£2bn knowledge quarter to lead Liverpool’s recovery

KQ Liverpool has published its five-year vision that will put the knowledge economy at the forefront of the city’s economic strategy post-coronavirus. Tony McDonough reports

Paddington Village
Image of ‘The Spine’, the new £35m headquarters in for the Royal College of Physicians


Liverpool’s £2bn Knowledge Quarter will lead the city out of the coronavirus crisis and into a new era of economic growth, a new report says today.

KQ Liverpool has published its five-year vision that will put the knowledge economy at the forefront of the city’s economic strategy. The KQ Liverpool 2025 Vision has sought the views of 60 stakeholders in a bid to respond to the economic challenge posed by COVID-19.

The report comes just days after Liverpool City Council laid out its £1.4bn plan to reinvigorate Liverpool post-COVID. That report identified a number of “shovel-ready” projects that included the Knowledge Quarter.

In April leading Liverpool academic Professor Michael Parkinson predicted the knowledge economy could lead Merseyside out of the current crisis. For the past 10 years the city region has leaned heavily on the success of its £5bn tourism sector, which is now facing a crisis with no short-term solutions.

That leaves the same for other sectors to take up the slack such as the growing £4bn maritime sector and the Knowledge economy focused on the Knowledge Quarter on the edge of the city centre.

The KQ Liverpool partners are the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bruntwood SciTech.

Over the past four years KQ Liverpool has seen around £1bn of new projects under way. These include the new, but delayed, Royal Liverpool Hospital, the £35m Spine development, that will house the northern headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians, and the Rutherford Cancer Centre.

Plans for the next five years include new commercial space at Paddington Central, the HILL at Paddington North and Central Park, and the expansion of the near fully occupied Liverpool Science Park.

The 2025 vision encompasses five key areas of focus: attracting and retaining talent, growing businesses and attracting inward investment, being a better neighbour, collaborating with purpose and creating a smarter city.

The KQ Lite programme is also aiming to target foreign owned businesses in parts of the world such as China and the US and encourage them to locate at Liverpool Science Park, Sensor City and The Spine. It also includes strategies to retain the best talent graduating from the city’s universities and strengthen the links between industry and academia.

Last week the Knowledge Quarter secured a major win when a consortium led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine secured £114m to accelerate R&D in new treatments for infectious diseases.

Colin Sinclair
Colin Sinclair, chief executive of KQ Liverpool. Picture by Gareth Jones


Colin Sinclair, chief executive of KQ Liverpool and Sciontec Liverpool, which operates Liverpool Science Park, said: “The timing of this launch could not be more crucial, as we in Liverpool, and across the globe, plan our economic recovery from coronavirus.

“We know it’s not over yet and that only by creativity, flexibility and ingenuity will we get through this together using culture and innovation to fuel Liverpool’s economic resurgence.

“Our new strategic plan to drive forward our health, life sciences and tech innovation district will empower Liverpool and the wider city region to adapt more quickly, play to our strengths and push forward with positivity.”

The KQ Liverpool 2025 strategic vision was formed following a consultation process with city leaders, innovators and change-makers, which started at the beginning of the year. The vision reflects on the substantial success of the KQ Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone since its inception in 2016.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson added: “In just four years, the KQ Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone has put Liverpool on the global innovation map. I’m confident that this strategy will enable us to push on further with the transformation of our city’s economy to a focus on world leading health, science and technology.

“Upper Central and Paddington Village are key components of our vision of creating opportunities based on the innovation and excellence we already have in the city.”

Click here to read the full KQ Liverpool five-year plan

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