LIVERPOOL’S major cultural events have generated £73m for the local economy in 2012.
But the future of the second most successful, the Mathew Street Festival, remains unclear due to next year’s events budget being slashed by a third to £1.5m.
An independent report, carried out by Vector Research for Liverpool City Council, reveals April’s £2.1m Sea Odyssey giant spectacular to be the city’s most successful event in history. Attracting 800,000 visitors, the three-day piece of street theatre generated spending of more than £46m.
Mathew Street Festival attracted 180,000 people spending £20m – the same figure as 2011 despite this summer’s event being cut to a single day due to extreme weather.
Some 125,000 people lined the city’s streets to cheer on the Olympic Torch Relay in June, according to figures supplied by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), while 23,000 descended on the Pier Head for the evening celebration, which featured Liverpool band The Wombats in a special homecoming gig and war veteran Craig Lundberg lighting the Olympic cauldron. The event brought a £2.5m boost to the city’s economy.
July’s two-night Music on the Waterfront pulled in crowds of 24,000 and generated £2.3m, while the summer’s Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta attracted 70,000 people, spending £2.1m.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “It’s important never to underestimate the value of cultural events, not only do they bring in huge economic benefits, but this year’s programme has supported nearly 1,500 jobs.
“And of course you can’t put a price on making art accessible to all.”
Liverpool City Council’s plans for next year’s events, including the Mathew Street Festival, are likely to be announced early next year, a spokesperson said. In September, Mayor Anderson said the £800,000 festival will be revamped due to a loss of European funding.