Following a bidding process, the Ministry of Defence has selected Liverpool to stage the national celebrations which will take place in the city on 24 June 2017.
It will coincide with the International Mersey River Festival and so activities will take place across the weekend of 24 and 25 June. By falling on the same weekend, it will give the city council the opportunity to build on the existing offer, and although both events will remain distinct, links will be made so that they can work together in tandem.
The national celebrations are a chance for the public to show their support and appreciation for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from current serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.
Plans will now begin to be developed which will see a colourful spectacle, full of speed and excitement take over the city centre streets, while at the same time showcasing the breadth of skills and innovation which is at the heart of the Armed Forces.
It will look at the possibilities of installing military equipment across the city, as well as creating moments of animation and surprise.
Organisers will also look at how to integrate the wider city region within the celebrations to ensure the whole of Merseyside benefits from the celebrations.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “We do scale, spectacle and storytelling better than any other UK city, and I am delighted that our reputation for staging events has once again received national recognition, and as a result we have been selected as the location to host this prestigious celebration.
“This day gives us the chance to recognise the role of the Armed Forces and thank all those men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country.
“The fact that it will fall on the same weekend as River Festival is fantastic news and the two events will complement each other and it really will be a welcome addition to what is one of the most popular events in the city’s calendar.
“Next steps will see an organising committee set up, consisting of local representatives and people from the Armed Forces to develop plans to make sure Liverpool and the wider city region raises the bar for this special day.”
Earl Howe, the Minister of State for Defence, will officially present the National Armed Forces flag to the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson on Monday (25 July).
Earl Howe said: “Liverpool has long and deep links to the Armed Forces, particularly the Royal Navy, and is well-known for hosting spectacular celebrations; we’re delighted to select it for Armed Forces Day 2017, building on the success of this year’s celebration in Cleethorpes.
“The city’s national event will be a fantastic focal point for the UK to come together to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice of those that serve.”
Since 2014, an Armed Forces Day event has been held in the city at Albert Dock Liverpool, showcasing the Services at their best.
Major Jon Price, of the 156 Regiment RLC, who was previously involved in organising the city’s event, said: “The support for all three Services goes back generations and it could be said that it must be in the DNA, as almost every family in the Liverpool City Region knows someone who has served, or is currently serving, in the Forces and that the region continues to provide around 20% of recruits.
“For Liverpool to be awarded the title of lead city and host of the National Armed Forces Day, is a great honour and one which will undoubtedly be a huge success given its experience and expertise in holding major events.”