A new location has been revealed for the Liverpool Pride Festival 2018 – the event will return to its roots and take place on Tithebarn Street for its ninth edition.

The city centre location will be transformed into the main festival site on Saturday, July 28. St George’s Quarter has been home to Liverpool Pride for the last three years, but due to the event’s increasing success, the organiser is working with Culture Liverpool and other cultural partners to expand the festival further which includes a new location for 2018.

The organiser of Liverpool Pride believes that Tithebarn Street will prove popular with festivalgoers, as the new location is close to the city’s Gay Quarter and nearby Pownall Square, the site of Mersey Pride in 1995.

The festival is free to attend and Saturday’s festival programme will focus on the area round Tithebarn Street, which will be closed between the Superlambanana and Moorfields to ensure the festival takes place in a safe and controlled environment.

The Barclays Main Stage will be situated by the Superlambanana, while the San Francisco Cabaret Stage, hosted by sponsor Manchester Airport, will be located in the square between Vernon Street and Cunliffe Street. Areas adjoining Tithebarn Street will also feature in this year’s programme, and will include a Community and Acoustic Stage, Community Expo, Food Market and a Quiet Zone.

Sunday’s programme of activities will take place at arts venues across the city, with the central hub at The Bluecoat.

John Bird, co-chairman of Liverpool Pride, commented: “This is an important year for Liverpool. It’s a decade since the city held the prestigious title of European Capital Of Culture 2008 – and the Liverpool Pride Festival 2018 will play its part in this year’s celebrations.

“We’ve had a wonderful three years with the St George’s Quarter as our home, but we are taking this milestone cultural year as an opportunity for change to move forward, develop and expand the festival. We are working closely with Culture Liverpool and other cultural partners to ensure that this year’s event in its new location proves to be a huge success.”

Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, added: “Pride is one of the biggest events in Liverpool’s calendar and attracts huge numbers to the city to join together to empower people and celebrate diversity and equality.

“As a city we are committed to fighting intolerance and we are proud to support what will be one of the biggest Pride events in Europe. Thousands of festivalgoers are expected to head to the heart of the city centre to enjoy the event which will be one of highlights of the summer.”

Liverpool Pride has grown to become one of the city’s major annual events, last year a record 8,000 people joined the march and more than 50,000 festivalgoers enjoyed two days of entertainment to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.