitors and the economy boosted by £85 million, four times that of 2017's figures.

Highlights of the programme were:

China Dream – nine month season including China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, Chinese New Year (20,000 and netting £609,611), plus two visual arts installations: Presence at St George's Hall and This Is Shanghai in the Cunard Building (garnering £407,362).

Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta and Bordeaux WIne Festival – late May Bank Holiday event bringing in 450,000 people and £11 million to the economy - the artistic programme running alongside, including the 23ft replica moon in Liverpool Cathedral brough 60,000 in just one week. The Bordeaux Wine Festival, a first for the UK, was awarded 'Best New UK Outdoor Event 2018' at the National Outdoor Events Association.

Liverpool Feis – 10,000 fans attended this celebration of Irish music and it will return in 2019 after its successful debut.

Clipper Round the World Race 2017–18 finale – The finish of the Clipper Race 2017–18 drew crowds of 60,000 and £4 million to the economy.

Liverpool International Music Festival – 50,000 attended the two-day event in July, garnering industry PR value of £595,284, plus 320,000 impressions on Twitter.

Lost Castles – Cardboard structures assembled by 2,107 partcipants across six regions in the Liverpool City Region, with 110,717 visitors in Liverpool to the Williamson Square castle and raising £2 million for the economy.

Aurora – interactive exhibition at Toxteth Reservoir in September sold out its entire three-week run.

Liverpool's Dream (Giants) – described as the most successful free event in the North West of England, generating £60.6 million and audiences of 1.3 million. Creator Jean Luc Courcoult was made Freeman of Liverpool with the company Royal de Luxe added to the Freedom Roll of Associations.

River of Light – The fireworks extravaganza saw crowds of around 120,000 in Liverpool and Wirrall, and 50,000 experiencing The Wave installation and an economic impact of £3.9 million, more than double 2017's edition.

Other significant events included the unveiling of Liverpool Mountain by Ugo Rondinone, Remembrance Sunday, and high levels of visitors for Liverpool Cruise Terminal, St George's and Liverpool Town Halls, and economic success for Liverpool Film Office. 

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Seeing these incredible figures can leave no one in any doubt that 2008 was a springboard for this city to build on its cultural ambitions – ten years on, we are one of the world leaders when it comes to staging unforgettable, crowd-pleasing events.

“2018 was a special anniversary for Liverpool and from the outset the aim was to bring new, exciting additions to the city, but also importantly shine a light on the enviable events calendar that we are now so accustomed to.

“Recognising our success in the cultural world is important, but we are always looking forward to what we can continue to deliver, which makes Liverpool such a desirable city to live, work, study and play in.

Director of Culture, Claire McColgan MBE, said: “Liverpool 2018 perfectly encapsulates why we are globally renowned as a city for investing and believing in the power of culture.

“The year was all about experiencing something new, pushing boundaries and allowing people to escape from their everyday lives and be transported somewhere they can let their imagination run wild."


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