Liverpool is on the cusp of becoming a world-class destination for science, innovation, education, technology and the creative and performing arts. The city’s £2bn vision to establish Liverpool’s 450-acre Knowledge Quarter as one of the world’s leading innovation districts, will further reinforce its status as one of the best student cities in the world.
The Knowledge Quarter is one of five mayoral development zones in Liverpool. It spans a huge area mostly to the east of the city centre behind Lime Street Station, encompassing the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Sensor City, and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Within the Knowledge Quarter are two major development sites: the £1bn Paddington Village and Knowledge Quarter Gateway. Another key development is the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) railway station, connected to the city’s underground network.
The Paddington Village project occupies a massive a 1.8m sq ft behind the Royal Liverpool Hospital, and is earmarked for health, education, science and residential development. Construction giant Morgan Sindall has already won the contract to design and build the £35m new Northern base for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).
The RCP is one of the world’s most renowned medical institutions and the Liverpool project, its first centre of excellence outside London, will create 100 jobs. Completion is targeted at 2019.
Also committed to the site are Liverpool International College and The Rutherford Cancer Centre. The RCP and Liverpool International College are the anchor tenants of the site.
KQ Gateway sits at the other end of the Knowledge Quarter, between Mount Pleasant, the old Lewis’s store, Copperas Hill and Lime Street Station. The area, with the support of the mayor of Liverpool and collaboration with other parties, will be transformed into a vibrant space – new shops, offices, galleries, bars, restaurants, gyms and university space.
Only 2 hours from London by train, KQ Gateway will offer a new commercial space for tech and digital businesses, alongside futuristic educational space. Regeneration of KQ Gateway is already underway — the Ion scheme on Lime Street and the Liverpool John Moores University’s demolition of the former sorting office on Copperas Hill, to name a few.
The biggest project so far in the Knowledge Quarter is the massive new Royal Liverpool Hospital.
But several other projects are already well under way, including the £15m Sensor City scheme and the Materials Innovation Factory where Unilever and the University of Liverpool are working together to create innovative products and materials.
Existing schemes in the Knowledge Quarter include Liverpool Science Park, whose three buildings are already 90% full.
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said: “With £1bn of investment already underway and a potential further £1bn at Paddington Village alone, these are really exciting times for Liverpool and the wider city region’s knowledge economy.
Mayor Anderson agrees: “KQ Gateway not only presents an opportunity for significant future investment and regeneration but will ultimately create more highly skilled jobs in Liverpool and strengthen the city’s position as a world-leading innovation district. By attracting investment and creating jobs, I believe that we can improve people’s lives.
“Ordinary cities lead to ordinary lives but Liverpool is no ordinary city – we are exceptional and exceptional cities foster exceptional lives”.
What’s clear at the end of the day is that the Knowledge Quarter scheme could bring THOUSANDS of new jobs to the city in addition to increasing demand for housing.
Knowledge Quarter chief executive Colin Sinclair said: “We’re not just banding big figures around. What we’re trying to say is this is a landmark, a historic moment in the future of Liverpool .
“And there’s a really bright future for Liverpool. When that kind of investment is being made you can really say to any investor from around the globe, America, India, China, that Liverpool is a city of opportunity.
“It’s a step change. We’re not dabbling around the edges here. We’re trying to create something that is lasting for the city.”
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