Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 19:22 UK

City venues in huge culture boost

Tate Liverpool
Tate Liverpool has had a 21% boost in visitors from 2007

Liverpool's Capital of Culture events are having a dramatic effect on the number of people visiting the city, latest figures show.

More than two million people attended a cultural event or venue between January and March 2008 - a 30% rise on 2007.

The Walker Art Gallery, Tate Liverpool and Empire Theatre are among the venues experiencing a boost in visitors.

Organisers say the rise is treble their predictions and believe numbers will continue to grow as summer approaches.

John Millward, of National Museums Liverpool, said: "There's a big increase in people from Europe - from Spain, from France, from Germany - and particularly from China and the Far East.

"Certainly the Capital of Culture as a brand has got across to people."

In addition to almost 3,000 articles in UK newspapers and magazines, organisers say international coverage has boosted the city's profile.

Popular venues (% rise on 2007)
National Museums Liverpool - 589,184 (up 40%)
Empire Theatre - 172,665 (up 20%)
Tate Liverpool - 154,242 visitors (up 21%)
Beatles Story - 41,771 (up 36.6%)
The Cavern - 61,200 (up 14%)

The New York Times, Washington Post, Le Figaro, Germany's Stern Magazine and the Sydney Morning Herald are among the international titles which have carried articles about the city.

Phil Redmond, creative director of the Liverpool Culture Company, said he was pleased that people from the Merseyside area were also flocking to events in the city.

"There is definitely a Capital of Culture effect. People are now realising and actually getting on board," he said.

"There's so much going on across the city that people are now realising it's up to them to get out there and enjoy it."

More than 350 events are being staged as part of the city's 2008 celebrations.

Upcoming highlights include the Gustav Klimt exhibition at Tate Liverpool and the Walker gallery's "Art in the Age of Steam", featuring paintings by Van Gogh, Turner and Monet.

Highlights later in the year include the Liverpool Sound concert at Anfield on 1 June, the Tall Ships Races which start on 18 July and the MTV Europe Music Awards in November.

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Capital of Culture's effect on Liverpool tourism


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