The Labour Party is to bring its main autumn conference to Liverpool for the first time, generating tens of millions of pounds for the city's economy. The news that one of the UK's two main parties has chosen the city for its biggest annual gathering is a major coup for the city.
The decision follows a joint bid to stage the event which was submitted by a consortium led by ACC Liverpool, Liverpool City Council and The Mersey Partnership. The four day event will be held at ACC Liverpool, utilising both the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, in September 2011 and will be the largest ever conference held in the city.
The conference will result in a high demand for accommodation bringing thousands of additional bookings for local hotels. This year's (2009) conference takes place in Brighton, with the 2010 event taking place in Manchester.
Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "This is really exciting news. Liverpool is one of only a small number of UK cities able to host such major events. The billions of pounds invested into making the city an attractive, vibrant and welcoming destination has been a major factor in securing one of the country's biggest conferences. "Not only do you need the excellent facilities the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool offers, but you also have to have a large number of high quality hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues for the thousands of delegates, visitors and media. This single event will be worth millions for businesses throughout the city."
Cllr Paul Brant, Deputy Leader of the Liverpool Labour Group, said: "The fact the city now has ACC Liverpool means this national conference can be brought to the City. The media interest and boost to the local economy will only help to boost the City and increase our international profile. The City's warm welcome and stunning visitor attractions are making us the destination of choice."
Lorraine Rogers, Chief Executive of The Mersey Partnership, added: "Winning events of this magnitude confirms our position as one of the UK's and Europe's leading conference destinations. This event will create huge opportunities for Liverpool City Region's leisure, tourism and retail sectors. Delegates and exhibitors at this type of event are extremely well-connected and very influential. It is a terrific opportunity to showcase this region to them as well as the international media who will travel here to cover the Conference." Up to 20,000 people are expected to attend the 2011 conference, including delegates, journalists and lobbyists.
Bob Prattey, Chief Executive of ACC Liverpool, said: "Our venue is perfect for high profile events like this because it can be effectively sealed off to create a secure 'campus' site. The venue also appealed to the Labour Party because of our unique combination of facilities, which allows them to utilise not only the BT Convention Centre but also the adjacent Echo Arena, providing a further 10,600 seats. We have proved through events such as the meeting of the Cabinet in Liverpool and by staging the Liberal Democrats' Spring conference that we have the facilities, the team and the expertise to stage events such as this."