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£76m spent in Liverpool’s food and drink in Q1

Next week Liverpool Restaurant Week begins. Running from 22-28 April over 75 venues are taking part with hundreds of offers for people to download and enjoy.  The value of the sector to the city centre economy is laid bare in data from Liverpool BID Company (and platform Beauclair) which analyses UK spend data.  Food and Drink is now the largest economic sector in the city centre, around 37%. UK card holders spent a whopping £76m in just three months in the city centre's restaurants and bars. 

Liverpool’s food and drink sector is growing year on year with £76m spent in the first three months of 2024, according to data from Liverpool BID Company. That spend covers UK transactions*. The sector is growing 10% year on year. 

Data from Liverpool BID Company (and insight platform Beauclair) illustrates that the sector is currently the largest in the city centre representing 37% of the city centre economy; Retail is 8.4%, Fashion is 18.2%. Health & Beauty is 4.9% while Tourism is 3.8%

With Liverpool Restaurant Week starting on 22 April and running until 28 April, the data insight shows the importance of supporting a sector that contributes so much to the city centre economy. Managed by Liverpool BID Company, 75 venues across the city centre have hundreds of offers ranging from £5 – £35, which can be downloaded at  

The city centre data shows UK visitors, so does not include international spend. Spend increased by 0.8% in the city centre in February. March has seen a 8.2% increase on footfall compared with last year with the city centre up by 2.5% currently in 2024. Occupancy rates in the city centre’s hotels and serviced accommodation is currently up by 5.5% on the same period last year. 

Bill Addy the CEO of Liverpool BID Company says the data suggests that the growth of the food and drink sector amongst hospitality illustrates why it is such a vital industry to support. 

“Hospitality is a growing and vital industry for Liverpool city centre’s economy. We talk a lot about Liverpool’s mixed use economy, and the low vacancy rate we have in the city centre (4.8%  in the city centre compared with 11% nationally) shows that units on our high streets do not stay empty long. The vibrancy of our food and drink sector, in particular independents, is heartening to see, but it also illustrates why it is such a crucial sector to support. It represents a sizable number of jobs within the city centre and a vital element of our city’s visitor economy. The challenges this sector faces are acute, from hiring to energy and product costs, so it is important they get the support they need. This is why we support national campaigns like the lower VAT rate for hospitality. Initiatives like Liverpool Restaurant Week help to cast the spotlight on the sector and encourage people to visit new venues and to enjoy what is on offer”. 

Matt Farrell is the Co-Founder of Graffiti Spirits Group “Liverpool’s food and drink sector is not just a source of sustenance; it’s a testament to our city’s vibrant culture and spirit. With £76m spent in the first three months of 2024 alone, and a remarkable 10% year-on-year growth, it’s clear that this sector is not only thriving but also essential to our economic vitality and identity. Supporting this sector means nurturing local businesses, creating jobs, and providing unforgettable experiences for guests and international visitors. It’s not just about food and drink; it’s about creating community, celebrating diversity, and shaping the very fabric of Liverpool’s future, by continuing to showcase its excellence.”

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Downtown in Business