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Liverpool’s nightlife overtakes London in post pandemic recovery

Liverpool’s night-time economy has overtaken the capital’s in terms of transactions, according to data from Square. Liverpool BID Company also reveals that footfall growth from 7pm - 4am has increased by 43% compared with 2019. 

Liverpool’s night-time economy has overtaken the capital’s in terms of transactions, according to data from Square. Liverpool BID Company also reveals that footfall growth from 7pm – 4am has increased by 43% compared with 2019. 

The data from the global data company examined spend in bars and restaurants from 7pm to 4am in the first half of 2023. It revealed that, alongside year on year growth for the night time economy, Liverpool shows a 40% share of in-person payments being made between 7pm and 4am in the first half of 2023. Birmingham came in second at 37%, with London standing in third place at 35%. 

The top six, and their year on year comparisons are revealed here:

Meanwhile, Liverpool BID Company has examined city centre footfall data from the same period of time – January to June 2023 – and the  same time period – 7pm to 4am. It reveals a 43% increase on footfall compared with the same period in 2019. With cameras located in key locations around the city centre, they are able to track the flow of people as they move around core locations. 

The busiest time is midnight, up 83% compared with 2019. 

Data courtesy of Liverpool BID Company

As well as overall growth, Liverpool’s night-time economy has seen an increase through the week in the first six months of the year with most of the traffic. The busiest nights of the week are Friday and Saturday with 1,563,800 and 1,906,896 people counted on cameras. Tuesday is 4% busier than Monday, Wednesday is 1% busier than Tuesday, Thursday is 9.84% busier than Wednesday. Friday is 30% busier than Thursday and Saturday sees it rise again by another 20%. 

Days of the Week% Growth
Tues v Mon4.12%
Weds v Tues1.03%
Thurs v Weds9.84%
Fri v Thurs30.40%
Sat v Fri21.94%
Sun v Sat-39.11%

Data courtesy of Liverpool BID Company

Average footfall hour by hour 


  Data courtesy of Liverpool BID Company

The resurgence of Liverpool’s night-time economy coincides with data from Marketing Liverpool illustrating the growth of the city’s visitor economy, showing an increase of visitors, with 14 million more visitors to the Liverpool City Region, compared to the previous year – a rise of 33%, compared with 2022, a rise in length of stay, increased by 34% and a 45% increase in annual spend. Liverpool’s Accommodation BID has also revealed hotel occupancy for June 2023 was 81.3%. 

Jennina O’Neill is Chair of Liverpool BID Company’s Retail & Leisure Board and Centre Manager at Metquarter

“The pull of Liverpool’s world famous night time economy shows that, despite the cost of living crisis, people still want to have a great night out. When we saw the shift in the night-time economy take place in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic we needed to see if the trend continued. The demand is still there. What this shows is the need to really value the importance of our night-time economy, which contributes both to Liverpool’s brand as well as its pocket. At Liverpool BID we have extended our street ranger service to help keep areas within the BID clean and cleansed. We have also continued our partnership with Merseyside Police to have dedicated officers within BID areas to keep people safe. It’s vital that investment continues to help the city balance the demands of its booming night-time economy with its valuable day-time industries”. 

John Hughes is Chair of Liverpool’s Nightlife CIC.

“Other cities put a great deal of strategy and focus onto their night-time economy and they are not as successful as Liverpool’s. It is vital the industry has a voice at the table, especially at a time when so many venues are struggling to meet increased costs. A vibrant nightlife is a bellwether of many positive factors, including a younger city centre resident population and a city that attracts visitors from other places, but that needs both support and investment. I have been able to bring my near 40 years’ experience in the industry to better connect businesses within Liverpool’s night-time economy to better have their concerns addressed. A safe, secure and connected night-time economy is a better night out for everyone”. 

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