Daily Express

Pitch perfect...Liverpool song contest’s £470m boost for economy

- EXCLUSIVE By Giles Sheldrick Chief Reporter

EUROVISION will deliver a £470million boost to Britain and cement our place as war-ravaged Ukraine’s staunchest ally, experts said last night.

Fifteen million people are set to tune in to coverage of the music spectacula­r at home or attending other events, according to a Eurovision Spending Report.

An expected £244million will be spent on refreshmen­ts, including 1.4 million bottles of wine and 400,000 bottles of prosecco. Hospitalit­y spending is expected to reach £143million throughout the competitio­n, with £71million splashed out on takeaway food, says the report commission­ed by VoucherCod­es.

Liverpool City Council has predicted Eurovision will deliver an immediate £40million economic boost and a total of £250million over the next three years.

Ukraine triumphed last year but is not able to host the competitio­n due to the war with Russia. Liverpool is standing in instead after UK singer Sam Ryder came second last year with the catchy hit Space Man. Eurovision Minister Stuart Andrew said he was sure the UK would make Ukraine “proud”.

He added: “This year’s slogan says it all – we will be United By Music.” Hopes for a UK win rest on the shoulders of 25-year-old Mae Muller with I Wrote A Song. Liverpool has a proud reputation as a city promoting social justice and on the day of the final – Saturday – it will stand side by side with Ukraine.

In a televised address, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to thank Britain for being his country’s closest ally in the war. It is thought that he will talk about the values his people and the British hold dear.

During the competitio­n experts estimate 100,000 fans will flock to the banks of the Mersey,

Liverpool – the home of The Beatles – was European Capital of Culture in 2008 and has since heavily invested in arts, creativity and culture, becoming a Unesco City of Music. For the past decade, it has consistent­ly been one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinatio­ns.

Eurovision will again shine a spotlight on the city nationally and internatio­nally.

Following the hugely successful Coronation last weekend, tourism chiefs believe Britain has the chance to sell itself to the world. It comes after the industry suffered a £97billion hit during the pandemic and tens of thousands of businesses lost months of trading. The UK has won Eurovision five times but Mae is a 33-1 outsider. Sweden is the hot favourite.

●The second semi-final is tonight with the final on BBC One, Saturday, 8pm

 ?? ?? Pooling resources ...Eurovision fans at first semi-final in Liverpool
Pooling resources ...Eurovision fans at first semi-final in Liverpool
 ?? ?? Rehearsal...Georgian star Iru yesterday
Rehearsal...Georgian star Iru yesterday
 ?? ?? Side by side... fans back UK and Ukraine
Side by side... fans back UK and Ukraine

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