Academic Innovation is Driving Liverpool’s FDI and Property Investment Market

Liverpool’s global appeal as a leading FDI destination and property investment market hot-spot is driven by an academic network of innovation and research excellence

Academic Investment driving property investment marketRead through the impressive list of universities and organisations based in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool and it’s easy to see why the area is regarded as one of the most exciting research and development hubs in the UK. Among others, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Science Park, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have created a dynamic network of innovation that embraces science, health and technology. This makes the knowledge quarter a prime location for the UK property investment market.

Adding to this, the redeveloped Royal Liverpool Hospital will set new standards in state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. The impact on the city’s wider economy is tangible, the University of Liverpool recently published a report highlighting the role it plays in driving growth across the Liverpool City Region. The figures are emphatic: in 2015-16 the university generated a £652m gross value added contribution to the Liverpool City Region, with one in every 57 jobs in the region (some 10,790 in total) supported by the university.

It’s also having a considerable impact on the property investment market, especially investment in student property. Developments like One Islington Plaza at the gateway of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool are redefining student accommodation, providing huge appeal to international students and creating an enviable environment for investors. Public-private partnerships and collaboration, propelled by academic innovation, are cementing Liverpool’s position as one of the UK’s best cities to invest.

Being connected is the key to ensuring Liverpool competes at a global level, as Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region acknowledged when discussing the university’s report: “Successful cities in the 21st century are those with thriving and fertile knowledge economies underpinned by leading-edge and globally connected universities.” The Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, or KQ Liverpool as it has been dubbed, is driving a number of exciting new developments, including the £68m Materials Innovation Factory built by the University of Liverpool in partnership with Unilever, and a £35m investment in the William Henry Duncan Building, which accommodates the new Liverpool Bio Innovation Hub. Other global organisations are also in the mix. Attracting talent is the key to generating investment, and cutting-edge residential developments have a big role to play. It’s why speculators looking at property investment in Liverpool will be closely monitoring developments at the city’s most exciting addition to its academic infrastructure – Paddington Village.

A prestigious first tenant for Paddington Village

When The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) announced in 2016 that it would establish its northern base in Liverpool, it reinforced the city’s status as a major investment destination and set the scene for the next level of expansion. The RCP has now revealed designs for its £35m base in the heart of Paddington Village. Paddington Village is the flagship development currently being built to provide KQ Liverpool with the state-of-the-art business and residential facilities it demands. It will comprise 30 acres of science, technology, education and health space along with restaurants, cafes, hotels and accommodation. The land is owned by Liverpool City Council who have implemented a strategic planning framework to ensure Paddington Village is defined by new business, property investment and job opportunities. The Royal College of Physicians has taken 70,000 sq ft of space to create a hub that will allow its members across the north to meet and collaborate. The presence of the RCP will provide a major boost to the region’s academic network, while demonstrating the city’s capacity to establish partnerships with industry leaders: RCP President, Professor Jane Dacre, said: “We are extremely grateful for the way in which we have been welcomed and encouraged to set up our northern base in Liverpool, and for the generous support that has been offered from the key organisations to make this possible.

“To have made this much progress in such a short amount of time demonstrates the dynamism of the Liverpool organisations in driving collaboration to support healthcare, education and science.”

Paddington Village is being developed in 3 phases: Paddington Central, Paddington South and Paddington North, with phase 1 currently underway.

Paddington Central will be home to the RCP, while a partnership between the University of Liverpool and leading business training provider Kaplan has also been confirmed – a development that promises a 12-storey college, encompassing 45,000 sq ft of learning, residential and student accommodation. All of which will continue to enhance the city’s appeal to overseas students, whilst providing property investors further opportunities across Liverpool’s student buy-to-let market.

If the idea behind the Northern Powerhouse is to close the economic gap with London, then KQ Liverpool and Paddington Village are setting the standards in achieving this goal. Most of all, it demonstrates that academic innovation can drive economic growth, and through this, Liverpool is creating a name for itself as the UK’s premier FDI and property investment destination. Those looking to invest in the UK property investment market should take a close look at the opportunities available here.

Front page image:  A CGI exterior of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital building in the Knowledge Quarter

By Harry Drysdale-Wood | 20th July 2017

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