Business festival ‘will bring city £100m’

Liverpool Vision claims its £15m business festival next year will reap £100m for the city from inward investment and visitors.

The economic development agency has hired additional staff whilst also outsourcing the event management to a private supplier, Clarion Events, to prepare for the festival. Critics in the city question the cost of the event, £5m of which is being provided by the government.

The International Festival for Business 2014 will be a 61-day expo of conferences and cultural events in June and July 2014, forecast by Vision to attract 250,000 visitors to Liverpool.

Ministers hope the festival will boost UK exports and maintain the marketing momentum of the Olympics in 2012.

Lord Green, trade and investment minister, said: "Next summer the International Festival for Business will provide a global platform to promote the best of British and the outstanding opportunities to invest in this country. Coming two years after the Olympics, it will help ensure the message that Britain is open for business continues to be heard across the globe.

"Getting more companies to export and attracting high-quality investment to the UK are key planks of the government's Plan for Growth. UKTI is proud to support the Festival and we will be working hard to help make it a success."

The plans for the festival were presented at an event in London on Monday with speakers including Sir Terry Leahy, Liverpudlian former chief executive of Tesco; Lord Green; Cllr Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: "With a stellar line-up of speakers and supporters, the Festival will show the world that Liverpool is Britain at its best."

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Economic forecasts helped secure grants for the £22m Pier Head canal link, saying 550 extra visitors a day would travel to Liverpool because of canal. No evaluation was ever carried out. Very much doubt 50 people a day come to city for the canal. Hope this doesn’t go same way.

By Paul Unger

Why so negative, Place NW? This is the first ‘business festival’ of its kind in the world and the biggest busines-focused event in the UK for over a decade, and its in the NW. You could – and should – help to ensure it is a success for both the region and the UK as a whole. Disappointing.

By Mcr Rover

I hope the business people do not spend their time in bars getting drunk…..they would then have to let it go he same way as the Beatle Festival……..far to dangerous and successful!

By Roy Backhouse

I’ll happily admit I was wrong in August 2014 when it’s been a great success. Wouldn’t be the first time. Right now £15m of our money on a gamble like this when there’s so little development activity in the city seems like our priorities have gone awry.

By Paul Unger

This will be a great success, even if no deals result from it (which there will be). The event itself will attract enough visitors over the piece to cover the outlay, whilst the publicity the city will get will be worth millions alone. The very fact that the city is appearing in the FT etc today is worth money in and of itself. By 2014 there should be a decent amount of development activy underway. There’s over £400m worth on site in the city centre alone as I type this. Once the BioInnovation Centre/Royal Hospital/Project Jennifer/Exhibition Centre kick in this year, things should pick up.

By MrD

You have to hand it to them, certainly giving this thing the hard sell, whatever it is. I hope it succeeds but with a budget of £15m it sounds like an awfully expensive way of generating some promotional froth for the city. Still, they managed to persuade the government to commit £5m towards it without having a well developed business case so their PR must be pretty effective. Given the ambitions and the budget, it will need to be.

More smoke and mirrors from Showman Max and his Council cronies. Vision a spent force,and shameful Council spending over £3m a year on this organisation while paid people doing good jobs being made redundant

By John brown