Visitors to Liverpool’s iconic Hope Street bring an estimated £81 million a year to the city, according to new research.
‘The Impact of Hope’ report was launched during a special event yesterday (29 March), outlining the economic benefits and other contributions the area and its key players make.
The document by the Visit Hope Street Community Interest Company (CIC) was presented by members Michael Eakin, chief executive of Liverpool Philharmonic; Matthew Linley, the Unity Theatre’s CEO and artistic director; and Canon Anthony O’Brien, the Dean of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at the Philharmonic’s Music Room venue.
According to ‘The Impact of Hope’s’ key figures, the total spend by visitors helps to support a further 1,000 jobs in Liverpool.
The Hope Street area, which links the city’s two cathedrals and is also home to cultural venues including the Everyman, Philharmonic, Unity and LIPA as well as numerous bars, cafes and restaurants, has been the subject of more than £60 million of investment during the last few years.
The cultural venues, cathedrals and a number of independent hospitality businesses are members of the Visit Hope Street CIC, alongside Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool.
The members, excluding the universities, are said to employ 1,500 people (equivalent to 622 full-time positions) and generate a gross turnover of £40m.
Speaking to guests during the launch, Michael Eakin said the CIC’s aim is to “increase the number of visitors at all times of the day” by working together.
Hope Street’s location within the Knowledge Quarter, which is the subject of a £1 billion regeneration and a further £1bn expansion into the former Archbishop Blanch school site, is expected to bring further growth alongside an ongoing rise in the number of events being held along the street.
In 2016 the CIC looked to capitalise further on Liverpool’s graduation ceremonies which, according to the report bring more than 25,000 people to the city, by turning the occasion into a festival along Hope Street.
Matthew Linley confirmed the organisation is planning to build on the success of that event in 2017, and also highlighted this year’s 50th anniversaries of The Mersey Sound and The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album as other drivers for footfall-enhancing Hope Street events.
Meanwhile Canon Anthony O’Brien said Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral’s golden jubilee celebrations, including a Cathedral Flower Festival from 2-5 June and a special projection art event on LightNight in May, are expected to attract thousands of people.