The man behind a new zip wire planned across part of Liverpool city centre has said it will draw 300,000 people to the city amid a continuing row over the plans.
The new Zip World attraction, from St John's Beacon to the roof of Liverpool Central Library, was approved by Liverpool Council last month but has faced a backlash from some councillors, MPs and residents.
They say it is out of keeping with the area and will lead to the "Disneyfication" of the city centre.
Last week, a group of architects, conservationists and local residents signed a letter calling on the council to overturn its approval – but the man behind the plans insists they will be sensitive to the surrounding area and prove an economic boon for the city.
Former Royal Marine Sean Taylor, who founded Zip World in 2013, said: “Our research indicates that the projected number of riders in the first full year of operation in Liverpool could be around 104,000. In common with our other successful sites, these people will all bring friends and family with them which we believe will be an additional 200,000 spectators.
“That is an incredible 300,000 visitors coming into Liverpool every year for the zip line. This will provide a huge economic boost to the city’s retail and hospitality businesses. They’re telling us that it is needed now more than ever.”
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Mr Taylor said the zip wire would give a new lease of life to St John's Beacon and the shopping centre beneath it.
He said: “We’ve been talking to retailers inside St John's and in the wider city centre who are all positive about the impact the zip line will have.”
This would be the company’s first zip line outside of Wale and the first permanent city zip in the UK.
But the route, which runs close to St John's Gardens, has drawn criticism.
Mr Taylor said the operation of the wire would be sensitive to and appropriate for the city centre and that the new attraction would put Liverpool on the international tourist map and provide a new source of income in an area battered economically by the pandemic.
He said: “There is no city quite like Liverpool. We are honoured to be delivering our first adventure attraction outside of Wales in Liverpool. There is no city quite like it.”