Boat Show plans for city

Plans are underway which could see a brand new maritime event come to Liverpool in 2015.

Discussions have been taking place for the city to host The Northern Boat Show next year, brought here by Carnah Events.

It would be part of the International Mersey River Festival, running from the 5-7 June, and would see world class sailing and power boats head for the Mersey attracting buyers from across the country who will not only be able to see these vessels against the beautiful backdrop of the waterfront but also have access to the latest marine products, systems and services.

The event is intended to showcase the latest sailing and power boats in Albert Dock.  There will be a land-based exhibition on the quayside next to Salthouse Dock.

The show is organised by Carnah Events which has a strong track record of delivering highly successful consumer shows including The Northern Home Show in Manchester and The Southern Home Show held in North London’s Alexandra Palace.

It is hoped that a boat show would attract thousands of enthusiasts, with all the funding for the event coming solely from the private sector. 

Richard Milbourn, Event Director of the new show said: “Market research shows that half of all UK boat ownership is north of Birmingham and yet less than five per cent of visitors to Southampton or London boat shows come from the North of England.

“We’re looking forward to capturing this untapped market.  As an experienced skipper with an International Certificate of Competence I have a passion for sailing and boats. I understand the marine leisure market and the logistics involved in presenting a spectacular boat show in the heart of Liverpool.”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Liverpool can provide the perfect platform for a boat show and it’s fantastic prospect for the city. A boat show element of the already hugely popular River Festival would take it to the next level.

“Their plans are at an early stage, but Carnah Events have great experience and are determined to make this inaugural show a huge success, with the aim of making it a permanent part of our events calendar. I applaud their ambition and I wish them luck.”

In 2014, the International Mersey River Festival attracted around 200,000 visitors and saw a packed programme of maritime activities for all the family. Tall Ships, naval vessels and barges were just some of the boats which people could explore.  Walking tours, Yakovlev Air Shows, model boat displays, flyboarding, Zap Cat racing, have-a-go water sport sessions and the 25th International Canoe Polo Tournament also proved hugely popular.

Music on the Waterfront also forms part of the River Festival celebrations and this year the waterfront stage saw a DJ set from Craig Charles, as well as performances from acts including The Christians, Jaki Graham, Esco Williams, the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland.

For more details about the boat show, visit

The proposals are supported by Albert Dock, Gower Street Estate and the Canal & River Trust.

Sue Grindrod, chair of Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “‘Albert Dock and our Waterfront partners, Canal & River Trust, are very supportive of the outline plans to bring The Northern Boat Show to Liverpool.

“We look forward to the full plan from Culture Liverpool as we have seen how amazing The River Festival is for the economy and this could be a brilliant addition to the calendar.”

Liverpool Waterfront