Liverpool Biennial success, says report

Liverpool’s Biennial art exhibition was worth over £5 million to the local economy, according to new figures.

An independent evaluation by BOP Consulting says that using Treasury calculations the event, which ran from 9 July until 16 October 2016.  

The Biennial presented work by over 50 artists across more than 20 sites, including public spaces, unused buildings, galleries and online and included Bloomberg New Contemporaries and the John Moores Painting Prize.

The BOP report says some 1.2 million visited the Liverpool Biennial at some point, helping to establish the reputation of Liverpool as a cultural destination. This figure includes 109,339 ‘highly engaged’ visitors who made 645,100 visits to Biennial venues – an average of 5.9 venues per visitor 60% of visitors were from outside the city, with 36% from outside the North West, including 9% from outside the UK.

The event was also a success with artists, 84% of participating artists reported that they think the Biennial will positively contribute to their work in the coming 12 months. it also had a significant ‘placemaking’ role, says the report, with 80% of attendees agreeing that ‘it’s important that [the Biennial] is happening here’.

The survey also suggests that many of those who came are already interested in art, with 89% of visitors having attended an arts event more than three times in the previous year (compared to a national average of 61%). Other statistics show that 26% of those attending came from the poorest 20% of UK neighbourhoods and 16% came from the wealthiest 20% of neighbourhoods. 52% of attendees were female, compared to 60% in 2014 and 25% of attendees were non-White British (compared to a North West average of 12%).

The economic benefit is equivalent to supporting 138 permanent full time jobs in Liverpool or 128 permanent full time jobs in the North West, above and beyond those directly employed by Liverpool Biennial, says the report.


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