Liverpool’s Arena & Convention Centre has contributed £200m to the local economy in its first year, according to the venue’s chief executive Bob Prattey (pictured right).
ACCL, which comprises the 11,000-seater Echo Arena and the BT Convention Centre, has seen almost 700,000 people pass through its doors over the first 12 months, during the city’s year as 2008 Capital of Culture.
The European MTV awards held at ACCL in November 2008 were watched by an estimated global audience of 1.5 billion people and BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards were also held at the venue in 2008.
Says Prattey: “2008 was an incredible opening year and the challenge now is to ensure 2009 follows suit.”
The chief executive adds: “We originally estimated that the venue would deliver £100m to the local economy – for everyone from hoteliers, restaurateurs and cab drivers – but we have more than doubled that.”
Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council, added: “For far too long Liverpool lacked a venue capable of staging world class events. Since ACC Liverpool opened in January 2008, the city has been spoilt for choice when it comes to high profile events.
“I think the true measure of the venue’s success is that it is difficult to remember it not being there. 2008 has been a fabulous year and I have no doubt this will continue into 2009.”
Conference highlights at the BT Convention Centre include the Royal College of General Practitioners, The TUC, The NHS Confederation and The Association of British Neurologists.