Retail bosses from all over the UK are heading for Liverpool as the city prepares to host one of its biggest-ever conferences.
More than 3,300 people are expected for the annual conference of retail property organisation BCSC (formerly British Council of Shopping Centres) at the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool next November. The event, which was held in Newcastle Gateshead this year, has previously attracted speakers such as Sir Bob Geldof and Sebastian Coe. Its members include retailers, developers, landlords, local authority executives and others involved in the retail industry.
Michael Green, Chief Executive of BCSC, says: "Liverpool is set to become a spotlight destination not only as the European City of Culture for 2008 but also as a major centre of retail, leisure and lifestyle development. I'm delighted that we are bringing our seminal industry event to the city and we look forward to seeing and experiencing what Liverpool has to offer in what is likely to be a memorable year for all of us."
Warren Bradley, Liverpool City Council Leader, said: 'BCSC's annual conference is a huge event which attracts some of the most influential people in the retail industry from across the UK and Europe. 'It is particularly appropriate that the organisation should come to Liverpool in the same year that Grosvenor's £1billion Liverpool One opens, a development on course to propel the city's own retail offering into the top five in the UK by 2010.'
The event will be held at ACC Liverpool from 10-12 November 2008. Jacquie Rogers, Convention Centre General Manager, said: 'It is fantastic news for ACC Liverpool and for the city itself that organisations of this calibre are choosing us. 'The size of this particular event demonstrates just how flexible ACC Liverpool is - in this case, use will be made not just of the convention centre, but also the adjoining Echo Arena Liverpool.
'Being able to host an event like this really puts ACC Liverpool up there in the top flight of venues in its very first year.' The Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC Liverpool) is a £146m project on the city's famous King's Waterfront, which will open in January 2008. The Convention Centre will have 1,350 seats, a 3725m² multi-purpose hall and 18 further meeting rooms offering complete flexibility. Total exhibition space is in excess of 7000m².
The adjoining Echo Arena Liverpool will have 10,600 seats and will play host to major entertainment and sporting events. ACC Liverpool's partners are Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision, English Partnerships, the European Objective One programme and the North West Regional Development Agency.