The Echo Arena Liverpool and the BT Convention Centre are set to inject a phenomenal £100million into Merseyside's economy in 2008, bosses have revealed today.
The figure was announced as the Echo Arena prepares to open its doors to its first-ever audience this evening. The £100million spending boost the city can expect as a direct result of ACC Liverpool's opening is way ahead of original projections when building work first began in October 2005.
ACC Liverpool's Chief Executive Bob Prattey said: 'The original targets set for the teams who work for both the Echo Arena and the BT Convention Centre have been well and truly smashed already for 2008. 'In both the Echo Arena and the BT Convention Centre, we have taken about 40% more business than was first being forecast. 'That has had a knock-on effect on the economic impact of the facility, which according to Visit Britain's model means we are now on course to deliver £100million of spending by visitors. 'That is fantastic news for everyone from restaurants and hotels to cab drivers - and is a real testament to just how much people want to come and visit the city in 2008.'
Over 8,500 08 Ambassadors and volunteers have been invited to tonight's event at the state-of-the-art building. They will get a sneak preview of the venue before the official opening of the city's year as European Capital of Culture on Saturday 12th January. Around £40million of the economic boost this year will come from visitors to the Echo Arena as they come to watch everyone from Girls Aloud to WWE Wrestlemania, as well as the prestigious MTV Europe Music Awards in November.
The other £60million will be generated by the adjoining BT Convention Centre, which is set to welcome high-spending conference delegates from organisations as varied as Liberal Democrats, the British Council of Shopping Centres and the Royal College of Nursing. The 10,600-seat Echo Arena now has over 100 shows booked for 2008, while the BT Convention Centre has 160.
Council Leader Warren Bradley said: 'The whole city should be proud of the Echo Arena and the BT Convention Centre, a project which will result in lasting economic benefits to Merseyside and its people. 'It really will cement the city's position on the map for both leisure and business visitors.' ACC Liverpool is situated on the famous King's Waterfront and its partners are Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision, English Partnerships, the European Objective One programme and the NWDA.