Culture is helping Liverpool buck the spending downturn

Of course, this is no surprise to us.

Via – New figures show the city’s visitor numbers are on the up – and those who come here are spending more money than they did in 2009.

Last year’s Mathew Street Music Festival (MSMF) smashed the previous year’s visitor figures by a whopping 20,000, bringing in an impressive £20 million to the city – compared to just £15 million in 2009.

And despite the tough economic times, each visitor spent an average of £57.25 during their stay in the city, whereas last year £53 was spent per person.

The announcement comes following Culture Liverpool’s review of the success of four of the city’s major events in 2010 – MSMF; Africa Oye – the biggest free African music festival in the UK; On The Waterfront – a series of events which celebrates the culture of Liverpool; and the Picasso: Peace and Freedom exhibition which was showcased at Tate Liverpool.

Figures show:

  • 320,000 attended MSMF in 2010, compared to 300,000 in 2009
  • 12.6 per cent of visitors were from outside the city, compared to 11.7 per cent in 2009
  • Africa Oye attracted 50,000 visitors this year – double the number in 2009
  • The celebration of African culture brought in £1.3 million to the city’s economy
  • On the Waterfront attracted more than 65,000 people and brought in £1.2 million to Liverpool
  • 95,424 people enjoyed the Picasso exhibition, 74 per cent of these were from outside the Liverpool city region and 21,000 had never visited Liverpool before

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “These figures are fantastic and show that, despite the fact that money is tight, culture continues to play an important part in people’s lives and if we can deliver events and festivals which inspire them, they will continue to come and spend money in the city.

“Many people thought there would be a post-08 slump, but we’ve shown that the city’s economy continues to benefit by millions of pounds because of the high-calibre events which we put on throughout the year.

“Culture remains as important as ever and this is reflected in this year’s impressive events programme which will not only see the city hosting the Liverpool Boat Show, but also the return of the much-loved Mersey River Festival.”

Liverpool is well on track to surpassing the economic impact of 2009’s cultural programme, which saw £33 million generated for the city.  So far £23 million has been brought in to the city, and there are several large events to take place including A Winter’s Trail: Liverpool Discovers and Chinese New Year.

MSMF and On The Waterfront were all funded by Liverpool City Council in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  Africa Oye was part funded by the city council.  Picasso: Peace and Freedom was supported by ERDF, with additional support from the Spanish and Andalucía Tourist Offices and the Spanish Embassy Cultural Office.