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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 15:50 GMT
Cabbies sell city's culture bid
Liverpool waterfront
Liverpool is one of 14 UK cities competing for the title
Taxi drivers and concierges in Liverpool are improving their local knowledge to promote the city's bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The Liverpool Culture Company wants to raise awareness of its aspirations among visitors and residents.

Cabbies and hotel doormen were encouraged to attend a briefing at the famous St George's Hall.

The session included information on bid timescales, the judging processes and plans for summer 2008.

Liverpool's awash with great architecture which we can point out to people as we drive past it

Neil Richards, taxi driver

The bid chief, Sir Bob Scott, said: "It is vital that the frontliners of the city have the knowledge and resources to talk up Liverpool's bid.

"When a visitor takes a taxi ride we want them to be bowled over by the enthusiasm and pride Liverpool residents have for their city."

Neil Richards, who has been driving a hackney cab on Merseyside for 12 years, said the intiative was a positive one.

"I'm pleased they're finally recognising taxi drivers as ambassadors for the city. We're the first point of contact for visitors.

Heritage seminars

"When people come to a strange city, they'd rather ask a taxi driver about something than a policeman.

"Liverpool's awash with great architecture which we can point out to people as we drive past it."

The Liverpool Culture Company plans to fund future seminars and courses on civic heritage for taxi drivers.

Other aspirants to the European title are Cardiff, Belfast, Bristol, Inverness, Birmingham, Newcastle and Gateshead, Canterbury, Brighton, Oxford, Norwich, east London and Milton Keynes.

Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

03 Oct 01 | England
Riots clash with culture title
26 Apr 00 | Wales
Hopes of European culture title
31 Oct 00 | UK
Joining the culture club
06 Nov 01 | UK
Police pose as cab drivers
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