Pioneering partnership formed to bolster Liverpool City Region’s tourism sector

Liverpool City Region’s six councils and the Combined Authority are joining forces in a landmark approach to promote the region’s unique cultural offer.

The partnership will be chaired by Tony Hall, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, and is aimed at positioning the region as one of Europe’s major events capitals, seeking to deliver maximum economic benefit across the city region from its worldwide visitor appeal.

Lord Hall, former Director-General of the BBC and the former Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, brings a wealth of experience in leading major cultural institutions and civic bodies, combined with his personal roots and passion for the region and culture.

He is currently Chairman of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a Trustee of the National Trust, the Natural History Museum, and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra.

He will be joined by a 15-strong team of national and regional board members who bring expertise from the worlds of sport, film, music, hospitality, retail and leisure. All will work together to lead, advise, influence and champion the Liverpool City Region as the destination to visit, invest and stage major events in.

The new board will now start shaping a five-year destination management plan which will be launched later this year.

Although yet to be officially named, the new body will be known initially as the Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) and will work to boost the city region’s £5bn-a-year visitor economy, which employs around 51,000 people.

Around 60 million people flock to the area every year to enjoy its cultural, musical and sporting attractions. Earlier this year, Time Out magazine recognised the area’s strengths, naming Liverpool as the seventh best city in the world, ranking above Tokyo, Rome and Paris.

Last year Liverpool received global praise for hosting the most successful Eurovision Song Contest. As host city, on behalf of Ukraine, music fans and residents were able to enjoy and participate in an inclusive cultural programme that united people in music.

Lord Hall said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to come back to my roots and play a role in promoting this incredible region, which has so much to offer to visitors.

“I’m proud and honoured to be leading a very high calibre board that represents the diversity of the sector and the city region. I can’t wait to get to know them and to work together to bring even more people to this wonderful city and region.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The Liverpool City Region is a national and international destination of choice, renowned for its unbeatable culture, music, sport, hospitality and much, much more.

“In the last year alone, we’ve completely transformed an event as iconic as Eurovision – and welcomed golf’s global superstars for the 151st edition of The Open in Hoylake. That’s in addition to the Grand National, two Premier League football teams and the most successful Super League team in the country calling our area home.

“It’s because of our recent success that we’ve been able to attract someone of Tony’s calibre to help turbocharge this work over the next few years. We are already the UK’s cultural capital but watch out because we’re only just getting started.”

VisitBritain/VisitEngland CEO, Patricia Yates, said: “The Liverpool City Region was one of the first LVEPs VisitEngland accredited and it has enjoyed a truly successful year with Eurovision and the Golf Open to name but a few highlights that have shone the global spotlight on this part of England. I would like to extend our welcome and congratulations to the Liverpool City Region Local Visitor Economy Partnership and its new chairman Lord Hall.”

The LVEP board members are – Chair: Lord Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead; Retail (and Deputy Chair): Donna Howitt, Place Strategy Director at Liverpool One; Accommodation: Howard Lewis, General Manager, Novotel Paddington Village Liverpool; Business Events: Faye Dyer, Chief Executive, The Arena and Conference Centre Liverpool Group; Major Attraction: Rachel Scott, Head of Marketing Knowsley Estate; Major Attraction: Alan Adams, General Manager, Southport Flower Show/Victoria Park Events; Culinary Arts: Paul Askew, Chief Executive and Chef Patron Art School; Night Time Economy: John Hughes, Chair Liverpool Night Life CIC; Culture: Madeline Henneghan, Co-Director, Writing on the Wall; Music: Eunice Obianagha, Head of Diversity, UK Music; TV and Film: Barrington Paul Robinson, Creative Producer, Dancing Ledge Productions; Sport: Clare Briegal, former Chief Executive, World Netball; Liverpool City Council: Cllr Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Culture Liverpool City Council; Sefton Destination Management Organisation: Peter Hampson, Chair, Marketing Southport; Liverpool City Region Combined Authority: Cllr Kate Groucutt, Deputy Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Growth and Third Sector; Young professionals: Rachael Stevens, Chair of Liverpool City Region’s Future Impact Board.