It may only be July, but the Culture Liverpool team is already facilitating festive plans for the city centre.
A report which is due to be considered at next week’s Cabinet meeting (Friday 22 July), seeks approval to award contracts to two separate external operators who will oversee two different city locations. This follows a successful procurement tender exercise earlier this year.
Clarke Events and Arena Structures scored highest in the process, and if Cabinet gives the report the green light, they will take sole responsibility for the markets over a three-year period.
The markets will be located outside St George’s Hall on the plateau and at the top of William Brown Street, with the option to use St John’s Gardens if there is sufficient demand for stalls from traders. There will also be a festive offering at the Pier Head which will have a large ice-rink as its centrepiece. Both sites will also feature a number of family-friendly vintage rides.
Each of the locations will include stalls selling food, drink, gift items and local artisan products, and measures will be in place to manage the number of stalls selling alcohol. There will be a number of cabins which will feature items and products by local artists, community groups and producers and there will also be performance spaces created for choirs and schools to use.
The report outlines that the new operators must ensure the markets are in-keeping with their location, and no on-site build can start until after Remembrance Sunday.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:
“Our Christmas market and ice-rink have become a core event of our cultural calendar and each year they prove to be hugely popular with visitors keen to embrace the festive spirit.
“It’s a really important economic driver for the city which brings in visitors from outside the city boundaries, and who not only spend time and money at the markets, but also in the city’s shops, bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels.
“There are exciting plans in place for both festive offerings which have the best backdrops around – St George’s Hall and the Three Graces – we’ll be the envy of other cities!”
Head of City Assets and Events, Angie Redhead, said:
“We are always looking at how we can build and improve on what we do. Handing over responsibility to a third party for a significant number of years helps us achieve that – year-on-year they will be able to invest in infrastructure to help develop and grow their offer by understanding what does and doesn’t work for our audience.
“The Christmas market and ice-rink are there to complement the wider Christmas offer of partners around the city such as Liverpool ONE, BID and the Royal Albert Dock, making Liverpool the perfect family-friendly Christmas destination.”
Top image: Liverpool Christmas Market 2021, taken by Stratus Imagery.