Liverpool: The football factor is helping to boost the city’s economy

Standard Chartered is shirt sponsor for Liverpool Football Club

Throughout the week TheBusinessDesk.com has been running a series of articles on the Liverpool City Region.

The articles are part of a special focus week TheBusinessDesk.com is running in partnership with Deloitte, Professional Liverpool and Investec Wealth and Investment.

Today we look at the impact that football is having on the city’s retail and leisure economy.

Liverpool Football Club’s victory in the Champions League could be worth as much as £150m to the city – but that is only in the short term.

The city’s mayor Joe Anderson put aside tribal allegiances to pass on his compliments to the new champions of Europe.

Joe Anderson

The Everton supporting mayor said the value to the city was worth at least £150m.

But the reality of the situation is that football is woven into the fabric of the city and along with the musical heritage has become a vital part of the global brand.

Everton is in the process of moving to a new £500m stadium in Bramley Moore Dock and has ambitious plans for the future.

The combination of football, music and the heritage of the city have combined to make it the third most popular destination in the UK behind London and Edinburgh.

Tourism is worth an estimated £4.5bn to Liverpool’s regional economy – according to the latest figures.

Last year Merseyside welcomed 73m visitors and the industry now supports over 53,500.

Marketing Liverpool’s Donna Howitt said that the city cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

She said: “Liverpool has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, but we can’t be complacent.

“This campaign allows us to build on our success and position Liverpool as a must-see destination for domestic and international audiences.

“Research is at the heart of the campaign and the creative strategy and concept is based on powerful insights from our visitor research.”

Joe Anderson said: “I’ve talked a lot about the tourism and visitor economy and what it means for us – and Liverpool FC are the biggest contributors to that.

“What they have done for the brand of this city on a global scale is incalculable.”

A lifelong Everton supporter, he said he feels Everton fans shouldn’t begrudge their city neighbours their success.

And it seems that retail is also bucking a national trend.

New research commissioned by Liverpool BID Company into the visitor experience of Liverpool city centre, showed a robust retail offering with over half of respondents indicating that shopping in Liverpool was better than what they had experienced in other cities .

Despite the challenges facing high streets nationally, with rising competition from internet retailing and out of town retail parks Liverpool’s  mix of high-end, value brands, independents and specialist shops proved to be among the most important factors when choosing Liverpool for a shopping trip (for more than 70% of respondents).

The Celebrating Bold Street event

Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, and chair of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN), said: “What is evident from is that there are very high levels of satisfaction and enjoyment expressed by visitors to our city centre, which is great news.

“The particular praise being directed at the strength of Liverpool’s retail mix is encouraging considering the challenges that the high street faces nationwide.

“It is a must that Liverpool’s high street continues to reinvent itself and some of the recent openings show that we are on the right path, including the world’s biggest LUSH, Everyman cinema at Metquarter, the newly-opened Roxy Ball Room in Cavern Quarter and Lane7 at Clayton Square being recent examples.”

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