Liverpool has secured one of the UK's most high profile conferences for 2008.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and Association of Police Authorities (APA) are to bring their annual joint conference to the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool next summer.
The news comes just days after the end of this year's conference, which was held in Manchester. ACC Liverpool convention centre General Manager Jacquie Rogers said securing the deal was a major coup for the city. Chief constables and chairmen from the 43 police forces and police authorities in England and Wales attend the event, which also attracts senior government figures and politicians. Prime Minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown addressed this year's conference. Next year's gathering in Liverpool will attract more than 400 delegates, last three days and pump thousands of pounds into the city's economy.
A major exhibition of security and police-related products, such as state-of-the-art surveillance vehicles and body armour, will also take place. Jacquie Rogers said: "We are extremely proud to have tempted such a high profile event away from Manchester. It proves that ACC Liverpool will attract the most prestigious conference events in the calendar. "We have won the deal because of the excellence of the facilities here and because Liverpool is increasingly recognised as an attractive city for delegates to visit." ACC Liverpool consists of the 10,600-seat Liverpool Echo Arena, a 1,350-seat Convention Centre, and total exhibition space in excess of 7,000 square metres. New hotels, offices and residential developments will be built alongside the venue.
ACPO President Ken Jones said: "The recent ACPO-APA 2007 conference in Manchester was a great success and we look forward to continuing that tradition in the North West at next year's conference in Liverpool. As president, I am delighted that our most important annual gathering of members will take place in the European Capital of Culture for 2008." Association of Police Authorities Chairman Bob Jones said: "2008 will see the first ACPO-APA conference in Liverpool. We very much look forward to bringing the conference to the city and are excited that ACC Liverpool has the potential to ensure the conference and international policing exhibition provide an excellent experience for all visitors."
Merseyside Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "This is great news for Liverpool and the new convention centre. It's also a great opportunity to show leading politicians and my colleagues in the police service, just how vibrant, welcoming and forward thinking this city is. We are encouraging all national police events to Liverpool in 2008 and we hope this is the first of many others." Liverpool council leader Warren Bradley said: "It's fantastic news for the city and a real measure of the kind of quality events which ACC Liverpool will attract in the future."
Event organiser Lucy McPhail added: "We are really excited about coming to Liverpool. The Arena and Convention Centre is a superb venue because it offers us exhibition space next to the conference facilities. "This event invariably attracts major national coverage so is a great profile-builder for both the convention centre and Liverpool itself."
Kings Waterfront is the single largest development site in Liverpool city centre. A partnership of Liverpool Vision, national regeneration agency English Partnerships, the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the European Objective One Programme and Liverpool council is jointly promoting its development.