Liverpool is to promote and develop its gay quarter to cash in on the so-called ‘pink pound’.

The council has hired a planning consultancy to look at how the city can be marketed as a worldwide tourist destination for gay travellers.

Liverpool’s gay quarter centres around Stanley Street and pubs and bars have sprung up in the last decade and urban planning consultancy Feria Urbanism has been asked to come up with a vision towards making the gay scene one of the best in the country.

Cllr Nick Small, cabinet member for employment and skills, told the Liverpool Daily Post: “The area around Stanley Street has developed over time to be the city’s gay quarter although there are many businesses there which cater for all communities.

“We want Liverpool to be known as an inclusive city.

“We have made strides in this in recent years and are being seen as a more gay friendly city than was the case a few years ago.

“The success of the Pride festival last year was evidence of that.

“We now need to look at how we can develop and promote the quarter.

“At a time of austerity that presents a real challenge but if we can have a quarter which is inclusive, dynamic and welcoming it can be a key economic driver for the city centre.”

Last year, Liverpool held its first Pride festival in more than a decade after several high-profile attacks on gay men.

In August 2008, 18-year-old Michael Causer was beaten to death. His murder was treated by police as a homophobic attack, although the judge in the case said his killer was not homophobic

In October 2009, trainee policeman James Parkes, 22, was set upon by up to 20 teenage boys in a gay-hate attack in the city’s gay quarter. He has since recovered.

Liverpool has celebrated Homotopia, an LGBT arts festival, for the last seven years.