The Introduction of Mayoral Development Zones

In 2012, many cities across the country decided to elect a city mayor. These mayors were given more autonomy and power to make changes in the development of their cities. In both Liverpool and London, Mayoral Development Corporations were set up to support the mayor’s vision. After the election for the executive mayor in 2012, a wealth of changes to how these cities ran were introduced. Mayoral Development Zones were designated areas for investing from new funding and finance from Enterprise Zones and other sources. These areas are targeted for growth and regeneration in a range of investments from both the private and public sector.

The Need for Decentralised Powers

When the elections for a city mayor were held, Liverpool was a city in desperate need of investment. In 2012 Liverpool only had 69% of the small businesses it should have had for a city of its size. Over 30% of jobs were in the private sector which was massively hit by cuts. The vast divide between the North and South of England made government policies across the country less effective. Business start-up rates were significantly below the national average, and so was the business density.

Mayor Of Liverpool Joe Anderson

These issues meant that more action was needed from both the council and private sector to boost Liverpool’s economy. In 1999, Liverpool Vision, the first urban development company in the UK, was set up. This private and public sector partnership set the stage for future collaborations between the council and businesses in Liverpool. There are many factors unique to Liverpool, like its trading history, dockside environment and geographic location. This meant local government had the expertise necessary to start a programme of growth.

What is a Mayoral Development Zone?

A Mayoral Development Zone is a designated area of a city that’s run by a Mayoral Development Corporation. The council has selected these areas as places which need investment and improvement in a targeted strategy to boost growth. The Mayoral Development Corporation offers incentives to businesses and showcases investment opportunities. It also benefits financially from any increase in business rates.

The board has control of all the city’s assets. The Liverpool Mayoral Development Zones enable the city’s leadership to focus on critical areas which need regeneration. New enterprise zones in North Liverpool and the Central Business District offer incentives for companies to set up in the city. Funds from the increased business rates due to these measures will be used in the designated Mayoral Development Zones. Different from a Liverpool street zone, the Mayoral Development Zones are large areas that stretch out beyond the city centre.

What is a Mayoral Development Corporation?

Mayoral Development Corporations were set up to aid the elected mayor in planning and implementing strategic development and investment. They also advise, plan and hold the mayor to account. Mayoral Development Corporations are run by a board of both private and public-sector leaders. They have a wealth of knowledge and skills that can help drive growth in the city. The London Legacy Development Corporation is responsible for the lasting impact of the 2012 Olympic Games. It also manages physical development in areas of London which held events. Liverpool Mayoral Development Corporation has played a crucial role in promoting the city both to potential visitors and potential investors.

The Mayoral Development Corporation is responsible for showcasing the potential in the city. It shares opportunities for investors to profit from the growing city economy. It also has control over the cities assets. They offer support for new investors and existing companies wishing to expand. These options include equity, loans and flexible funding packages.

Liverpool Regeneration Infographic

Liverpool Mayoral Development Zones

Liverpool has five Mayoral Development Zones. These are North Liverpool, the Knowledge Quarter, Stonebridge Cross, Central Liverpool and South Liverpool. The success of the Mayoral Development Zones can be seen in a variety of ways. These include new jobs created, existing jobs safeguarded, new homes built, student bedrooms constructed as well as investment. Investment is split into non-residential, residential and student accommodation value.

North Liverpool Mayoral Zones cover a large area of Northern Liverpool, made up of commercial, industrial and warehousing on the waterfront. Since April 2012, the North Liverpool Mayoral Zones have received £433 million investment with £187 million in pending investment. This is primarily due to the regeneration of the city’s football grounds.

The South Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone has seen a high level of growth in specialised sectors like automotive and biopharmaceuticals. It has also benefitted from investments in the city’s transport links. Some of these are John Lennon airport and South Parkway station.

The Stonebridge Cross Mayoral Development Zone is a hub for logistics and warehouses. Large employers like Home Bargains and DPD are providing jobs in this area.

Liverpool Development Zones

The Central Liverpool Mayoral Development Zones is in an ideal location for businesses to expand outside of the city centre. The Liverpool Shopping Park has been a significant development in this area. So too has expansion in Liverpool Innovation Park which houses several information and digital technology firms. £103 million has been invested in this zone, with £40 million investment currently on site and £30 million investment pending.

The Knowledge Quarter Mayoral Development Zone is in the heart of the city centre. This area includes the universities, Liverpool Science Park, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the forthcoming £335 million Royal Liverpool University Hospital. There are significant plans for the redevelopment of this region, with £602 million already invested in the area. £321 million investment value is currently on site, and there is a pending £115 million more.

Investment in Mayoral Development Zones

Along with an increase in powers from the government, the mayor and mayoral development corporation gained £120 million of funding to invest in the city’s strategic vision. This was made up of an extra £75 million to boost economic growth and £55 million from council funds. Having a single investment programme allows the Mayoral Development Corporation to utilise both public and private finance. This makes it easier to put its targeted investment strategy into practice. A mayoral investment committee has also been established to oversee and scrutinise how the single investment programme is being carried out.

Between 2012 and 2017, over £2.45 billion worth of development has taken place in the Mayoral Development Zones. The City Council has been able to invest in new projects in the city. One example is their investment in John Lennon Airport. This has been improving facilities for passengers and visitors and the council is sharing in profits as the airport grows. Projects like the £1 billion Liverpool One development have revolutionised the city, boosting tourism and encouraging retail businesses to Liverpool.

Investment Zones in Liverpool

As of 2018, over £5.2 billion worth of completed investment has taken place in Liverpool’s Mayoral Development Zones. Regeneration has also been a considerable part of the investment strategy. In North Liverpool mayoral zones, the area of Anfield, home to Liverpool Football Club, is undergoing a £260 million generation. This includes refurbishing homes, a new public square and a business hub. Improvements to infrastructure and transport links have been another part of the targeted investment strategy. Furthermore, the Mayoral Development Zone plan has allowed better access for people working and living in and around Liverpool. The vast investment from both the private and public sectors has been instrumental in Liverpool’s growth and development.

Development Strategy

Due to increased investment in Liverpool Mayoral Development Zones, there have been several new projects and developments taking place. The Liverpool Mayoral Corporations targeted investment strategy allows the development of the city to move forward more cohesively. By recognising the city’s shortcomings and addressing its needs, growth can be more sustainable. This can be seen in the renovation of Lime Street Station, which improved transport links from Liverpool to the UK. Incentives in Mayoral Development Zones have encouraged companies to choose Liverpool as a place to start a new business. Investment in the warehousing and logistics sector, often based in North Liverpool Mayoral Zones, has been rising due to inward investment. The recently completed £300 million Liverpool Two port has made transporting goods far more straightforward for businesses.

Opportunities for Investors

A single investment strategy, implemented by the mayor and mayoral development corporation, has caused major improvements in Liverpool’s mayoral development zones. Thousands of jobs have been created and people who are moving here are often looking for city centre rental accommodation. As the city’s population increases the demand for housing is on the rise too. This level of investment looks set to continue, with ambitious projects like the Liverpool Waters development and Paddington Village. Changes implemented by the Mayoral Development Corporation have made it easier for developers to put up new buildings. As a result of this, these are providing great buy to let investment opportunities.

Tobacco Wharf Liverpool

New developments in excellent city centre locations are viewable here. Property in Mayoral Development Zones has seen steady capital appreciation. This is due to additional development and investment in the areas. For investors, a citywide programme of regeneration and targeted investment can be a sign of growth and a robust organised economy.

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