Fury at arena subsidy scheme; Taxpayers and hoteliers may be asked to pay into fund.
LIVERPOOL'S new waterfront arena will need public money to subsidise its operating costs if it is to compete with rival arenas to attract major events to the city.
According to a report prepared for Liverpool City Council, both local council tax payers and hoteliers will be called on to contribute to a specially-created fund that will be used to subsidise the arena's running costs.
The revelation has angered local developers who believe the scheme and related residential developments at Kings Dock have received favourable treatment by city planners at the expense of private sector projects elsewhere.
The report, written for council leader Mike Storey, states: 'The competition for conferencing and exhibition business is fierce. Major organisers are faced with a wide range of choices across the UK and Europe.
'In deciding where to place a major event organisers will consider three issues: location, facilities and costs.
'With regard to the first two we are well placed.
'As a consequence, cost could be a deciding factor. To assist the new facility it is vital that the city develops a subvention policy. Effectively, this provides the venue with a means of offering reduced rates to organisers on the basis of the wider economic benefits brought to the city by conferences.
'Initially the fund will need to be created by the city with hoteliers contributing to this.'
Yesterday Bob Prattey, chief executive of Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre, said: '."
There is a need for a subvention fund. It is an investment that brings economic benefits to the region. It is common practice to support events.
'The subvention fund will not be required for all events. It will be for events that meet certain criteria.'
Mr Prattey said that the arena itself would create the equivalent of 1,300 full time jobs.
The council has abandoned its search for a private sector operator to run the arena.
Instead, a new council owned company will be set up shortly to manage the facility on behalf of the council, which owns the site
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Jul 20, 2005|
|Previous Article:||City report.|
|Next Article:||Hairdressing salon heading for the top.|