UK. Liverpoolís European Capital of Culture year to include tall ships race, golf and Turner Prize Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 October 2006
Event news:

The city will make a joint announcement - entitled Liverpool 08: A Cultural Revelation - in London and Liverpool on Monday, November 6.

The WTM event in London Excel will be hosted by the Liverpool Culture Company and UK Inbound, at an evening reception at the North West England stand from 17.30 to 19.00.

Liverpool was given European Capital of Culture status back in June 2003 after a competition between 12 British cities. With EU expansion, the UK will not host the status for at least another 30 years.

High profile events already diarised for the city and Merseyside region include: The Turner Prize: October 07 to January 2008; The Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale: July; The start of the Tall Ships' Races: July; The finale of the Tour of Britain: September; The 5th Liverpool Biennial: September to November.

A key aim of 08 is to enhance Liverpool's cultural offer and help create a national platform for the importance of culture. Themes of Liverpool 08 include international and local collaborations, new commissions and street theatre with a focus on music, maritime and sport.

The Liverpool Culture Company, established by Liverpool city council, is creating a programme to explore, examine and celebrate the events, places and people which shaped the unique character of the city as a cradle of popular culture.

The final highlights of Liverpool 08 will also include work by 27 major artistic institutions such as Tate Liverpool, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Liverpool Biennial.

Leader of Liverpool city council, Councillor Warren Bradley said: "Liverpool is at the dawn of an amazing new era - as a centre of creativity and a major international destination. The next two years will be an action packed adventure and it all begins on November 6. Our celebrations, like the city, are not to be missed. In 08 Liverpool will be the place to be."

In preparation for Liverpool 08, a £3bn culture led regeneration is transforming the city with landmark projects including the construction of a 10,000 seater indoor arena, cruise liner facility and a 2 million sq ft retail/leisure development.

Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Liverpool culture company, said: "Liverpool is already feeling the benefit of being European Capital of Culture. We've welcomed double the number of international visitors than in 2005, rising 10 places to sixth most visited UK city. Our attractions, hotels, restaurants and bars have never been busier and the improvements we're making will only further strengthen the city's unique cultural offer."

Liverpool, which also houses the largest collection of national museums and galleries outside of London, is expecting to welcome 20m visitors in 2008.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport is currently one of Europe's fastest growing airports and the number of hotel beds in the city has doubled since 1997.

Martin King, Director of Tourism at the region's designated Tourist Board, The Mersey Partnership, which will be co-promoting Liverpool with the culture company at WTM, said: "We're preparing to welcome the world to Liverpool and Merseyside. The next two years stand to be among the most momentous in our history - certainly in terms of our opportunities to welcome tourists and other visitors to celebrate our 800th birthday in 2007 and Liverpool's reign as European Capital of Culture in 2008. It's going to be an amazing time to experience the unique appeal of Liverpool and the wider region."

Tom Wright, Chief Executive, Visit Britain said: "2008 will be a very special year for Liverpool and the country. The city's position as European Capital of Culture will be the launch of Britain's four-year long Cultural Olympiad when, in September, Beijing hands over the Olympic torch and we begin driving forward our plans to reap the tourism benefits of the 2012 Olympic Games. It is unlikely that this combination of events will happen again. 2008 is an ideal opportunity to showcase what Britain has to offer culturally and promote cultural tourism domestically and to the world."

The city also received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004 and will be celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2007, which peaks with a four day party over the August Bank Holiday.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 October 2006 )
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