“The world is currently in a state of change, we are in the midst of much uncertainty and it is imperative that we position Liverpool and the City Region to adapt quickly and push forward with positivity into the future. We must turn this crisis into an opportunity, however hard that might seem. The way we do business will never be exactly the same again and so it is crucial that KQ Liverpool embraces this change and uses it to create and seize new opportunities, focussing on what has made us great in recent times; culture and the visitor economy, the creative and film industries, health innovation, science and technology. These are the things that we were good at before the pandemic and these are the things that will power our recovery out of it and deliver our future inclusive growth.”
Colin Sinclair, CEO KQ Liverpool & Sciontec Liverpool
Creating Bespoke Business Offerings
By collaborating with our university partners, we aim to produce bespoke graduate packages for future investors. Often during an investment process, recruitment – more specifically graduate recruitment – is a priority that is only picked up at the last minute. We are presenting our untapped graduate talent pool as one of our USPs in our discussions with potential occupiers for Paddington Village and Sciontec’s other schemes and looking at how each incoming company could work strategically with our university partners.
We are in early discussions with each of the University careers departments to understand their current graduate employment offerings and looking at how we can work more collaboratively to bring together business and academia.
Connecting graduates to SMEs is also crucial to supporting business growth and enhancing employment opportunities. By utilising our position within our science and tech assets, such as Liverpool Science Park and Sensor City, we aim to bring a collection of SMEs to partner with the universities' careers departments to explore recruitment possibilities.
The talent across Liverpool City Region is not just focussed on graduates but on apprentices and young skilled workers as well. By working closely with the City of Liverpool College we will look to collaboratively create skills packages that will route young people into practical skilled jobs across KQ Liverpool.
Access to Mentors
KQ Liverpool is full of world-leaders and changemakers that are all doing incredible work across the Health and Life Sciences, Tech, Education and Cultural sectors. Identifying and creating a network of mentors across the innovation district will create tangible aspirations for the younger generation of business associates who are keen to develop their careers and step into the shoes as the leaders of tomorrow.
Continuing to Support Current Graduate Schemes
On leaving higher education many graduates are often facing the reality that there is a lack of entry level opportunities in the city. After spending over three years in higher education, graduates are also leaving with little or no practical work experience. Programmes like Agent Academy are pivotal in bridging the gap between higher education and employment, offering young talent in the city region the chance to engage with businesses and earn vital experience, setting them in good stead for their professional careers. We will help to promote and grow such initiatives.
Supporting Start-ups and Commercialising IP to Attract and Retain the Most Talented People
Liverpool’s Universities are world leaders in research, but more has to be done to promote this, in the UK and overseas. This is not only important for our own health and economic outcomes but also in attracting the best and most talented students, doctors, postgraduates, change makers, entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.
Whilst statistically the number of university start-ups and spinouts in Liverpool has risen dramatically within the last few years, more can be done. We need to continue to work with these new companies to ensure that we are able to provide appropriate places for commercialisation to happen, whilst providing the required wrap around business support and pipeline of talent to help them take their intellectual property to the market.
Creating a skilled workforce is the key to the success of any city. As the KQ Liverpool innovation district continues to develop and continue its journey of growth, it is important that we bring along with us a workforce of skilled individuals who can be supported into the thousands of employment opportunities that will be presented in the coming years.
As we continue to strive for more inward investment opportunities, we must ensure that we are able to fill the positions that this level of investment would create with a highly skilled workforce. By working with Liverpool’s Combined Authority, we look to support the skills initiatives being rolled out across the region as well as working alongside other Northern cities, such as Manchester with a joined up thinking approach that will aim to tackle the skills shortage.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
Over the past four years, KQ Liverpool has established strong international links through its annual presence at the MIPIM Property conference in Cannes and its work on the US East Coast, in Hong Kong and in Shanghai. The team have used the international platform to promote strategically important milestone announcements and build a globally renowned brand. KQ Liverpool has maintained a strong, close relationship with Liverpool’s key stakeholders and thought leaders as well as international conference attendees and industry peers.
