Liverpool Vision eyes major events

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Liverpool skyline.  Pic: Vegard Grott

Liverpool skyline. Pic: Vegard Grott

A major player involved in the regeneration of Liverpool believes the city needs to push to host events that some feel are out of its reach.

Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company, hosted a talk this month on creating a world class city for business in which they spoke of the hopes and aims for the future.

The CEO of the company, Max Steinberg, told JMU Journalism: “This city needs to strive for more things we believe are out of our reach.

“We have ambitions to host the G7 and G12 summits as well the Commonwealth Games, as we now have the infrastructure to host these kinds of events.”

Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games back in 2002 and the team at Liverpool Vision, along with local MPs, feel the city is in a position to rival this neighbouring city in ways other than just football.

Once the £40m extension has been added to the BT Conference and Echo Arena, the ACC will be the biggest covered convention centre in the UK making the size of the building on a par with those in America. This will allow Liverpool to compete for conferences and conventions which would normally be associated with the likes of Earls Court in London and the ICC in Birmingham.

Mr Steinberg also revealed during his speech that the company aims to make Liverpool a much greener place in the hope of being able to place a bid for the European Green Capital 2016. Attempts to make this bid successful are already well underway with the launch of the city centre bike hire scheme this summer.

Previous winners of the European Green Capital Award, which is awarded to local authorities who display a high level of commitment to genuine progress in improving the environment, include Stockholm, Hamburg and Copenhagen.

The ambitions come after the success of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture 2008 as well as last spring’s Sea Odyssey. The Giant Spectacular cost £1.5 million to host yet saw a return of £35.5 million, with city centre hotels recording 99.9% occupancy during the two-day cultural event.

CEO of Liverpool Vision Max Steinberg, PM David Cameron and Mayor Joe Anderson © Facebook/International Festival For Business 2014

CEO of Liverpool Vision Max Steinberg, PM David Cameron and Mayor Joe Anderson © Facebook/International Festival For Business 2014

Max Steinberg last month joined Mayor Joe Anderson in welcoming Prime Minister David Cameron to announce that the International Festival For Business will be held in the city in 2014.

Mr Steinberg still feels the infrastructure within the city must be drastically improved, claiming that bulldozers will need to be brought in to attract more business.

He told JMU Journalism: “There are so many great areas within the city centre but then you look to your right and see one of these grot-spots and your heart just sinks.”

In reference to the waterfront and the controversy that surrounds some of the newer buildings lining the water’s edge, Mr Steinberg told JMU Journalism: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would give up our World Heritage UNESCO status in order to ensure we received the £5 billion investment from Peel Holdings to improve the waterfront developments and further enhance Liverpool’s chances of hosting some of these great events.

“Cities do not stand still – they are dynamic. This city will continue to be creative by experimenting with the buildings here.”

About Alice Kirkland, JMU Journalism