Sea Odyssey giants netted £32m for Liverpool businesses

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Media captionA report into the impact of Sea Odyssey has concluded it was the most successful event in Liverpool's history

Liverpool's Sea Odyssey street theatre - which involved giant puppets - generated nearly £32m for the local economy, says an independent report.

About 800,000 visited the three-day event in April, spending nearly three times more than initially estimated.

The report found £10.5m was spent on accommodation and £20m was spent in restaurants, bars and shops.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: "This was the biggest event in Liverpool's history."

'Extra footfall'

He added: "Sea Odyssey put Liverpool on a world stage and I am determined that we will put on more of these types of events in the future to further enhance our reputation as a capital of culture."

The report, by Vector Research, concluded about 43% of people watching the show were from Liverpool, about 50% were from other parts of the UK, and more than 6% from overseas.

The figures revealed that 21 April was the city's busiest retail day of the year, with sales up 25% on 2011 in the Liverpool One shopping centre.

Dick Mawdsley, from independent store Utility which is based in Liverpool One, said: "It was a very positive weekend for us.

"It wasn't much more in terms of sales but in terms of footfall we had an awful lot of extra visitors - it certainly raised our profile."

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, Wendy Simon, said: "There are few things that bring together people from all ages and all walks of life.

Pet dog

"The figures in this report are phenomenal and the £32m has exceeded all our expectations. It really will go down in history as one of the most unforgettable events to take place in Liverpool."

The event cost £1.5m, and saw a 30ft (9m) girl, her 50ft (15m) uncle and her pet dog walk through the city.

It was the last production to use European funding from Liverpool's 2008 Capital of Culture year.

The show was created by French street theatre company Royal De Luxe and was inspired by a letter a 10-year-old girl posted in 1912 to her father, who was a bedroom steward on the Titanic.

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