Albert Dock Liverpool – the North West’s most visited free tourist attraction – has reported a record-breaking year, with 6.3 million people visiting the iconic landmark in 2016.
The eight percent rise in visitors meant it deliveredan economic impact of £13 million to the visitor economy of Liverpool. The Dock also reported a staggering 29% year on year growth of coach numbers to the Grade I listed attraction.
The figures have been significantly enhanced by the launch of an exciting new programme of free, family events in 2016 – Steam, Vintage, Folk, Heritage and Pirate festivals – which reinforced Albert Dock’s status as a year-round destination for people of all ages to visit and enjoy. It is announced today that all these events will return in 2017 and will build on last year with exciting new additions to the schedule.
December saw the spectacular 4D projection ‘Countdown to Christmas’ lighting spectacular resulting in a 29% uplift against the same period of December 2015. The projection was brought about thanks to a unique collaboration with immersive technology specialists Crucial FX and National Museums Liverpool.
World-class exhibitions at Tate Liverpool (Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms, Tracey Emin and William Blake: In Focus, Yves Klein), Merseyside Maritime Museum (In safe hands: the story of the Liverpool Pilots), International Slavery Museum (Afro Supa Hero), the Beatles Story, and the arrival of Mattel Play! Liverpool, helped further boost visitor numbers at the Dock.
Sue Grindrod, chief executive, Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “We knew we were heading into 2016 with the challenge of matching the spectacular Three Queens event of 2015 – which was an event that attracted unprecedented crowds to the city’s waterfront. We also knew there was a gap in the city’s event programme of 2016 and that as a private sector company, there was an opportunity that we could help to supplement the calendar.
“Therefore, a significant investment was made in revitalising our annual event programme for 2016, which included bringing back some favourites with a new twist, like Pirate Festival and Vintage with Wayne Hemingway, and new commissions never-before-seen on Liverpool’s waterfront; Steam, Heritage, Folk and our Christmas 4D animation. It is wonderful to see that they have really resonated with our visitors.
“I must personally thank all the partners involved in bringing these brilliant events to life, ensuring that Albert Dock is animated throughout the whole year, offering visitors something exciting and unique to look forward to from January right through to December.”
Clare Rawlinson, marketing manager, Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “It is with great excitement that we can confirm all five flagship events will return in 2017 – even bigger and better than before! The city-wide event programme includes International Mersey River Festival, Armed Forces Day, 67-17: 50 Summers of Love, LightNight and British Style Collective. We will continue to work closely with our waterfront and wider city partners, including Culture Liverpool and Open Culture, to ensure these are a success.”
Events confirmed for 2017:
Steam on the Dock (May 6-7, 2017) – The UK’s only inner-city steam rally. Trains, boats and engines of the industrial age make Albert Dock their home for a weekend of toots, whistles and fun for families and steam enthusiasts alike.
Albert Dock Liverpool welcomes British Style Collective presented by The Clothes Show in association with Alcatel (July 7-9, 2017) – As part of the city-wide takeover, this will be an exciting new event in the festival calendar celebrating fashion.
Folk Festival on the Dock (August 26-28, 2017) – 2016 saw BBC’s Janice Long host the inaugural event, seeing the Dock welcome over 100 folk, roots, acoustic and sea shanty acts and almost 450 performers – many of them local – over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Join us as we celebrate Liverpool’s rich music and maritime heritage.
Heritage on the Dock (September 7-10, 2017) – This is a legacy event from the HLF-funded programme that invites the local community to embark on a journey of discovery over four days, celebrating the unique heritage and unlocking the secrets of this iconic Liverpool landmark.
Pirate Festival on the Dock (September 16-17, 2017) – This now legendary swashbuckling pirate adventure brings the whole family to the Dock, dressed up as their favourite pirates and mermaids, to join in the ship-shape shenanigans of our longest-running event, with live cannon battles and thrilling action under sail.
For more information on this and all other upcoming events at Albert Dock, please visit the Albert Dock websiteor on Twitter @theAlbertDock