Paddington Village, Sciontec, p Sciontec

Paddington Village cannot be the city's only focus. Credit: via Sciontec

MIPIM | Liverpool must maintain momentum after successful MIPIM

MIPIM coverage sponsored by TogetherThe city council, combined authority, and private sector showed more than a united front in Cannes, demonstrating it has a clear plan to deliver a bright future after a period of gloominess.

There is a renewed confidence in the city’s leadership after a difficult few years. Nuala Gallagher and Sophie Bevan in the city council’s regeneration team, as well as Leader Cllr Liam Robinson, were priased by delegates throughout the week for bringing much-needed stability to the city.

Aileen Jones and Katherine Fairclough, head of investment and chief executive at the combined authority respectively, are also seen as safe pairs of hands.

This newfound stability is bearing fruit. Last week the commissioners installed to watch over certain departments within the city council following the infamous Max Caller report announced a loosening of the reins.

In addition, AstraZeneca recently announced its intention to invest £450m in a new facility in Speke, while the government has provided viability funding that will support the delivery of more than 200,000 sq ft of new lab space at Paddington Village.

It was Paddington Village, part of the Knowledge Quarter, that Liverpool came to shout about at MIPIM. The scheme is the jewell in the city region’s life sciences investment zone, which will benefit from £160m of government investment over the next decade.

It has been positive couple of weeks for the city. One of Liverpool’s biggest players said the hard work starts now.

“I think we are all genuinely driven by a hunger to put the past wrongs, right,” said Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Sciontec, the consortium that leads the development of Paddington Village.

“We have created a base. Let’s deliver on what we’ve talked about while we’re out here [at MIPIM] and let’s do it at a pace.”

It is hard to argue that Liverpool has not turned a corner, but there is still a lot to do to instill confidence in the market.

Colin Sinclair CEO KQ Liverpool Sciontec

KQ Liverpool’s Colin Sinclair said the hard work starts now. Credit: KQ Liverpool

While the city’s life sciences scene is booming – 66% of Hemisphere One is already pre-let – the city’s leader is determined not to let other areas fall by the wayside.

“The Knowledge Quarter is one of the most exciting development locations in the UK, but it’s got to be part of that wider ecosystem and success of the city centre,” Robinson said.

The Waterfront, where Peel is delivering Liverpool Waters, and the Fabric District, which connects to the KQ, are two areas where the leader is keen to see growth.

Connectivity between these areas is also a focus. City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram is building his campiagn for a third term around transport promises. One idea is a trackless tram to link the city’s growth locations, airport, and football stadiums.

“There’s lots we can do to build on the success of making our city more walkable, livable, and sociable,” Robinson said.

Liverpool must also act to address its chronic shortage of office space in a bid to attract businesses to the city.

There was no update on the 400,000 sq ft Pall Mall office scheme, which has had planning permission since 2019, out in Cannes. However, Bevan, who is the city council’s director of development and major projects, said the focus is not purely on life sciences.

“We are currently working on the regeneration and investment strategy that will map out the city in its broadest context, but also looking ahead for the next five to 10 years at where the opportunities are,” she said.

“They will obviously be aligned to life sciences but also other sectors within the industry, such as professional services, or digital creative services as well. None of these sectors work in isolation from each other, they complement each other, and they create jobs.”

A city with Liverpool’s recent history will always be open to criticism and not everything that needs to be achieved can be done over night.

Bevan acknowledged there will be “bumps on the road” as Liverpool continues its improvement journey. After a dark period, the city seems well-placed to overcome them.

Stay up to date on MIPIM news. Visit Place North West‘s MIPIM Hub. Place North West MIPIM 2024 coverage is sponsored by Together.

Your Comments

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66% let when was it finished, this is the only scheme there is and they’re still struggling to let. I think the problems are a bit more deep seated than anyone will admit.

By Darren

Onwards and upwards, I think we have turned the corner now and a strategic pathway is emerging.

By Liverpool4Progress

As the Knowledge Quarter develops into more of a business park with straight office uses, it’s not clear how this helps sustain a central business district which is certainly not thriving, and where office space which would be in demand in Manchester – even the older stuff – is still being chopped up into small flats of dubious quality, and/or given over to the stag/hen weekend market.
It’s impressive the way the partners have managed to bring in quality developers to get things moving, perhaps by not relying on LCC to deliver anything, but that risks things happening in vacuums, and the still relatively small pool of potential occupiers being hoovered up by one development in a slightly out of the way location.

By Paddington

Darren 66% let of the yet to be built hemisphere.

By Anonymous

Good progress, confidence is building…however pall mall , cruise liner terminal and waterfront area surrounding the convention centre are key tests . Additionally longer term when the King Edward site I’d developed will be the opportunity for something high and special

By George

Slowly but surely…. Good to see Gallagher, Lewis and Bevan so visible and available. The mood music is changing – just need more responsiveness, now.

By Anonymous

Darren – Hemisphere isn’t finished. You may be confusing it with The Spine

By Spine less

Darren, are you sure you understood what you read? It’s 66% “pre-let” for the yet-to-be-constructed Hemisphere One.

By Anonymous

Things are looking more positive and the big plus would be Pall Mall and a privately developed and run Cruise Terminal. What we need too is a plan for the vacant land at Moorfields which looks an eyesore plus a once and for all reconfiguration of the Moorfields entrance of the Merseyrail station which needs to land at ground level, how much does it cost to have those escalators running for no reason.

By Anonymous

It’s strange they’re still trying to brand the Spine as a life sciences centre when it’s gradually being filled with finance and business consultancies.

And no mention of the mothballed Sensor City?

By Anonymous

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