Liverpool Special Focus: A city reborn from the ashes of recession

Liverpool waterfront

All this week is running a series of articles putting the focus on the economic success story that is Liverpool.

The special focus on Liverpool is being run in partnership with Deloitte, Investec Wealth and Investment and Professional Liverpool.

The series of articles will include commentary, debate and analysis.

Four decades ago the great city of Liverpool was written off as an economic basket case by the politicians in Westminster.

But now the picture in the city is very different to the dark times of the 1970s and 80s.

The city, that was once synonymous with poverty and neglect, is now the proud home to thriving economy.

According to Government data the home of the current champions of European football has the highest economic growth of any combined authority area in England.

The figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show a growth rate of 3.3% and places the city region above the England average economic growth rate of 2%.

Analysis of the figures by the Liverpool City Region LEP show that Gross Value Added (GVA) growth in the city region has been driven by an increase in output across a number of sectors, including manufacturing, health, wholesale and retail, education, construction and information and communications.

Since 2013, GVA from the manufacturing sector in Liverpool City Region has increased by an average 2.1% per year compared with 1.4% for England.

The growth has been driven by major milestones in the city’s economic history.

The European Capital of Culture, the redevelopment of the historic waterfront and the Liverpool ONE shopping centre have all played a part in the economic success story.

Another major factor has been the huge increase in the number of young people coming to the city to study.

And the fact that the city is home to two Premiership teams has also helped boost the economy.

The mixture of football, retail and heritage has made the city one of the UK’s leading tourist destination – something that would have been unthinkable three decades ago.

Asif Hamid

Liverpool City Region LEP chair, Asif Hamid, said: “By supporting our strengths in sectors like manufacturing, health and digital and creative, we are enabling real, meaningful change in the city region.

“Our growth sectors and assets provide us with an outstanding environment for growth and the time to invest in the city region has never been better.”

But there is not time for the city to rest on its laurels.

There are major redevelopments taking place in the former docks – once the powerhouse of the city’s economy.

Princes Dock, Liverpool Waters

And the redevelopment of the docks is being mirrored on the other side of the River Mersey in Birkenhead.

And the key to future economic success will be the emerging new technologies that are driving businesses forward.

One scheme which helps small businesses make best use of new technology is expected to add 1,000 jobs and tens of millions of pounds to Liverpool’s economy over the next three years.

LCR 4.0 is a support programme for the Liverpool City Region’s manufacturing sector.

Steve Rotheram

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram believes that the future is indeed bright for the city region.

He said: “There is a truly entrepreneurial spirit running through Liverpool City Region.

“Because of this, the region can become, and in my opinion is becoming, a manufacturing global hotspot.

“Programmes like LCR 4.0 are making that possible, establishing innovative and dynamic manufacturing communities across the six boroughs.

“We’re well on our way to fulfil our potential as a hub of advanced manufacturing.

“What we need now is to collaborate and embrace new techniques and processes which will drive growth.”