Victoria Building at Liverpool University

MIPIM UK: Liverpool plans Knowledge Quarter extension

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Liverpool City Council is set to unveil a £1bn masterplan to create a ‘sub-town’ to the North of the city in the coming weeks, to link with the university district and present a viable investment opportunity for Asian investors.

Speaking on a panel at the MIPIM UK conference in London on attracting Asian funds into the property market, Liverpool City Council’s chief executive Ged Fitzgerald said the council was “about to go public” on a project which would connect to nearby hospitals and universities and would be “instantly available” for investment.

The site earmarked for development is understood to be the former Archbishop Blanch Church of England School on Mount Vernon Road, which is near to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the University of Liverpool. The school opened its new campus in Wavertree last month.

Fitzgerald declined to confirm the location or details of the scheme when asked by Place North West.

According to Fitzgerald, the North’s increasing attractiveness to foreign investment, particularly the Chinese market, was connected to the upscaling opportunities presented by the Northern Powerhouse.

“The Northern Powerhouse makes sense for us to market ourselves, aggregate ourselves and scale up, as even our biggest cities are like suburbs to China,” he said.

“The frustration is that too much investment stays in London. In the last 18 months we’ve seen investors increasingly look to Birmingham, Manchester and now Liverpool as London is overheating. Manchester and Liverpool returns may be lower, but are less volatile.”

Speaking alongside Fitzgerald was Stanley Ching, senior managing director and head of real estate at CITIC Capital, part of one of the largest conglomerates in China and currently managing a $1bn real estate portfolio.

Ching maintained that Chinese investment activity in the UK market would occur much faster than most people predicted.

“Manchester and Liverpool are becoming a hot topic, and we’re already discussing opportunities in those areas,” he said. “It is happening, and quickly.”

Your Comments

Good news, I hope it happens, the Knowledge Quarter and the bio & Science parks, are vital to the continued growth of Liverpool and retaining R&D projects, also the new hospitals and associated support systems will enhance the whole area and lead to further investment

By Man on bicycle

Great to see the second city thriving and back in its rightful place

By Matt

Edge Hill, overlooking the City, is a magnificent opportunity, as are Islington and Leeds Street leading to the Waterfront. These districts should be very attractive to Asian investors.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)

Manchester and Liverpool? Liverpool and Manchester, surely.

By John

Perhaps the reason there’s less development in Liverpool is the citys resistance to any development at all.

By Man on the bus

I think developments in Liverpool over the last few years are really amazing! The city make a great day out and it’s a pleasure to wander round and take in the sites.

By Salford Lad

Why is the city resistant to development? Even Leeds is more active development wise

By Yarrum

I think Liverpool has got a great thing going as a place to live. Why does it all have to all be about selling out to Asian investors?

Manchester has become an overcrowded “AnyTown” that isn’t a particularly great place to spend your time (unless you happen to make a living from development). Leeds too, to a lesser extent. On the other hand, Liverpool has an opportunity to focus becoming a place for quality developments, and building on its strong cultural offer, establish itself itself as a niche location within the North-West economy.

By Scrub

Liverpool is chasing the dragon and hoping it will turn into the goose with the golden egg. Like many fables it rarely turns out sweet. Instaedit should be focusing on inward investment in the community and creating a viable growing economy rather than focusing on outdated reliance with property speculation and mock tech ghettos – whose inhabitants rely on circular grants

By Simon

Subscribe to our newsletter