The Mayor of Liverpool is offering businesses a unique opportunity to be part of a ‘club’ to grow one of the city’s most popular maritime events, and boost their business in the process.
Companies across the North West region are being approached to become part of Liverpool’s first Mayoral 100 Club – which would see up to 100 organisations pay £3,000 each to develop the International Mersey River Festival.
The Albert Dock is the first member to sign up to this innovative scheme as it has been at the heart of the festival for many years.
This year’s free River Festival was hailed as a huge success, attracting crowds of around 200,000 across the weekend. From 13-15 June fleets of vessels sailed in to the city, there was a packed programme of events at the Pier Head ranging live music, air displays, Zap Cat racing, a Brouhaha parade and a water polo tournament.
Mayor Joe Anderson has made a commitment to make the event one of the biggest maritime celebrations in the UK, and recognises the need to have the support of external businesses.
The money will be used to enhance and sustain the event and will enable the city to look at unique opportunities to showcase and market the magnificent waterfront to the world.
In return for the sponsorship, members of the Mayoral 100 Club would receive core benefits including business to business networking events, a VIP hospitality experience at the festival, member newsletters, use of the club logo and branding opportunities.
There will be three main sponsorship opportunities including overall Event Title Sponsor, Music on Waterfront Concert Sponsor and Maritime Education Programme sponsor.
Mayor Anderson said: “Culture and free cultural activities are hugely important to this city, and the International Mersey River Festival is certainly one of the most popular in our events calendar.
“However, we need to think differently about how we fund these events as we can’t achieve our ambitions with the city council being solely responsible for the financial support.
“We have seen with the likes of the giants and the music festival, that there is a real appetite from external organisations to be part of events – they recognise that as a city, we excel when it comes to staging outdoor events and as a result hundreds of thousands of people come and spend time and money in Liverpool.
“This positive economic impact benefits the city, creates jobs and, equally as important, generates a feel-good factor in the city which is massively important during these times of austerity.
“Initial discussions with businesses have been extremely positive, with many sharing my ambition to have one of the leading maritime events in the UK take place on our waterfront.
“We cannot stand still as a city. We are hugely ambitious and by working together with businesses we can fulfil the potential of the great iconic waterfront and in turn, promote the city and those individual businesses to the world.”
Sue Grindrod, Chairman of Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “Liverpool’s Mersey River Festival is an essential part of the city’s cultural calendar and the Mayoral 100 Club, creates a public and private sector partnership and a funding vehicle which will preserve this vibrant commercial asset.
“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Albert Dock, to praise Mayor Anderson and his team for constructing a platform, which creates opportunity for city stakeholders and partners to come together to secure the future of the River Festival and we are delighted to be the inaugural Mayoral 100 Club member.”
More than 150 companies have already been approached, with a number already expressing an interest in becoming a member.
The idea has been inspired by the success of Bristol’s 100 Club which goes towards financially supporting the city’s International Balloon Fiesta. The Fiesta is regarded as one of the UK’s top five outdoor events and attracts around 500,000 visitors each year.