As excitement about the imminent arrival of the Sea Odyssey giants gathers pace, Liverpool is pulling together to stage the most ambitious single event the city has ever seen.
Everyone from multi-billion-pound companies, to pest-controllers and street cleaners are pulling out all the stops to make sure Liverpool is looking and feeling its best when it goes on centre-stage for the Sea Odyssey spectacular on April 20-22.
Sea Odyssey is the biggest logistical operation the city council’s events team has ever undertaken, and will see the giants walk over 23 miles during their visit, assisted by 27 cranes. The Highways department has also worked tirelessly to examine every inch of the route to make sure the giants’ progress will be unhindered by street furniture, telephone lines and any other obstacles.
Public transport providers, the police and fire authority have all been working on the project for many months, with business sponsors not only offering financial support, but value in kind sponsorship and advice. Local communities have enthusiastically grasped the opportunity to stage ‘fringe events’ and education projects as well as making sure their areas are looking their very best over the weekend.
And at the nerve centre of the event, hundreds of volunteers from the city will be on the ground during the weekend to provide information, assist technical crews and even work the giants in the coveted roles of the ‘Lilliputians’.
Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for Tourism and Culture said: “Sea Odyssey is an unmissable opportunity for the city to really shine. It’s the perfect example of the Liverpool plan in action; businesses, local communities and individuals stepping up to the plate to put on an incredible and highly complex event that will show the world the very best Liverpool has to offer while boosting local pride and providing real economic benefits.
“There was never any doubt that we could deliver an event of this size because we knew the city would meet the challenge with determination, expertise and vision. I don’t think there are many cities around the world that could pull together in this way with such incredible results.”
The Peel Group, developers of the newly-approved £5 billion Liverpool Waters project is one of those supporters. Ian Pollitt from Peel said, “Peel is delighted to support the Sea Odyssey event. Peel is committed to the regeneration of the Liverpool region and events such as Sea Odyssey are great for the city and its tourism and culture initiatives. After supporting the hugely successful La Machine event in 2008 we were keen to be involved in helping with Sea Odyssey where we could. With the event being organised by the excellent events team at Liverpool City Council, I am sure Sea Odyssey will be a great success”.
The event will take place over three days and will focus on both the north of the city and the city centre. It is of particular importance to those communities who, although facing very real socio-economic challenges, are eager to see their areas regenerate and develop for future generations.
Ruth Little, Manager of Anfield Breckside Community Council added: “Everyone’s starting to get a bit of giant fever now. Given that we’re top of the indices of deprivation, it gives us the opportunity to show that people here are very close knit and very willing and very supportive of each other. For local people as well, it’s nice to have something joyful to look forward to that involves the Anfield area.”