Building on this success, we have identified our key international target markets for FDI and will continue to build relationships in these regions as well as ensuring, with our City and City Region partners, that Liverpool is represented at relevant overseas conferences and as part of any associated delegations when it is safe to travel again and when taking environmental concerns into account such work cannot be done by video conferencing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the business community has embraced remote working and in doing so has utilised online platforms to host meetings. Having access to these platforms has now sparked the realisation that international relationships can be maintained more easily and has opened up an array of opportunities for international exchange.
In recent years there has been a trend amongst London/SE based businesses and some public sector agencies to ‘Northshore’ to cities such as Manchester and Leeds with an aim to recruit talented people, especially multi-disciplinary graduates, and to trim property and other operational costs.
By securing investment from the Royal College of Physicians, Liverpool has recently demonstrated its capability to compete with our Northern counterparts for such inward investment opportunities. We plan to build on that success.
The Physical Legacy
The past four years have seen monumental change across KQ Liverpool, including the development of the new £1billion Paddington Village site. The new grade-A office space that is being erected on the site includes The Spine, a 120,000 sq ft, BREEAM excellent rated office building that has been built to a Platinum WELL standard and will be one of the world's healthiest buildings.
Paddington Village has already attracted investment from world-leading organisations such as the Royal College of Physicians and Rutherford Health. We aim to continue to bring investment of the highest standard onto the site and create an invaluable ecosystem with a focus on health, science, tech and education.
Market Trends & Connections
We are always striving to attract new business into the city, whether it be domestic, national or international. A key part of this, is working with colleagues at the Department for International Trade and at the LCR Growth Platform to monitor investment trends and secure appropriate opportunities.
In order to maximise our international offering we will look to launch our soft-landing programmes across our science and tech assets to encourage international businesses to set-up in the Liverpool city region.
Our soft-landing programme ‘KQ Lite’ will provide rent free office spaces across our assets, including Liverpool Science Park and Sensor City for businesses looking to branch out into the UK, looking to make Liverpool their home. The programme will consist of space at the heart of KQ Liverpool as well as a package of personalised business support from local experts including marketing assistance and legal advice.
Global Cultural Capital
Culture and the arts are very much intertwined through every aspect of KQ Liverpool, through our architecture, street art, restaurant offering and entertainment. These offerings are what sets us apart as a knowledge-intensive destination and act as a unique selling point to potential investors.
Hope Street sits at the heart of KQ Liverpool and is home to many culturally diverse organisations including our two world-renowned cathedrals, the UK’s oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra (The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic) and one of the world's most acclaimed performing arts schools (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts). It is a destination that comes alive in better times in the evening with a vast offering of fine dining, a four-star hotel, with another being built, and a choice of first-class performances at the Philharmonic Hall, Everyman and Unity theatres.
In order to continue attracting big players into the city it is vital that we showcase the Liverpool way of life. By that, we mean offering more than just office space. It is about showcasing the city of Liverpool and what it has to offer away from the workplace. We aim to continue celebrating and expanding our cultural offering and making the arts a key part of what makes KQ Liverpool unique, by working with companies like Hope Street CIC and the Liverpool Biennial.
Our cultural sector and visitor economy will be highly impacted from the effects of the lockdown period. It is imperative that we work with our city partners and Hope Street CIC, utilising initiatives like ‘Liverpool Without Walls’ to secure a future for these businesses and ensure that our unique cultural assets thrive once more.
Focussing on our City Strengths
Liverpool has long been recognised globally for its strengths in music, culture, computer games, film-making and football. Our waterfront city has been showcased globally with ambassadors from The Beatles to Mo Salah representing us across the globe. After successfully securing the title of Capital of Culture in 2008 the city has gone from strength to strength as regeneration has seeped through the different sectors leading to the next generation of developments such as Paddington Village and Copperas Hill that will position Liverpool as one of the most progressive cities in the UK.
Liverpool is a city doused in history with many ‘firsts’ being established here such as the first school of tropical medicine that was opened in Liverpool in 1898. Our world-leading strengths in fighting and preventing infection and disease have existed since the early 1900’s and have been recognised across the globe.
