As Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture for 2019, Wirral will be hosting major cultural and sporting events in unexpected locations throughout the year, with a programme based around the themes of discovery, exploration and great outdoors – designed to showcase Wirral’s magnificent open spaces, big skies and beautiful coastline to the world. Events will tell the story of Wirral and celebrate everything which makes it an amazing place to live, work and visit.
In 2018 Imagine Wirral engaged over 250,000 people and brought an estimated economic impact of £4 million through events including the Tall Ships Regatta, Lost Castles and the Giant Spectacular. Over 500,000 are expected to attend our 2019 events in Wirral this year, with the anticipated economic impact for Wirral’s businesses growing to £7 million.
Following on from the success of our events programme last year, 2019 promises to be even bigger – delivering memorable and surprising events for even more residents, new and returning visitors whilst providing a growing platform for our talented creative community.
On Saturday 23rd March, Birkenhead Town Hall and Hamilton Square will come alive for Animated Square – the first spectacular event of Wirral’s year as Borough of Culture.
As we move into Spring, Wirral is set for cycling fever as the incredible OVO Tour Series and Tour of Britain visits for the very first time on Tuesday 21st May. The unique team-based OVO Energy Tour Series brings together the best in British professional male and female riders, including the likes of British Olympians Ed Clancy, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker and gives you the chance to see them in action and up-close. When the exhilarating competition rides into Wirral, the circuit will centre around historic Hamilton Square and the surrounding area. During the daytime Hamilton Square will play host to cycling-themed activities and events for everyone to enjoy, before the professional women’s and men’s races in the early evening, with highlights of both shown on ITV4 the following day.
Other Borough of Culture highlights during Spring and Summer include a spellbinding outdoor spectacle in Birkenhead Park in May, an exhibition about Wirral’s contribution to maritime exploration and the ever-popular River Festival which will return to both sides of the Mersey with spectacular performances, installations and fun-filled family entertainment. An exciting line-up of activities and street animation will take over New Brighton over the first weekend in June with an artisan food and drink offer along the waterfront to complete the perfect day out. Look out for art trails, pop-up and temporary exhibitions in surprising locations including our parks and coastline across the summer and an exciting season of events as we move into Autumn exploring the mystery and magic of the skies.
In September, highlights of the British sporting calendar hosted in Wirral will be the Walker Cup at Hoylake’s world famous Royal Liverpool Golf Club and a stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the UK’s most prestigious professional cycling event. It will mark the first time that Wirral has hosted the race, bringing the world’s top teams and riders to the area, along with national media coverage and a worldwide live television audience. A special stage, starting and finishing in Wirral is planned with the organisers to highlight the amazing heritage, parks and coastline of Wirral to the many television viewers, while also attracting a six figure crowd to the roadside and inspiring the next generation of Wirral cyclists to be more active.
The ever popular River of Light will return in November to the Wirral waterfront, a fitting end to a fantastic year.
To stay up to date on what’s happening, visit: www.imaginewirral.com or follow @imaginewirral on Twitter.