In recent years, investment across the Northern Powerhouse region has seen cities like Manchester and Leeds rise to prominence, with their digital and media sectors and demand for young skilled workers and thinkers meaning they have seen swelling populations and more accommodation being built.
One city that has threatened to join these two for some time now has been Liverpool. City centre regeneration and bold plans for the future of the area at the docks has meant that there have been high hopes for Merseyside, and it could be about to realise these dreams through increased levels of Liverpool property investment in one of its most promising areas.
The Knowledge Quarter in Liverpool has been one of the city council’s main points of focus for the past few years. The plan is for the area, which stretches from Liverpool Central to the Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus and back towards the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, to become a centre of innovation and education that promotes jobs growth and expansion.
Science and creativity have long been the drivers of investment from local authorities and private companies in the area, and it’s believed that the £1 billion-plus set aside for spending on the Knowledge Quarter will not only push forth innovation, but will also see thousands of jobs created in the area, helping to bring new skilled young workers into Liverpool and away from other big cities, both in the north and the wider UK as a whole.
This will also help to boost Liverpool property investment. With a shortfall of beds in the city already in place, an influx of younger, skilled professionals and students will necessitate the construction of purpose built accommodation – both mainstream and student – and help to give the housing sector in the city the continued boost of investment it needs to continue its success.
Building on foundations
One of the main reasons behind the projected success of the Knowledge Quarter is the simple fact that Liverpool has some of the very best foundations for growing in the sectors it has been set out to help thrive.
In science, health, technology, culture and education, Liverpool has proven that it has the potential to grow quickly and become a nationwide leader, if it has the right investment behind it. It’s believed that if these sectors are supported through investment in commercial spaces, knowledge and infrastructure, then they will be able to support expansion that will see as many as 14,000 new jobs created across the Knowledge Quarter region in the next few years.
Investment has been focused on two main developments in the Knowledge Quarter: The Life Sciences Accelerator, which is set to become one of the first purpose-built commercial spaces for companies operating in the life sciences sector, and the 120,000 sq. ft Liverpool Science Park, where labs and offices are combined to allow for knowledge sharing, skills development and innovation.
Of course, if job numbers are going to rise in science and tech, among other sectors, then it stands to reason that the area will also need an influx of talent and skills to make sure it doesn’t suffer a gap between the number of roles available and the number of candidates to fill them.
One way the Knowledge Quarter will be tackling this will be to make sure that investment in students and universities in the region is a focus.
At the moment, there are some 57,000 students studying in the city, and the Knowledge Quarter leaders believe that spending on the city will place the universities at the forefront of innovation, as well as creating a talent pipeline, where education and business works together to ensure that thriving city-based companies have a stream of graduates who are leaving university well equipped to support sector growth.
One of the most important investments in the education sector of the Knowledge Quarter has been Sensor City, which has welcomed collaboration from the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, both of which are at the heart of the development.
Sensor City was designed to promote innovation, and will help transition ideas from dreams to reality, supporting new business start-ups in sensor technology. It is hoped that the £15 million development will help to start 300 new businesses in coming years, as well as creating 1,000 new jobs in collaboration with the universities.
Liverpool property investment
Education and business in the modern world, however, cannot thrive without improving the quality of life. Younger people now want to live somewhere that not only provides them with good access to jobs, but which also enhances every facet of their day-to-day life, and this is being promoted in the Knowledge Quarter through Liverpool property investment like Aura.
Aura will feature three buildings that will illuminate the skyline of Liverpool’s prestigious Knowledge Quarter. Community is the cornerstone of the development, where students are encouraged to live, work and play together as part of a wider community, a mindset which is being pushed forward with the development of a state-of-the-art gym, communal spaces, study areas a restaurant and communal courtyard spaces that mean everyone can get what they need from the area.