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Ten years ago, Liverpool stood firmly on a world-renowned stage and embraced its well-earned title of European Capital of Culture. Liverpool city of culture transformed the way the world perceived the modern metropolis of art, culture and sport and propelled Liverpool into an instantly recognisable destination.

The decision to bid for the European title was instigated before the turn of the millennium eighteen years ago and foundations were made to start revolutionising the region’s collective ambition. Eight years later after a total of £4billion of public and private investment, fuelled by cultural activity, Liverpool’s visitor economy had doubled. Liverpool had secured its reputation and began to be increasingly more attractive to overseas visitors with notable spending powers.

Liverpool today presents itself as a beacon of excellence amongst major cities vying for recognition of the same calibre – undoubtedly one of UK’s most predominant millennial cities.

Liverpool Capital of Culture 2008

Earning a Liverpool European Capital of Culture title was the green light for Liverpool to experiment with new challenges, collaborate with other cities and celebrate everything they are famed for. 2008 was an influential time for reflection, to appreciate the city and understand where there are opportunities for progression in the future.

10 years have passed and speculation surrounding whether 2018 can exceed expectations and withhold 2008s reputation is arising. Liverpool is to celebrate the past decade of unprecedented success through a year-long programme of inspirational events named ’Eighteen for 18’ to reflect the game-changing year the city experienced in 2008.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson OBE has revealed work is underway on ‘Eighteen for 18’ and aims to shine a light on the importance of culture within the ongoing renaissance of the city and how it will play an important part in the blueprint for the success of the Liverpool City Region in the forthcoming years.

 “Liverpool 2018 will provide the city region with another opportunity to boost the economy and showcase what a great place to work, live, trade and invest Liverpool is.”

Museum of Liverpool

 “The next 12 months will recognise the extraordinary cultural scene which takes place in this city day in day out. There will be some incredibly special moments to look forward to”, he said.

‘Four seasons’ will act as a muse for the programme. China Dream, Brittle Heart, The Art of Football and The Future of Work are central focuses looking to position culture and creativity at the heart of all aspects of the city, destined to inspire different ways of thinking about ideas, people and places.

Festivals and events which began in 2008 are acting upon their legacy anniversary year to propel themselves into the forefront once again. Show stopping exhibitions from local art galleries and museums and thought-provoking theatre performances are a hint at what can be expected, leaving the city brimming with passion, talent and creative spirit.

Discussions are in place to potentially see the return of some familiar faces – the awe-inspiring Royal de Luxe’s Giants. Spectators were left speechless as they lined the streets in 2012 and 2014 to witness arguably one of the most magical events the city has ever seen. Following on from two previous visits to Liverpool, the final time will complete the trilogy and mark the 10th anniversary of Liverpool Capital of Culture 2008.

Royal de luxe Liverpool Giants

Jean Luc Courcoult, Royal de Luxe’s charismatic founder and artistic director, expresses how honoured they are to be returning to Liverpool and discovering the other side of the River Mersey on their visit,

 “The welcome we receive from the people of the city warms our hearts and we are excited about not only bringing a brand-new story to Liverpool, but also to exploring beautiful Wirral for the first time.

“As it will be our last giant show here we think it will be very special, and we hope people will enjoy our final farewell to the city which is our second home.”

The Eighteen for 18 new commissions will be integrated alongside celebrating the city’s existing cultural offer and will aim to attract audiences of around five million people, creating upwards of £50million economic impact, launching Liverpool to the top of the ‘must visit’ cities in 2018.

Mayor Anderson passionately suggests,

“We want everything we do in 2018 to build on the wonderful work which has taken place in the city since 2008. 2018 will be the next watershed year in the history of Liverpool and one which will make everyone who lives here proud, and everyone that doesn’t live here wonder why they don’t.

“The last four years alone have seen major events generate £177million for the local economy – which is why government of culture is so integral to the city”.

During the Liverpool Capital of Culture, 9.7 million additional visitors were attracted to the spectacle in 2008, constituting 35% of all visits to the city, generating an economic impact of £753.8 million – the highest for any European Capital of Culture to date.

Liverpool Culture Company has a key role to play in the continued development across the city and initiates the drive towards increased cultural diversity and growth. A major role is to coordinate and support the city’s cultural infrastructure whilst reflecting the city’s characteristic creativity and underpin Liverpool’s future position as a premier European destination for culture, tourism and investment.

Claire McColgan MBE, Director of Culture, outlines how Liverpool has surpassed all expectations,

 “As a city we are committed to investing in culture and the arts, and I think that Liverpool 2018 perfectly encapsulates why we have done that.

“What is planned for this year showcases the scale of our innovation and ambition – setting us apart from other cities and helping us continually use culture to attract visitors, investment and create and maintain jobs.

“Without doubt, Liverpool is the most exciting city in the UK and in 2018 it’s the place to be if you want to experience something special”.

Under the watchful eye of the city’s iconic Liverbirds, the city’s heart beats with pride. Liverpool is a city like no other, a city that understands the journey it’s been on and a city that knows where it is heading – a city that doesn’t need any reminder that Liverpool is still the people’s Capital of Culture.

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