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Issue:- 26 April  2012

City on crest of a wave following Sea Odyssey spectacular
Photograph by Patrick Trollope.

OVER one million people visited Liverpool City Centre to see the Sea Odyssey; creating record levels of trade for businesses. These figures have come from cameras monitoring footfall in the city’s Business Improvement District from Friday, 20 April to Sunday, 22 April 2012. The city council estimates that of the people who were in the city over the weekend, around 600,000 spent time taking part in the Sea Odyssey. The Giant Spectacular is believed to have boosted the local economy to the tune of a massive £12 million. Shops, restaurants and tourist attractions all saw a huge rise in visitor numbers.

Liverpool’s city central Business Improvement District (BID) saw a footfall of 990,000 over the 3 days. This is 53% higher than the Grand National weekend which was held just one week before, and is 37.5 percent higher than the same date in 2011. The number of shoppers in Liverpool ONE surged to a total of 279,000, that's an increase of almost 25% on last year’s figures.

National Museums Liverpool recorded huge visitor figures in comparison to last year. The Walker Art Gallery increased by 145%, the Maritime Museum was up by 130%, the Pier Master’s House was up 78% and the World Museum saw twice as many visitors as last year.

Merseytravel figures show 11,000 people went on a ferry during the weekend; a 143% increase on last year. An extra ferry also hit the water on Sunday which hosted an additional 650 people, giving them an amazing view of the 3 giants sailing down the River Mersey.

Tate Liverpool recorded three times as many visitors as the previous Grand National weekend and twice as many as Easter

The Albert Dock saw an average 36% increase in visitors. Restaurant What’s Cooking reported a 36.5% uplift on last year’s sales with 1200 new customers.

The Metquarter saw their weekly figures increase by 24.5% on last year; impressive since there is a national average downturn in retail of 5.3%.

Elaine Cunningham Interiors on Chapel Street experienced sales which were 300% higher on 2011. Hotel Indigo recorded a doubling of visitors and hot drinks sales were also three times that of a normal weekend.

Councillor Wendy Simon, Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, said:- "We always knew this would be a huge weekend for the city, but Sea Odyssey exceeded our expectations in terms of the crowd numbers and their reaction to the show. It was a joy to see the streets packed with people who were genuinely moved by the story unfolding before their eyes and the feedback we’ve received from people across the world has been astounding. Sea Odyssey has cemented Liverpool’s reputation as a city which brings fantastic, free, world-class culture to the streets. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who worked so hard on bringing this spectacular to the city and a big thank you to the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets to support this incredible event; I’m sure the memories of giants taking over our city stay with them for a lifetime."

An independent report is currently being collated and final figures will be available within the next couple of months.

Theses are just a few of the comments Liverpool Council's Press Office have had so far:-

Ged Gibbons, Chief Executive of City Central BID, said:- "Liverpool city council deserves all the praise it is receiving for having the ambition to commission and deliver an event of such epic proportions. Besides the obvious immediate feel good factor Sea Odyssey generated for spectators and businesses, it also provided a huge boost to Liverpool's profile as a ‘can do’ city. I think the clear message is 'continue to think BIG, please'."

Peter Cronin, Business Development Manager, Albert Dock Estate said:- "The giant spectacular was the best thing to happen in the city this year so far. It was an honour for the Albert Dock to be a key part in those proceedings and our visitor numbers reflect the importance of large events like this in attracting tourists to Liverpool. Our tenants have also seen the benefit of increased footfall this weekend, which shows the grass roots impact that events like this can have on Liverpool businesses."

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool said:- "Sea Odyssey was an incredible event that helped our visitor figures to soar. National Museums Liverpool already attracts more than 3.2 million visitors a year to our museums, but I think we broke our daily attendance records over the Sea Odyssey weekend. It was great to see the streets, and our museums, bursting with happy people!"

Jim Barclay, Merseytravel interim chief executive, said:- "It was an amazing weekend for Liverpool, and Merseytravel were proud to be a sponsor of an event that was publicised around the world."

Chris Bliss, Estate Director, Liverpool ONE said:- "Sea Odyssey was a landmark event for Liverpool and from a retail perspective had a very positive impact. Liverpool ONE welcomed shoppers, not only from the local areas, but those from further afield around the UK too. The event had great pull which has benefited the whole city. Interestingly, footfall to Liverpool ONE’s information centre increased by 160% and trade for impulse purchases such as coats and umbrellas was also up. Without doubt, Giant Spectacular made the city buzz with excitement and hopefully those visiting the city for the first time will return."

Andrea Nixon, Executive Director of Tate Liverpool, said:- "Sea Odyssey was not only a fantastic and memorable event, it was also a great achievement for Liverpool generating a huge amount of interest in the city's cultural institutions. Tate Liverpool had a 300% increase on visitors compared to a normal weekend at this time of year."

Joe Hull, General Manager at Gusto said:- "Gusto opened early both Saturday and Sunday and we were full all weekend, an awesome result for us against a big weekend last year. Saturday was not far away from our record highest day."

Jennina O’Neill, Metquarter Centre Manager said:- "The huge success of Sea Odyssey proved to be a real boost to trade at Metquarter. We were absolutely delighted with the huge increase in footfall, as thousands of additional visitors; in town to see the extravaganza; taking the opportunity to shop with us. It was a great example of how cultural events can be a real boost to the retail sector."

Click here to read our event report in this weeks edition.

Christakis opens with VIP's
Photographs by Ian Fairbrother and Dave Evans

A brand new Greek restaurant for opened in style on Saturday, 21 April 2011, on Smithdown Road in Wavertree. This brand new Merseyside restaurant is run by the Christakis family and its name, Christakis Greek Restaurant. They have good experience, as the family has over the past 30 years, already ran an extremely popular Liverpool City Centre venue. From the looks of it, they are on to a winner, with some interesting VIP's turning up to sample the authentic Greek-Cypriot cuisine cooked over charcoal. We have been told by one of the VIP's that this was a "fantastic party night."

Witnesses wanted following assault of a man in a well known Southport bar

MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for information following an assault of a man in a Southport bar in the early hours of Sunday, 25 March 2012. Police Officers were called to the Draft bar in the Scarisbrick Hotel on Lord Street at around 12.30am after receiving a report that a man had been assaulted. On arrival they found a 42 year old man with serious injuries to his head. The man was taken to hospital by ambulance where he was treated for his injuries. He has since been discharged. He has been left very shaken following the incident.

The offender is described as a white man, 5 ft 10ins - 6ft, around 25 years to 35 years, of stocky build with short dark hair. He was wearing a light-coloured top and dark coloured trousers.

DC Jennifer Nixon said:- "This was a nasty attack on a man who had been enjoying a night out. He sustained serious injuries as a result of the attack and is currently recovering at home. We take incidents of this nature extremely seriously and we are appealing to anyone with any information about the person responsible for this attack to call us so we can take action against them."

An investigation into the full circumstances of the incident is ongoing and CCTV is being examined from the area. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sefton CID on:- 0151 777 3811 or Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111.

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