The inaugural Liverpool Boat show, which was planned to start on April 29th for ten days has been cancelled.
The event, the first leisure based show to be held in Liverpool, was due to be staged at Albert Dock, and would have featured narrowboat builder's exhibits in a bid to highlight the newly opened Liverpool Link canal, which has opened up the canal system to the centre of Liverpool without the need to enter the tidal River Mersey.
The January London Boat show has been reported to be a commercial failure, and this put the viability of the Liverpool show into jeopardy. With up to fifty exhibitors pulling out at short notice, when they received their final reminders at the weekend for the balance of the exhibition fees. Some builders report "the complete evaporation" of sales due to the current and ongoing economic downturn and could not warrant the expense of attending the Liverpool event. The organizers felt that it would be better to pull out now and preserve the reputation of Liverpool as a future host to such events rather than allow the show to go ahead, with visitors travelling from all over the country to what could have been a disastrous event with nothing to see.
This is yet another pointer to the worsening trading situation that we seem now to be falling deeper into, with the price of used boats at an apparent all time low, and builders offering deep incentives in an effort to entice buyers in very difficult trading circumstances. I fear that all this can only lead to some builders having to "shut up shop" in the near future, and this can only be a bad thing for the boating leisure industry as a whole.
Anybody who had planned to go and had bought tickets, will, according to organizers Marine Industry Events, be contacted in the near future to arrange refunds.