Liverpool base relocates in City

The Liverpool 'embassy' in London has found new premises and is planned to continue operating until spring 2013.

The embassy, a public private sector collaboration to promote Liverpool to London investors, had been based in New Broad Street, in the heart of London's financial district since January.

In March, Ernst & Young, Sutcliffe, NSG UK, Castlewood Property Management and Merepark, were among those businesses from the private sector which sponsored the embassy which guaranteed its future until July.

At the end of July, however, the embassy closed its office in New Broad Street.

Liverpool Vision, which is partnering Liverpool City Council to deliver the embassy project, moved towards securing a more suitable and cheaper long term location for Liverpool's presence in London.

Liverpool's embassy is now located at Royal Mint Court and will be fully operational from Monday 5 September and is planned to continue until March 2013.

The office in New Broad Street cost £231,000 to run and lease which was covered by Liverpool City Council, contributing £135,000, and sponsorship from the private sector covering the remaining £96,000.

Rent at the office at Royal Mint Court is £4,200 a month, compared to £15,000 at the base in New Broad Street.

Originally a three month project, Vision said the embassy has run for more than double that time and been the venue for more than 100 business meetings, some of international significance for Liverpool.

In addition, Liverpool Vision added that more than 650 people have visited the embassy and over 15 events have been held, resulting in several serious investment enquiries.

Cllr Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "The embassy has been such a success that I wanted us to continue our London mission. Having examined a number of options to ensure that we achieved the best deal for the city and for our private sector supporters, the decision has been taken to base our operations in this prestigious Central London location with easy access to the City and to Westminster."

Situated opposite Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, the Grade 2-listed Royal Mint Court is a few minutes' walk from Tower Hill underground, Tower Gateway Docklands Light Railway, five minutes from Fenchurch Street Station and near to Liverpool Street Station.

Anderson added: "During the first half of this year, we have shown our ambition and confidence by going to the financial heart of the UK. We have been making our case to investors and we have built relationships with many of the most influential decision makers in the UK.

"The embassy has been achieving its aims of raising the city's profile and helping Liverpool representatives earn the right to sit round the table with high level London investors and decision makers and I'm very pleased that it will continue. In a very competitive market Liverpool is now on their shortlist as a place to invest and do business."

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: "During August we are carefully managing our new networks of investors, decision makers and business leaders and continuing our work of promoting Liverpool as a great place in which to invest, work, live, visit and study."

Guy Wallis, a founding partner at Liverpool law firm DWF, who first came forward with the idea of having a Liverpool embassy in London, added: "The fact of having a presence in London has of itself been a major contribution towards changing perceptions. It has surprised people in London and has given additional force to Cllr Anderson's oft repeated statements that Liverpool is a can-do city and one that is genuinely open for business.

"I have visited the embassy many times and can vouch not only for the dedication of those involved in running it, but that the door to other markets is beginning to open. I have sat opposite London business leaders and seen the penny drop.

"This though is a continuing process. The good work must go on. This is why I'm delighted that the city and Liverpool Vision has shown great leadership in continuing to have a presence in London despite, but more importantly because of, the current economic climate we find ourselves in, making it all the more important that both the public and private sectors continue to push relentlessly the wide-ranging Liverpool offer and the many opportunities for inward investment that exist here."

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