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River of Light's success shines bright

THE 4th outing of Liverpool's River of Light event has been hailed the most successful ever with around 150,000 people enjoying the free, outdoor trail over 17 nights. Each evening saw thousands of people take in the 12 large scale, stunning illuminated artworks which spanned a 2km route.

Celebrating the theme:- 'Rhythm of the Light,' each work was inspired by the relationship between the City, music and light, and included commissions such as:- Dance Together; a huge tribute to legendary nightclub Chibuku and Light Piano; an all in 1 instrument and a light display which wowed crowds in the Mann Island atrium.

The popularity saw a boost in footfall in the City Centre, with many restaurants and shops reporting high demand. Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle:- "It now officially feels like Liverpool is back! From the moment these artworks were switched on, residents and visitors flocked to the waterfront to experience what River of Light had to offer and social media was flooded with the most fantastic images of the City literally shining. Even the odd night of bad weather didn't put people off and the past 17 nights have highlighted the real appetite people have to get out and about and discover culture again, which is so wonderful when we think about where we were 12 months ago. After our hospitality and leisure sector was hit so hard by the Pandemic, it has been wonderful to see the economic boost that comes with staging events. It feels great to be able to announce that River of Light will return in 2022 and with the World Gymnastics Championships taking place in the City, at the same time, Liverpool will shine under the events spotlight once again."

Liverpool BID Company recorded their highest footfall rates since the start of the Pandemic, with 1.5 million people visiting the retail area during the October ˝ term; and compared to the fortnight before, there was around a 20% increase in footfall from 6pm each night.

Liverpool ONE also benefitted, with 15% more diners at their restaurants, compared to the same period in 2019. And there was also a retail boost with a 44% increase in sales; particularly in shops that sold toys, games and athletics/leisure wear. Similar to the BID area, visitor numbers in the evening escalated by 21% compared to 2019.

Following this year's success, the Culture Liverpool Team has announced River of Light will return in 2022 for another 17 nights of beautiful, illuminated art from Friday, 21 October 2021, until Sunday, 6 November 2021. The theme is being kept under wraps, but it will be a nod to the World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 which will be taking place in the City at the same time (Saturday, 29 October to Sunday, 6 November). Full details of the trail will be announced next year. To find out more about the World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022, visit:- 2022WorldGymnastics.Com.

The 12 artworks were:- Sonic Runway by Rob Jensen and Warren Trezevant, Iconic Site by Sans Facon, Trumpet Flowers by Amigo and Amigo, Wave by Squidsoup, Fly by Night by The Kazimier, Light Piano 2.0 XL by Kleurbleur, NOVA by Squidsoup, Limelight: Saturday Night by Sans facon, Dance Together by Lucid Creates and Suzannah Pettigrew, Liverpool, Love Of My Life by Chila Kumari Burman, Spritework by Pastel Castle and The Pool by Jen Lewin.

Natasha Glassock, Assistant Manager, Fazenda:- "The impact of River of Light on Fazenda has been invaluable. In an area of the City that is typically quieter it has brought us an enormous amount of footfall and introduced us to new guests that had not previously dined with us. We would very much welcome the installation each year."

Simone Chua from Amigo and Amigo and is the artist responsible for Trumpet Flowers, which was located within Exchange Flags:- "We absolutely loved presenting at Liverpool. It was our 1st exhibition since Covid19 and it was wonderful to see the crowds play with the flowers and interact with each other. Liverpool is 1 of the most friendly cities I have been to and as an artist I have been made to feel so welcome. Thank you Liverpudlians for having us; it was a blast!"

Rebecca Haycox, General Manager, Liverpool Gin Distillery, on Castle Street:- "River of Light was a great addition to the City, it was lovely to see the streets busy again with families out enjoying themselves. We saw a significant increase in footfall which was beneficial, as ˝ term can usually be a little quieter for venues such as ourselves."

Rebekah Foot, Assistant General Manager, at Revolution Bars Group:- "We have definitely seen the benefits from the River of Light especially during the ˝ term period with multiple families visiting the docks. It attracts a lot of footfall past our venue for drinkers and foodies; after the Pandemic the hospitality industry is still trying to get back to pre-Covid, so things like River of Light lend a massive helping hand to boost our revenue and also reach a new target market of people. It's also something different from the norm for people to visit and leave their houses for and all of the installations are so well done."

HMRC warns customers about Self Assessment tricksters

AS HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) prepares to issue emails and SMS to Self Assessment customers, the department is reminding them to be on their guard after nearly 800,000 tax related scams were reported in the last year. Fraudsters use Self Assessment to try and steal money or personal information from unsuspecting individuals. In the last year alone, HMRC has received nearly 360,000 bogus tax rebate referrals.

The Self Assessment deadline is 31 January 2022 and customers may expect to hear from HMRC at this time of year. More than 4 million emails and SMS will be issued this week to Self Assessment customers pointing them to guidance and support, prompting them to think about how they intend to pay their tax bill, and to seek support if they are unable to pay in full by 31 January 2021.

However, the department is also warning customers to not be taken in by malicious emails, phone calls or texts, thinking that these are genuine HMRC communications referring to their Self Assessment tax return.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's Director General for Customer Services, said:- "Never let yourself be rushed. If someone contacts you saying they're from HMRC, wanting you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard. HMRC will also never ring up threatening arrest. Only criminals do that. Scams come in many forms. Some threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion, others offer a tax rebate. Contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so if you are in any doubt whether the email, phone call or text is genuine, you can check the 'HMRC scams' advice on GOV.UK and find out how to report them to us."

Criminals use emails, phone calls and text messages to try and dupe individuals, and often mimic government messages to make them appear authentic. They want to trick their victims into handing over money or personal or financial information.

Customers can report suspicious phone calls using a form on GOV.UK; customers can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to:- Phishing@HMRC.Gov.UK, and texts to:- 60599.

HMRC has a dedicated team working on cyber and phone crimes. They use innovative technologies to prevent misleading and malicious communications from ever reaching the customer. Since 2017 these technical controls have prevented 500 million emails from reaching HMRC's customers. More recently, new controls have prevented 90% of the most convincing SMS messages from reaching the Public and controls have been applied to prevent spoofing of most HMRC helpline numbers.

HMRC is also reminding Self Assessment customers to double check websites and online forms before using them to complete their 2020/21 tax return. People can be taken in by misleading websites designed to make them pay for help in submitting tax returns or charging to connect them to HMRC phone lines. Customers who are in any doubt about whether a website is genuine should visit:- Gov.UK for more information about Self Assessment and use the free signposted tax return forms.

HMRC's advice to the Public:-


Take a moment to think before parting with your money or information.

If a phone call, text or email is unexpected, don't give out private information or reply, and don't download attachments or click on links before checking on GOV.UK that the contact is genuine.

Do not trust caller ID on phones. Numbers can be spoofed.


It's ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests; only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Search 'scams' on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.


Forward suspicious texts claiming to be from HMRC to:- 60599 and emails to:- Phishing@HMRC.Gov.UK. Report tax scam phone calls on GOV.UK.

Contact your bank immediately if you think you've fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud (in Scotland, contact the Police on:- 101).

Within the last 12 months HMRC has:-

Responded to 797,010 referrals of suspicious contact from the Public. Some 357,567 of these offered bogus tax rebates.

Worked with the telecoms industry and Ofcom to remove more than 1,282 phone numbers being used to commit HMRC-related phone scams.

Received 327,044 reports of phone scams in total, 21% up on the previous year.

Reported 8,561 malicious web pages for takedown.

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