‘Liverpool is much more than an investment opportunity’

Chris Brown, Director of Marketing, Marketing Liverpool

The city wants to attract people with its environment and culture and be seen as a good place to live, not just work, Chris Brown, Director of Marketing, Marketing Liverpool, told Real Estate Day.

 ‘Liverpool wants to be seen as an outward-facing, progressive, open city, irrespective of our country’s difficulties with Europe,’ he said. ‘What we are seeking to do is attract people not just to the great opportunities there are in terms of investment but also about the environment in which that investment will be made’

This in practice means ‘emphasising the connection to local people, to the talent coming through universities and colleges inside and outside the city, to the context of the place and its culture,’ Brown said. ‘The idea is for Liverpool to be the place you would like to live and bring up your family as well as grow your business. It is about pulling all these elements together to  tell a real story about why you would want to come to the city’.

The main conversation is about the place and why you should choose it, he said: ‘It’s not about putting the how much you would pay for per square metre at the front, it’s actually putting that at the back and giving all these other reasons to come here. We know if we can get people to the city, then our job is half done’.

The authorities’ attitude has changed and now investment must go hand in hand with social inclusion projects. ‘The notion of inclusive growth is not just about the economic impact but about the social impact,’ he said. 

One example is a multi-billion pound project taking place in the university sector of the city, which will bring some international life sciences and medical businesses and 10-20,000 highly-skilled employees into that area, which is a few hundred metres from one of the most deprived areas of the city.

‘If we don’t tackle the two things together, then that place will get worse, so we want to make sure the benefit will not only go to the  campus that is being developed, but also to the residents who live in the proximity of that campus,’ Brown said. ‘A few years ago we might have hoped it would happen but not done much about it, while now we are giving those residents the opportunity to gain the skills that they need to be able to take up the new opportunities. It’s a big turnaround’.

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