50-day extravaganza

The famed River Mersey Festival held over a June weekend each year is to become a massive 50-day extravaganza in 2014. The Government has pumped in £5 million for the event – likely to be opened by Prime Minister David Cameron as a trade show for Britain plc to show off its wares.

The festival, which opens on 5 June and run until 24 July, will be the biggest of its kind in the world. Joining the exhibitors will be Tall Ships, Superyachts and cruising boats.

Apprenticeships in the marine industry will be launched and as preparations are being made even Liverpool’s famous Football Club have joined the local trade association, Mersey Maritime, which has seen its membership numbers surge over the past three months.

Mersey Maritime chief executive, Jim Teasdale, said the growth in membership numbers reflected the “fundamental importance” of the region’s maritime industry which employs 28,000 people and has a combined turnover of £2.6bn.

“Mersey Maritime represents more than 1,700 businesses of all sizes, from a very broad range of sectors,” Mr Teasdale told the Liverpool Daily Post.

“Welcoming new members such as Liverpool FC and Beech Group shows the range of opportunities that exist for businesses of all kinds.

“No other membership body in the entire North West focuses on the maritime sector like we do.

“Maritime is going places. The stellar plans for SuperPort show the scale of ambition and opportunity here including Peel’s Atlantic Gateway and its new £300m Liverpool2 river terminal.”