Tall ships to return to Liverpool for Capital of Culture anniversary

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Media captionAround 30 tall ships expected in Liverpool in 2018

A 30-strong fleet of tall ships is to return to Liverpool to help the city celebrate the 10th anniversary of its year as European Capital of Culture.

The Biscay Tall Ships Regatta will start on Merseyside between 25 and 28 May 2018.

The fleet has sailed on the River Mersey on four previous occasions, in 1984, 1992, 2008 and 2012.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he hoped it would be "the best Tall Ships Regatta to date".

Local residents under the age of 26 will be encouraged to get involved in the race, which will finish in France.

Image copyright Liverpool City Council
Image caption Liverpool has hosted the tall ships on four previous occasions
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The tall ships sailed past sculptor Antony Gormley's "Another Place" on Crosby Beach in 2008
Image copyright John M/Geograph
Image caption The eye-catching fleet has proved a popular draw for visitors

The fleet visited Belfast last year and will sail into London this September.

A Liverpool City Council spokeswoman said in 2008, when the city was European Capital of Culture, about one million people saw the tall ships, bringing an extra £10m into the local economy.

She said the hope for the upcoming event was to bring in five times as many people and "push Liverpool to the top of the 'must-visit' cities in 2018".

In May, Liverpool Mayor Anderson revealed there were also plans for the return of the giant puppets that attracted about a million spectators to Liverpool in 2008 and 2014.

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