Vision commissions new blueprint for city

A team of consultants led by Drivers Jonas Deloitte and including Planit, Amion, Stockley and Urban Strategies will produce a ten-year city centre master-plan for Liverpool Vision.

The council's economic development agency wants to replicate the successful strategic framework published in 2000 that set many of the targets the city met in the regeneration boom.

The 2000 plan recommended developing the waterfront, improving Lime Street station and building new offices. Skidmore Owings & Merrill led the consortium of consultants for the first plan, alongside Gillespies, MVA, EC Harris, Jones Lang Lasalle, and Sir Bob Scott as a strategic advisor.

The new planning guide is expected to be ready for publication by spring 2012.

Simon Bedford, partner and head of DJD in the North West, said: "We are delighted to leading the consortium of advisors assembled to deliver the new city centre framework. There is much to build on – the last plan achieved a great deal for Liverpool and we hope that this document will have an equally influential impact of the onward development of a great European city.''

Vision, which was created in 1999 by Labour as one of its urban regeneration companies, said the first plan helped the city "establish itself as a visitor and investment destination, which is now ranked in the top five retail centres in the UK, is a top five city break destination, the second largest wealth management centre in the UK, the most filmed city in the UK outside of London and according to readers of Conde Nast Traveller the most friendly city in the country."

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: "A dynamic and resilient city centre economy is extremely important both to Liverpool and to the wider city region. The new strategic investment framework will reflect Liverpool's developing international agenda and take account of best practice from creative cities around the world.

"It will ensure the city centre's business, residential and visitor communities can co-exist in a vibrant, innovative and enterprising space and give confidence to those considering investing in the city."

Vision has also set up a steering group to help formulate the parameters for the new plan; members include Liverpool One; Liverpool in Business; Professional Liverpool; Liverpool John Moores University; 2Bio; Land Securities; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; Arena & Convention Centre; Merseytravel; Engage and Bruntwood as well as Liverpool City Council.

David Guest, regional director of Bruntwood, said: "The new framework will provide a basis for the city's next generation of international city centre development. It will set out criteria to evaluate initiatives that will boost additionality in the creation of wealth and new investment and therefore increase sustainable job creation for the wider city community."

Gerry Proctor, chairman of Engage, a group representing city centre residents, said: "We are looking at Liverpool's city centre in a multi-faceted way. Gaining input from the business community, developers and residential communities ensures that Liverpool continues to develop in a cohesive and inclusive way."

Jenny Douglas, Liverpool Vision's head of area investment, said: "The regeneration framework of 2000 provided a context in which the city could confidently address and deliver on its opportunities and challenges.

"It helped Liverpool regain its position as a first class European city. The next stage involves not only maintaining this momentum but also accelerating it."

Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, Labour cabinet member for regeneration at Liverpool City Council, will chair a members' reference group of cabinet and other elected members. He said: "The success of the last city centre master-plan is an enormous testament to all sectors pulling together towards one common goal. It really has helped the city catch up with our UK competitor cities.

"Yet there is scope for continued growth and the new strategy will be about consolidating and building on the previous 10 years and looking at specific sectors like the knowledge economy and financial services.

"It will be an ambitious plan and as before tempered by realism, but the bottom line is economic growth and creating a range of accessible jobs and creating the conditions for significant investment."

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