French puppeteers Royal De Luxe are poised to return to Liverpool with their giant marionettes in 2018 - as part of a series of events to mark 10 years since the city’s European Capital of Culture status.

Back in 2014 thousands of people from Chester and Ellesmere Port made the trip across the Mersey to witness the spectacular event.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has revealed that discussions are in place that could see the return of the Giants and the Tall Ships fleet.

He told how work is under way on the Eighteen for 18 plan – which would see a series of “internationally significant events, exhibitions, seasons and performances” through the year.

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The return of the Giants for the third time would be a massive coup for the city.

The Giants made their debut in Liverpool in 2012 and returned two years later when a million people saw ‘The Memories of August 1914’ which celebrated 100 years since the outbreak of World War One.

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Mayor Anderson said: “We want everything we do in 2018 to build on the wonderful work which has taken place in the city since 2008.

“2018 will be the next watershed year in the history of Liverpool and one which will make everyone who lives here proud, and everyone that doesn’t live here wonder why they don’t.

“Our official culture year quite rightly gets huge public and media recognition, but it is the years that followed which I am most proud of, the years which have seen us build on that success.

“We didn’t treat 2008 as a one-off firework display that fizzled out, turning the lights off when everyone had gone home.

“The last four years alone have seen major events generate £177m for the local economy.”

Eighteen for 18 is intended to tie in with a series of important anniversaries which take place in 2018 including the 30th birthday of Tate Liverpool, the 20th anniversary of Liverpool Biennial and ten years of ACC Liverpool and Liverpool ONE.

The full 2018 programme is due to be announced in the autumn.

Mayor Anderson added: “These are huge ambitions, but I know we will deliver it. If the past few years have told us anything about this city – hosting major events and international cultural moments is something we excel at.

“We are a city which knows where it has come from and where it is going, with the next milestone in that long illustrious history being the ambition and scale of 2018.”

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