Major events return for National Museums Liverpool

Growth behind the scenes in 2022 run up

Picture by Gareth Jones

National Museums Liverpool (NML) has seen a return to major events following the G7 summit, which was hosted at the Museum of Liverpool.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Museum of Liverpool was the main location for the G7 Summit of Foreign and Development Ministers talks this month1. It was the first major external client event NML has hosted since the start of the pandemic, with work happening behind the scenes to prepare for a series of high-profile events scheduled for 2022.

Latest figures show a steady return to growth for NML’s commercial activity, despite ongoing challenges of the pandemic. Its Hosted by NML venue hire business is currently on track to finish the financial year (to April 2022) just 16 per cent down on the last pre-pandemic year of 2019 – with new short lead bookings for 2022 helping to close the gap further.

Karen O’Connor, Director of Commercial Enterprises at National Museums Liverpool, which looks after some of the most visited museums in England outside of London, said: “As well as welcoming millions of visitors a year, we also host a busy schedule of commercial events – which help to fund our work.

“Our events business was on hold this time last year, and if anyone had told me that we’d now be hosting a major international event, I wouldn’t have believed them – the international spotlight on Liverpool has been a welcome boost to the economy and the hospitality industry.

“We’ve been welcoming the public back to our museums safely since lockdown ended. Our own events are back on track, and we have pivoted our business to support the return of commercial events too – with businesses starting to re-establish events programmes.”

NML has big plans for its own events and exhibitions. Next year will see the world premiere of Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder at World Museum, as well as The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition at Walker Art Gallery.

NML’s venues have also been chosen as the backdrop for a number of commercial filming projects this year, including Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders, Silent Witness, Funny Girl, Tin Star, Anthony, The Irregulars and the Almond and the Seahorse, along with a schedule of regular broadcast and media bookings. One of its venues is also set to star in the upcoming The Batman film too, following filming last year when NML also hosted a film crew hub.

Karen adds: “We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to keep the creativity in our venues alive – and while there are still challenges for us to navigate, we are preparing for growth in commercial events and venue hire during 2022.”

NML runs seven museums and art galleries in and around Liverpool. It relies on funding, as well as membership, donations and commercial income from venue hire, events, catering and retail, to keep its attractions and the work it does in the community running.

Picture by Gareth Jones
Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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