Following from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool is presented with an opportunity to showcase our perhaps lesser known strengths such as digital health and integrated data, surface science and biofilms, advanced manufacturing and robotics, healthcare and immersive technologies and sports science. By working with our partners and collaborating purposefully with our stakeholders we look to focus on these strengths providing a platform for greater positive exposure.
By 2025 we aim to be connected across the city region with a bigger and even stronger network of organisations. We want to promote the success and triumphs of our stakeholders and encourage new collaborations to form between them.
We will utilise our increasing social media presence to spread positive messages and celebrate our partners' achievements.
Connecting at Every Level
The creation of the KQ Liverpool Board allowed many of the senior key players in the city to come together to positively disrupt the norm and push boundaries through innovation. In order to continue spreading the message and strengthening our current relationships it is crucial that we are embedded within our partner organisations and that we are connecting at all levels of seniority – not just at executive level.
Growing Our Ecosystem
Since our inception in 2016, KQ Liverpool has focused on ‘making the place’ and collaborating with organisations that fall under our physical, geographical boundaries. The 2025 vision will see this expand and begin to work closer with organisations outside of our boundaries, but who are still very much a key part of our ecosystem. A good example being our plans to work closer on innovation with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Case Study - Alder Hey
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital pushes the boundaries of paediatric healthcare through their use of innovative technologies. Whilst they are located outside the geographical borders of KQ Liverpool they are pivotal to the development and ethos of our vision. By engaging with organisations such as Alder Hey we expand our vision to complement Liverpool’s leading strengths in health and life sciences and exploit how digital and immersive technologies can lead to medical breakthroughs by showcasing the work being done at the Alder Hey Innovation Centre. These advanced technology methods will have a great impact on our reputation as a progressive and leading city. By bringing Alder Hey into our ecosystem through relationships with Liverpool Health Partners, we demonstrate the importance of collaborative thinking and how this can lead to a wider impact on the regional health statistics.
Expanding Our Network
Connecting and collaborating with people across the city region has proved invaluable to the success of KQ Liverpool. By hosting and attending various events across the city we have formed a network of brilliant minds who all contribute to the success of our work.
Our monthly ‘In the Know’ events bring together like-minded individuals to discuss relevant topics and promote solutions. Over the past few years, the popularity of these events has grown extensively, and we are now reaching maximum capacity in terms of audience numbers, with a ‘virtual’ series planned for the Autumn. These events have allowed us to connect with new groups of people across different sectors both in KQ Liverpool and further afield.
Growing on the success of these events, KQ Liverpool will look to create a calendar of events that will include larger conferences, digital webinars, social networking opportunities and roundtable discussions. We will work with organisations such as Downtown in Business and the BID District with an aim to market our events to a range of different audiences from students to entrepreneurs, working online where necessary.
By working with the Liverpool City Council and educational partners we will look to signpost young people to the career opportunities that will be available across KQ Liverpool in the future. We will look to work with local schools and colleges to arrange for young people to visit our science and tech facilities. This type of physical engagement will create tangible aspiration for the local, younger generations to become economically empowered through their educational choices and will contribute to the continuing talent pipeline that will fill the knowledge intensive jobs of tomorrow.
Promoting Inclusive Growth
KQ Liverpool borders some of the most deprived areas in Liverpool including Everton, Picton and Kensington. It is our social responsibility to ensure that the residents of these communities feel that they are part of the KQ Liverpool's journey. By 2025 phase one of Paddington will be complete and work will have begun on the next phases of the development. This work will create thousands of knowledge intensive and supply chain jobs.
We have already started to look at ways of helping the local communities to feel a connection to Paddington Village. We have created a new campaign, to feature on the construction hoardings around the site, which focuses on the ‘people’ aspect of the site. By rolling this kind of messaging out now and building on it as we open various aspects of the site, we are able to remind people that everyone is welcome, and that Paddington is not just for doctors and people in white lab coats.
Through our partners and stakeholders, we will engage with communities with an aim to bring local people into our ecosystem and promote KQ Liverpool as a place that drives inclusive growth.
