ACC Liverpool venue chiefs have lent their backing to Liverpool business leaders’ renewed calls to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Tim Banfield, commercial director of The ACC Liverpool Group, told CN: “Hosting the Commonwealth Games in Liverpool would be a boon to the city. We have proved that we can successfully stage spectacular events – from major sports to the European Capital of Culture. It would provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase our magnificent city to the rest of the world and we would hope to play a significant role as a host venue for some of the key events.”
Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce chief executive, Jenny Stewart is another business leader backing the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in the city, saying would re-affirm the city’s position on the global map.
“Often it takes people to come to Liverpool to realise what a fantastic city we have got,” she said.
Leading developer and hotelier Lawrence Kenwright also called this week for local companies and entrepreneurs to take an active role in the battle to win the Games.
Kenwright, whose Signature Living operates the 30 James Street and Shankly Hotels, said putting the bid together should not just be left to the public sector.
“Why should the cash-strapped city council be left to shoulder the bid process on its own?” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“I think the business community needs to come together and get involved in that process because it is the businesses who will benefit if it is successful.
“When you are looking at such a huge event businesses in the city have an opportunity to work with the local authority to help them underpin the venues and the quality of restaurants and retail opportunities here to serve all the needs of people visiting the city and make the venues fantastic through construction opportunities.”
ACC Liverpool, which operates the ECHO Arena, BT Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, stood ready and willing to stage some of the events of the Games, underlined the venue’s chief executive Bob Prattey.
He said one of the venue’s main aims was to attract major sporting events to put Liverpool on the international map and reflect the city’s sporting heritage. “We would hope to play a significant role as a host venue for some of the key events,” he said.
A spokesman for the Liverpool BID Company, which oversees the business districts of the city, said winning the Commonwealth Games would be a “huge game changer” for the city region.
The spokesman said the city had the tourism infrastructure in place as well as the transport links. “The real issue rests with national Government,” the spokesman said.
“Liverpool has the ambition – can that be matched by the will of Westminster and Whitehall? The new metro Mayor – whoever that is – would certainly be in the prime position to make the case and an event such as this would certainly benefit the whole region.”