The Queen today officially opened Exhibition Centre Liverpool and its adjoining hotel Pullman Liverpool.
During a tour of the city, Her Majesty’s first stop was a visit to the International Festival for Business (IFB2016), a global business event currently taking place at the waterfront venue.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were greeted by Bob Prattey, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, who welcomed the royal party to Exhibition Centre Liverpool, which launched in September last year.
They were also introduced to Max Steinberg, chairman of IFB2016 – a three-week long festival held in the exhibition centre which is expected to welcome 30,000 delegates and generate £265m worth of business around the show.
The Queen and The Duke toured the festival inside the 8,100 sqm halls, visiting the Invest Liverpool stand and the GREAT campaign exhibits themed around creativity, innovation and design. They watched a performance by the Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra.
Mr Prattey welcomed The Queen, who opened the adjoining arena and convention centre in 2008, before she unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Pullman Liverpool.
He said: “It was an honour to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh back to our campus, this time to officially open Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Pullman Liverpool.
“Since the royal party visited us in 2008, our facilities have grown significantly with this additional space, which has been transformed for IFB, and with the opening of a four-star headquarters hotel.
“We were proud to update Her Majesty on the success of The ACC Liverpool Group and the fact that we have opened our doors to more than 5 million visitors to over 2,700 events, generating more than £1bn in economic impact for the city region.”
A host of dignitaries welcomed the royal party along with well-wishers who lined the waterfront. The Queen also visited Liverpool Town Hall, where she viewed crowds from the balcony, and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Since it opened in September, Exhibition Centre Liverpool has hosted a range of events including MCM Comic Con, Liverpool Football Club’s Players’ Awards and RenewableUK. The opening of Exhibition Centre Liverpool has enabled the second International Festival for Business to benefit from the synergies of a variety of conferences taking place simultaneously all under one roof.
Following IFB2016, the venue has a packed programme of events such as the Labour Party Conference, the European Association of International Education and the Netball World Cup in 2019.