LIVERPOOL'S showpiece conference centre on the Kings Waterfront is to be named the BT Convention Centre as part of a five-year sponsorship deal. The BT Convention Centre, part of the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC Liverpool), is the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the UK to have secured a naming rights deal.
Liverpool FC star Peter Crouch was on hand to mark the occasion as Rob McVicker, BT's chief operator officer for Liverpool Direct Ltd, met with ACC Liverpool chief executive Bob Prattey and city council leader Warren Bradley to view progress on the building. This move follows a deal struck earlier this year for the naming rights to the arena, which is also a part of ACC Liverpool, now known as the Echo Arena.
The £146m venue will open in January 2008 in time for the opening ceremony of Capital of Culture. The BT Convention Centre will be fitted out with the very latest in communications technology, making it the best-equipped facility of its kind in Europe for complex events, exhibitions and conferences. The technology - supplied by Liverpool Direct Ltd, BT's joint venture company with Liverpool City Council - will include a voice-over-internet service, a push-to-talk IP communications system, full wireless coverage and advanced multimedia facilities for digital TV and electronic signage.
The complex, on the banks of the River Mersey, will comprise the 10,600-seat Echo Arena, the 1,350-seat BT Convention Centre and total exhibition space in excess of 7,000m². The BT Convention Centre will host its first event at the end of February, with completion of the final fitting out of all sections in April. The sponsorship deal, for an undisclosed sum, represents a continued commitment to major investment by BT in Liverpool, which is also an official Capital of Culture sponsor. As well as sponsoring the convention centre, BT is aiming to bring a series of high-profile events to the facility.
Jacquie Rogers, General Manager of the BT Convention Centre, said: "We are delighted that BT is coming on board as the official sponsor of the convention centre. The facility will be equipped with the very latest technology for users, making it amongst the best equipped convention centre in Europe." "BT is an internationally-renowned brand and this deal will deliver real value to both parties in terms of new business opportunities and national and international profile."
Rob McVicker, BT's chief operating officer for Liverpool Direct Ltd, said: "BT is delighted to further its relationship with Liverpool through the BT Convention Centre." "We will also be providing great technology, such as WiFi connectivity and a Vocera wireless telephone system."
ACC Liverpool chief executive Bob Prattey added: "Today's news comes just weeks before the Echo Arena stages the opening event for Capital of Culture next year so we're set for a fantastic few weeks for ACC Liverpool and the city of Liverpool in general." ACC Liverpool's partners are Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision, English Partnerships, the European Objective One programme and the North West Regional Development Agency.
About ACC Liverpool
Set to be one of the most eco-friendly venues in the UK, Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool is a £146 million project on the famous Kings Waterfront in Liverpool. The new venue will open in January 2008 at the dawn of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture. The impressive architectural design provides the 10,600-seat Echo Arena Liverpool and an adjoining Convention Centre with a 1,350 capacity purpose-built auditorium, 18 break-out rooms and 7,000m² of exhibition space. ACC Liverpool was developed and funded by a partnership of Liverpool Vision, national regeneration agency English Partnerships, Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the European Objective One Programme and Liverpool City Council.
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale. In the year ended 31 March 2007, BT Group plc's revenue was £20,223 million with profit before taxation of £2,484 million. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
About Liverpool Direct Ltd
In 2002, Liverpool City Council and BT entered into a 10-year partnership worth £300m and formed a Joint Venture company known as Liverpool Direct Ltd, each owning 19.9% and 80.1% respectively. The deal has recently been extended to 2017 and is now worth in excess of £800m. As part of the agreement, BT has invested £53m in new technology to improve and modernise council services. The BT investment and expertise has helped Liverpool transform from a poorly performing Local Authority with outdated working practices and computer systems, to an innovative, technologically advanced City which is leading the way in terms of local government modernisation.