Liverpool 08 – it’s a wrap

o Culture Company winds up August 3 2009 – on budget
o Final report commends partnerships forged and looks to the future

The Liverpool Culture Company today (Monday, August 3 2009) released its final report, charting the story of Liverpool 08 from inception through to delivery and its long-term legacy.

The report marks the final chapter in the four-year history of the Liverpool Culture Company.

Having invested over £122million in what has been called “One of the most successful Capital of Culture programmes ever”, the job of the Liverpool Culture Company is now complete and has handed its ‘on budget’ accounts back to Liverpool City Council, which contributed £75million towards the total budget.

Such was Liverpool’s success the UK government has launched a British City of Culture programme beginning in 2013.

The final report examines the success of Liverpool 08, including an £800 million economic boost to the city, £200 million of global media coverage and 3.5 million new visitors, all of which helped to reshape perceptions of Liverpool and mark it out as a world-class cultural destination.

The 36-page report praised the partnerships forged during and leading up to 08. The city’s key cultural partners were crucial to the success of the bid and delivered a wide range of cultural events during the year.

Participation was also central to everything delivered during 2008; the £11m Creative Communities programme, the largest public and community arts programme in Europe, and the 2,500 volunteers that signed up were also commended in the report.

The report also details how the success of 08 is already being built on; using Liverpool’s renewed international reputation to drive further economic and tourism benefits. Major cultural infrastructure developments worth a further £200m have begun such as the new Museum of Liverpool Life (opening in 2010) and the new Design Academy at John Moore University.

The City Council has established Culture Liverpool, a new unit that will help focus the city’s cultural activity, services and events. A new cultural strategy is in place and this is being delivered through the many partnerships forged as a result of Liverpool 08, including LARC (Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium).

Liverpool City Council have also approved an £8.45m arts budget maintaining Capital of Culture funding levels for the next two years, benefiting 67 arts organisations. And in April the city unveiled a highlights programme of over 100 events and festivals in a bid to be the UK capital of FREE culture in 2009 – including The Winters Trail and On The Waterfront festivals which begin this weekend.

* Liverpool is the first city to have conducted a longitudinal assessment of being a European Capital of Culture. The final report will be published in 2010 by the Impacts 08 research programme at University of Liverpool and John Moores University. This team will then publish a paper on Liverpool’s research, framework and management models for 2008 as a reference source for cities and major cultural programmes.