Liverpool Christmas Market outside St George's Hall

City Council Planning a Merry Mersey Christmas

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It may only be March, but Christmas planning is already under way for Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team.

Following the huge success of 2023’s Christmas Market outside St George’s Hall – which welcomed more than 750,000 visitors across 36 days – there are initial plans in place to explore the potential expansion of the offer for 2024.

The City Council is looking at options to give a festive makeover to Liverpool’s Pier Head, which would complement the Hall’s market. A tender process is now live, which asks organisations to submit ideas around re-introducing an Ice Festival, with the emphasis on providing an ice rink and other entertainment in-keeping with the surroundings.

The tender document can be found on the website and the closing date is Friday 12 April 2024.

An independent report has evaluated the impact of the 2023 Christmas market, and found that:

  • 93 percent of visitors surveyed would return.
  • An impressive 100 per cent of those surveyed enjoyed the event, with public transport links and the friendliness of staff receiving praise.
  • Nearly 50 per cent of visitors surveyed were on day trips to visit the market, while 18 per cent had organised an overnight stay in Liverpool around their visit.
  • Couples were the most prolific visitors and the most popular age profile was 25 to 34 years old.
  • It was a first-time experience of Liverpool’s Christmas markets for 47 per cent of visitors.
  • As well as visiting the market, 56 per cent of visitors also spent money in a city centre eatery, and the next most popular activity was city-centre shopping
  • In terms of growing and expanding, 22 per cent of people would like to see more gift and craft stalls, along with more vegan and vegetarian food options.  

Claire McColgan, Director of Culture at Liverpool City Council, said: “There was a real buzz around our Christmas markets offer last year, and from the moment it opened in November, footfall was up and visitors were specifically heading into the city centre to plan a visit focused around the markets.

“To have welcomed three quarters of a million people is impressive given the compact footprint of the event site itself, and there is now real scope to look at expanding the offer and sharing the festive love across the city centre.

“There hasn’t been an ice rink at the Pier Head since 2019, so we’re keen to encourage expressions of interest from festive events specialists who will bring an experience which is not only in-keeping with the beautiful surroundings, but will have real visitor appeal and position Liverpool as the perfect location to get into the Christmas spirit.”

Liverpool Waterfront