ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, is kicking off the New Year by celebrating its fifth birthday.
The venue opened its doors on January 12 2008 with the official opening ceremony for Capital of Culture, launching a year-long celebration and signalling the culmination of a decade of regeneration in the city.
In its first year it attracted more than 618,000 visitors to 269 events, generating an economic impact of £207m to the city region.
Since then, ACC Liverpool has attracted almost 3 million visitors to 1,100 events and generated £620m in economic benefit for the local economy.
Highlights at Echo Arena Liverpool over the past five years include the MTV Europe Music Awards, the MOBO Awards 2010 and 2012, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and X-Factor Boot Camp, which alone reached more than 16 million TV viewers. Artists who have performed at the arena include Sir Paul McCartney, Beyonce, Lionel Richie, Kings of Leon and Rihanna whilst sporting events include the World Netball Series and the Davis Cup.
BT Convention Centre has hosted a series of high profile conferences including Labour Party annual conference, BBC Worldwide Showcase, the Royal College of Nursing Congress and the Liberal Democrats spring and annual conferences - Lib Dems are set to return in 2014 for their annual conference. 2012 saw the return of events including the British Council of Shopping Centres and the National Cancer Research Institute.
David McDonnell, chairman of ACC Liverpool, said: “Prior to opening, it was felt that there was a real need for a venue like ours in Liverpool. Now five years on we’ve proved this was most definitely the case, bringing world class events to the city – the likes of which had never been seen before in Liverpool.
“We know that the people of Liverpool are proud to have a venue like ACC Liverpool and our aim is to live up to this vote of confidence by continuing to bring fantastic concerts, sporting events, family entertainment and conferences to the city.”
ACC Liverpool has achieved a series of awards since opening including a RIBA award; Conference & Incentive Travel Hot List Awards for Sustainability and Best Conference Centre; and successive annual Tourism awards from the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership for Best Performance Venue, Sustainable Tourism and Business Tourism.
As the venue enters its sixth year, it has further plans to develop the waterfront site with the construction of Exhibition Centre Liverpool (ECL), which will allow the ACC Liverpool team to move into a new market.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that ACC Liverpool has transformed the city. Not only does it bring top international acts and conferences here, but it also supports thousands of jobs and provides a massive boost to the local economy.
“It’s no surprise that this award winning venue attracts such a high calibre of events, and people return again and again because of the facility and the fantastic welcome they receive when they visit the city.
“ACC Liverpool may only be five years old, but it is already a much loved and iconic part of our world famous waterfront and will continue to put Liverpool on the map in terms of bringing outstanding events to millions.”
Mr McDonnell continued: “Even though we are no longer the new kid on the dock, we are by no means resting on our laurels. We look forward to work starting on site for ECL in autumn this year which will enable us to enter into a new market of hosting large scale consumer and trade exhibitions as well as continuing with successful conferences and events.
“This will bring new benefits and develop our offer for customers and delegates in Liverpool, the UK and internationally.”