Those who had faith in Culture year rewarded

Feb 16 2008 by Toby Chapman, Liverpool Daily Post

TODAY we are delighted to be able to report that European Capital of Culture year is already starting to have a massive impact on Liverpool’s artistic and cultural organisations.

The figures comparing January 2008 with the same month last year show some startling growth levels. National Museums Liverpool is showing overall increases in visitor numbers of 42% against the same period last year.

That is terrific news, made all the better when you think that once people get their first look at wonderful NML facilities like the Maritime Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, the World Museum and the Conservation Centre, they will undoubtedly be back for more, and probably bring their friends.

The news from the Philharmonic Hall was just as positive, with the organisation enjoying a ticket sales surge that has seen it achieve its box office target for the financial year a full month ahead of last year.

At the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, the Tate Liverpool and the Royal Court the picture is just as rosy,

And of course the exciting new facilities at the Echo Arena Liverpool are proving to be a massive draw, with 50,000 visitors so far, and ticket sales 40% ahead of forecast.

The Bluecoat, which does not open its doors until next month, is already facing a huge clamour for tickets, with Yoko Ono’s performance sold out.

All of these organisations, and many others, have put their faith in 2008, and invested heavily in exciting programmes of events to celebrate Capital of Culture year.

To see this faith rewarded in full measure with such an excellent audience response is no more than they deserve.

The impact will spread far beyond the venues themselves, with our hotels, bars, restaurants and shops all benefiting from the increased visitor numbers.

For those who have been obstinately sceptical about the benefits of 2008, this is an early and tangible piece of evidence that it is going to be a very good year for Liverpool.


Huge surge in visitors to city’s 08 attractions

TENS of thousands more people attended Liverpool’s theatres, galleries and museums in the first month of Capital of Culture year than in January 2007. Read