Call for Eurovision ‘lasting legacy’

A New Brighton businessman has called for a fund to help art, music and performance lead a revival of Merseyside post-Eurovision.

Dan Davies, the CEO of Rockpoint Leisure, has been helping regenerate New Brighton in recent years providing funding for people to start new businesses, supporting local music bands, and using street art to revive the seaside town.

Now he believes the Liverpool City Region and local councils should be capitalising on the success of the iconic music contest which brought half a million people and an expected £40m into the region in order to create a “lasting legacy.”

Having previously supported bands like the Mysterines who went touring in the US last year, Mr Davies thinks setting up a fund to support new music artists and creative ventures would be one way of continuing the success of Eurovision. He added: “We gave artists a platform to be able to perform here and give seed funding out for new businesses to start.”

Mr Davies added, “I thought we carried it off brilliantly as a city and hats off to Steve Rotheram (Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor) and the team who were involved in it. We have a real opportunity to build on the legacy of this. 

“The whole regeneration we’ve been doing has art, music and culture at the heart of it. There’s a number of things we need to do but also protect all our music venues and help them over the line.” He points to the Hope Anti-Supermarket, an independent music venue, that later had to close as an example of the potential music venues have to offer.

He added, “I think Liverpool is uniquely placed. It’s historic and there should be much more events like this on. We proved we can pull off some big events and it generally went very well. I think we need to build straight away on the creativity and artistic talent that the city has.”

“We need to recognise that as a city region, tourism and the visitor economy are huge. Just servicing the people who live here, that is not enough business to make the city region thrive. We need commerce, trade and visitors.

“We just had a big platform on an international stage. There’ll be a lot of people saying “let’s put Liverpool on a list of places to visit” and if they come here, they should be able to find their way around the region and be able to maximise the time they have here to see the things they want so they come back and see more.”

Mr Davies also thinks that places outside Liverpool like New Brighton have a lot to offer too, adding: “We’ve got the longest promenade in Europe. We’ve got the art here, we’ve got the history, we need to maximise the street art because that brings in people from all over the world.”

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram told BBC North West that plans were already being developed to ensure there was a lasting legacy of the contest after the event.

Images: Edward Barnes

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