The ACC Liverpool Group has welcomed the news of a lifeline grant from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
The group have been awarded £2.97 million, to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure a sustainable future.
Operator of the M&S Bank Arena, the ACC Liverpool Group is one of 35 major cultural organisations receiving the first grants between £1 and £3 million through the Culture Recovery Fund – with £75 million of investment announced.
M&S Bank Arena has played a key part in Liverpool’s regeneration since opening in 2008 and has been integral to the development of the city region’s cultural renaissance ever since hosting high profile events such as MTV Europe Music Awards, the Vitality Netball World Cup, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and artists ranging from Beyonce to Sir Paul McCartney.
From the beginning of the national lockdown, the venue postponed 34 concerts with expected attendance of 200,000, an estimated loss of £18 million in economic impact to the city.
The vital funding will support on-going operational costs until Spring 2021 and fund the purchasing of specialist equipment, to ensure the venue is COVID secure for all audience sizes.
Socially distanced events including The Classic Rock Show Christmas Party, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac and Jack and the Beanstalk will take place in December. The events programme next year includes Little Mix, Strictly Come Dancing, The Professionals, Dua Lipa and Elton John.
Bob Prattey, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “We are extremely grateful for the financial support we have received from the Culture Recovery Fund during this very challenging time. The grant will be used towards the operational costs of the arena until we are able to return to staging full capacity large scale arena shows.
“We continue to stand by our colleagues across the live music industry and support the hard work delivered to date through initiatives such as We Make Events and Let The Music Play.
“While we are very pleased to receive this funding for the arena, we still have no start date from the government as to when we can resume our growing conference and exhibition programme. This situation is severely curtailing our corporate financial performance and ability to generate economic impact for the city region through attracting visitors who stay in hotels and spend across the visitor economy in restaurants and retail outlets. We therefore continue to fight for clarity, guidance and a survival package for these sectors as well.
“Liverpool’s cultural and business strengths, assets and investments are key to the city region’s revival and to refuelling its economic recovery.”
For further information visit www.mandsbankarena.com