Robin Knox-Johnston urges 130 leading figures

knox-johnstonSir Robin Knox-Johnston has urged more than 130 leading figures from the UK’s boating community to back the new Liverpool Boat Show.

Sir Robin, who is chairman of the steering committee for the show, said the event would be held in the surroundings of the historic Albert Dock in 2011 and would attract hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Organisations backing the Liverpool Boat Show include Liverpool City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Liverpool Vision, British Waterways, Albert Dock Liverpool, The Mersey Partnership and the new Liverpool Waterfront Partnership.

The show has secured major funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the support of key industry exhibitors.

More than 130 prospective marine industry exhibitors visited Liverpool to learn more about the show and its unique venue at a launch event.

Sir Robin said: “I have had the pleasure of experiencing Liverpool’s sheer love of yachts and all things connected to the sea through my association with the Clipper Round the World yacht race, the Tall Ships event, and Liverpool’s Year of the Sea.  

“The Liverpool Boat Show will be staged in the very heart of Liverpool, in the magnificent surroundings of the Albert, Salthouse and Canning Docks – the largest collection of Grade 1 listed buildings in Britain – and on one of the most architecturally stunning waterfronts in the world.

“We will use this unique historical setting to create a boat show unlike any other, with the potential to become one of the most important and spectacular events of its kind in Europe.”

The boat show will take place from April 29 to May 8 2011 and is being organised by Marine Industry Events Ltd, whose group portfolio includes the British International Motor Show.

The company’s managing director, Rob Mackenzie, said: “We have already secured major interest and a commitment from some of the main players in the industry.

 “Our target is to attract some 100,000 paying visitors plus a further audience of upwards of 300,000 non-paying visitors, creating a major new event on the international boating calendar.”

Richard Hewett, Director at Clipper Marine, distributors for brands such as Azimut Motor Yachts, Benetti Motor Yachts, Bavaria Sailing Yachts, Bavaria Motor Boats, Bryant Sports Boat and the Clipper Storm 22 Trailer Sailer, added: “My recent trip to Liverpool shows what a great venue this will be. This is not just another boat show but provides access to a new market and new clients. We are delighted to be a founder exhibitor.”

Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley said: “Liverpool is now one of the top tourist destinations in the UK and we and our partners have pledged our firm commitment to the show’s organisers to help them deliver what will become one of the most successful events of its kind in Europe.

“Our experience as a spectacularly successful European Capital of Culture, combined with the city’s compelling proposition as a commercial and tourist hub, means we are uniquely placed to deliver an event like this, capitalising on the city’s unique maritime heritage and assets.”

Lorraine Rogers, chief executive of The Mersey Partnership tourist board, said: “Liverpool can provide a spectacular setting for this ambitious event. It is sure to attract significant numbers of visitors to the city and our world-famous World Heritage Site waterfront. As the City Region’s official tourist board and investment agency, The Mersey Partnership welcomes the opportunities the Liverpool Boat Show 2011 can create for the region.”

Jim Gill, chief executive of economic development agency Liverpool Vision, added: “Liverpool has the proven ability to deliver major visitor projects. Our year as Capital of Culture saw the city’s partners work together to manage global events such as the MTV Europe music awards and the Tall Ships, creating massive local excitement and delivering mass audiences and worldwide exposure.”

Julie Sharman, Head of Regeneration North for British Waterways, added: “The South Docks is the perfect setting to hold this world class exhibition. British Waterways are delighted to be working with our partners to bring this event to Liverpool’s world -class heritage waterfront which will see the docks animated with boats from all over the world showcasing Liverpool as a first class destination.”

Sue Grindrod, chairman of Albert Dock Liverpool, added: “The Albert Dock is the most visited multi-user attraction in the UK outside of London with high profile attractions such as Tate Liverpool, Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum as well as The Beatles Story.  With its mix of bars and restaurants, large and small attractions, the Albert Dock offers something for everyone and is the ideal location for an event of this calibre. We look forward to welcoming exhibitors, their clients and visitors to Liverpool.”