By investing in developments such as Paddington Village (including Paddington Central, North and South), the Liverpool Health campus, Upper Central and Central Park we are actively working to increase the number of employment opportunities, creating a demand for both knowledge intensive and supply chain jobs. In the short to medium term these developments will also create thousands of construction jobs as well as tens-of-thousands of training opportunities.
As KQ Liverpool continues to grow it is paramount that the local people become a key part of our narrative. By creating thousands of employment opportunities we hope to economically empower local people into taking a sense of pride and ownership over KQ Liverpool as they join our invaluable ecosystem.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a rise in unemployment figures across the city region. It is crucial that we work with the City and Liverpool City Region, supporting initiatives such as the LCR Ways to Work employment programme that will support its people during this financial hardship and provide routes into various forms of employment.
The Positive Effects of Employment
Providing local people with employment opportunities not only increases their economic stature but also has long lasting effects on living conditions and health inequalities. Liverpool has some of the worst health outcomes in the UK with statistics conveying that infant mortality is still rising rather than falling. We cannot let that continue.
Joining up Across the City
KQ Liverpool covers over half of the city centre. As a key part of the city landscape it is important that we link up with the other spatial initiatives that make up the rest of the city, such as the Baltic Triangle and the Commercial District. By linking up with these districts and Liverpool BID Company we are able to share methods of best practice whilst working holistically to showcase Liverpool as a world-leading city with specialisms that span across multiple sectors.
Innovation at the Forefront of the Future
In 2019 Liverpool became one of the first UK cities to access the 5G network. As our homes, transport and healthcare are now becoming more connected and reliant on technology it is important that we continue to investigate and look to utilise 5G technologies and support initiatives that will harness the power of 5G and push Liverpool forward as a progressive and technologically advanced ‘smart’ city.
Following the government issued lockdown in March 2020, the business community was thrown into remote working with little time to prepare. Moving forward, the way we work will never be the same again and so it is imperative that we are constantly adapting and looking for new innovative technologies that push us forward as a future smart green city.
Reaching our Carbon Neutrality Goals
In May 2019 the UK government declared climate change a national emergency and in response to this Liverpool city region pledged to be completely carbon neutral by 2040. This will be done by harnessing the power of our untapped alternative energy sources such as wind turbines, hydrogen power and utilising the tidal barrage from the River Mersey. Liverpool as a city is well positioned to adapt to climate change and will work collaboratively as a region to achieve the 2040 goal.
KQ Liverpool will play a role in this as we begin to explore new alternative solutions for powering our science and tech facilities and by introducing new green transport solutions. We will also utilise our new public realm spaces to promote walking and cycling.
Connectivity is Key
KQ Liverpool covers over half of the city centre and provides arterial routes to multiple outer boroughs and the M62 motorway that leads directly to Manchester.
The impact of Paddington Village in KQ Liverpool has changed the employment axis of the city centre, creating an unprecedented need for a new, green, transport solution that complements the existing network.
The Paddington Line would be the solution to that ‘last mile’ connectivity that is needed to bring the workforce up the hill and into the heart of KQ Liverpool. The Paddington Line is currently in its consultation period - by 2025 we aim to see the project through to phase one completion.
The KQ Liverpool Spatial Masterplan
KQ Liverpool is currently overseeing several large areas of development. It is key that we as the overarching body look at how these developments will impact the landscape of the area. We aim to carry out a piece of work that will join together all of the current and near future estates strategy plans to create the KQ Liverpool Spatial Masterplan. The masterplan will be created to ensure that each development area is complementary to its surroundings in terms of delivery.
In addition to this we will look to further develop a public realm strategy that coincides with the KQ Liverpool Spatial Masterplan, looking at how we can create thriving green neighbourhoods across KQ Liverpool and install pockets of green space across our assets by utilising roof garden space and ensuring that any new developments are considerate of the importance of providing public realm space.
It is important that people feel a sense of place when they cross the threshold into KQ Liverpool. Like Liverpool ONE has successfully done down in the commercial district, we want to create a place that is recognisable on entrance with a clear visual brand.
As part of our 2025 vision we aim to bring together our partners with the city planning department to create a wayfinding strategy that encompasses all of our individual stakeholders whilst creating a sense of place across the KQ Liverpool boundaries.