Culture Liverpool has announced a year-long programme of events to celebrate a decade of “amazing success” since being the European Capital of Culture. Liverpool is marking the milestone with a programme of “exciting, inspirational and thought-provoking” projects that will bring together international artists and performers.

More than 40 events and festivals will take place across the city region including firsts, one-off spectacles and some returning favourites. The majority of the events will be free, and will align with the four “seasons” created to inspire the yearlong programme; China Dream, Brittle Heart, The Art of Football and The Future World of Work.

Although inspired by the success of 2008, Liverpool 2018 is focused on the transformation the region has seen over the past decade and looks to position culture and creativity at the heart of the activity.

More announcements are set to be made in the coming months, and Culture Liverpool has promised an “epic family festival, a huge sporting spectacle, a massive musical moment, a major public art project with one of the world’s leading artists and a hotly anticipated return”.

Mayor Joe Anderson OBE, commented: “The last ten years have been an amazing success story for this city. Capital of Culture marked the start of something special, and 2018 feels like another watershed year in the history of Liverpool.

“The next 12 months will recognise the extraordinary cultural scene which takes place in this city day in and day out. There will be some incredibly special moments to look forward to and Liverpool will once again be in the spotlight as a national and international cultural exemplar.”

Claire McColgan MBE, director of culture, added: “As a city we are committed to investing in culture and the arts, and I think that Liverpool 2018 perfectly encapsulates why we have done that.

“What is planned for this year showcases the scale of our innovation and ambition – setting us apart from other cities and helping us continually use culture to attract visitors, investment and create and maintain jobs.

“Without doubt, Liverpool is the most exciting city in the UK and in 2018 it’s the place to be if you want to experience something special. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Arts Council for their support, making a number of the 2018 projects possible.”

The City Region Combined Authority is supporting Liverpool 2018 with £5 million from the Single Investment Fund. The GREAT Britain campaign is an official partner of the Liverpool 2018 programme along with HSBC, Arts Council England, University of Liverpool, the Business Improvement District,, ACC Liverpool, Liverpool ONE, Albert Dock Liverpool, Merseyrail, Merseytravel, Creart and Global Radio.