Historically both Liverpool and Manchester have faced severe economic decline and unprecedented levels of unemployment. However, over recent years both cities have been unstoppable. They have responded by investing in dramatic and ambitious redevelopment programmes of urban regeneration to revitalise, reshape and redesign the existing regions. Liverpool and Manchester are two of the most prominent cities at the heart of England’s Northern Powerhouse. Their main aims include boosting the economic growth and redistributing the national economy.

Since the turn of the millennium, both cities have undergone significant levels of investment leading to changing patterns in the property market. Liverpool is a strong city that has transformed into one of the UK’s leading business and leisure destinations, attracting young professionals and tourists from all around the globe. Similarly, Manchester has built on its industrial heritage. Once thriving cotton mills have been injected with new life in the form of student accommodation, upmarket bars, opulent restaurants and luxurious wedding venues. We aim to take a closer look at these two cities in terms of the extensive regeneration projects that are changing their potential of continued growth and strong prospects.

Aerial view of Manchester City Centre1 Liverpool Vs Manchester


Manchester has experienced ambitious regeneration initiatives over the last decade that have aimed to reshape the city’s derelict buildings and sprawling wasteland into an impressive emerging city. Providing a stark contrast to the vision of Manchester in the 60s and 70s, vibrancy and life have been injected into the city, totally transforming its landscape. However, one of the biggest catalysts that spurred on Manchester’s redevelopment was the 1996 bombing in the city.

On Saturday 15th June 1996, a bomb was detonated in Manchester city centre. The damage left the Arndale Centre and Shambles Square in complete devastation. This tragedy provided the springboard to reconstruct the buildings and begin the remodelling of the city. A master plan of redevelopment was formed, aiming to restore existing buildings whilst introducing some brand-new cutting-edge architecture into the area. Manchester was beginning to change shape and visions for the future were starting to take form.

Piccadilly Gardens Manchester

Piccadilly Gardens

Around six years later in 2002, a public sphere situated in the heart of the city opened – Piccadilly Gardens. It is within walking distance of Manchester’s bustling shopping district and on the outskirts of The Northern Quarter. Providing an accessible gateway into the city, Piccadilly Gardens has become a distinctive mix of historic and modern buildings. It is also a central hub to Manchester’s extensive transport system. Since then, there have been a multitude of additional redevelopment projects occurring across the city. This has secured Manchester’s reputation as one of the biggest hotspots for investment. Gaining the attention of savvy overseas investors, the city has now become the largest economic area outside of the capital.


In the north of the city is NOMA, a £800 million regeneration project. It is labelled as one of the largest in the whole of the North West region. Spanning 20 acres, the distinctive quarter has outlined a determined vision for the future. Aiming to introduce 15,000 jobs through five million feet of revitalised office space, Manchester is taking a prominent role in celebrating the city’s acclaimed status in the UK property industry.


Home to the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the enhancement of MediaCityUK is reflecting the city’s elevated reputation. Set to double in size, an additional 7.7 hectares of land has been designated to the regeneration. A previously run-down area south of the city has been propelled into an international hub for broadcasting, technology and innovation. MediaCityUK is one of the most notable drivers proving integral to Manchester’s flourishing economy. Working harmoniously alongside a plethora of other regeneration projects it is strengthening the city’s prospects, appeal and popularity.

Manchester Waters

Manchester Waters is the regeneration of 26 acres of docklands located between Castlefield and Peel’s prestigious Salford Quays development of MediaCityUK. As one of the last remaining large-scale regeneration initiatives located close to the heart of Manchester, the site has an approved masterplan. Manchester Waters is aiming to develop over 2,500 new residential homes and escalate the city’s living. This has created an influx of prospective investors looking to take advantage of the burgeoning region.

Aerial View of Liverpool for Liverpool vs Manchester Comparison


Liverpool was long considered a pocket of the country neglected compared to its neighbouring cities like Manchester. Throughout the 1990s, whilst Manchester was rebuilding its city, Liverpool remained coated in political instability which affected the performance of the city region. However, by 2004 this all changed as £1 billion was invested into the city to kick-start its regeneration. Four years later, Liverpool celebrated its year as the European Capital of Culture, placing the city in the limelight for its diversity, ethos and community spirit. Liverpool’s many urban regeneration projects have benefitted the city significantly with no signs of slowing down.

Liverpool One

Developing underutilised land across Liverpool city centre, Liverpool One was the first pioneering project the city witnessed. Opening in phases, 42 acres of land incorporated retail space including industry giants John Lewis and Debenhams, leisure facilities, office blocks, and an Odeon cinema. Upon completion, Liverpool’s economy became firmly established as one of the most powerful in the northern region, creating friendly competition for its neighbouring city of Manchester. Visits to this fruitful part of the city reached heights of 13 million in just one year. It simultaneously increased the footfall to another significant part of the city, The Albert Dock, to around 100,000 visitors per week.

Albert Dock

Opened in 1846, the dock thrived for half a century, but by 1900 it became too small for the large iron and steel steamships to operate. Regardless, this highly acclaimed part of the city was given Grade 1 listed building status. Later, this iconic part of the city earned the title as a conservation area as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Albert Dock now boasts 1.3 million square feet of high-quality mixed-use land. Accommodation, upmarket bars and restaurants, retail space and offices have given this historic part of the city a new lease of life.

Albert Dock Buildings Liverpool Regeneration

Lime Street Station

Liverpool’s transport links to wider regions have been enhanced through the £340 million Lime Street station redevelopment. In 2016-17 more than 15.6 million people passed through Liverpool Lime Street. The city’s largest train station recently underwent its most momentous revamp to date acting as a midway hub for commuters up and down the country. The station is an integral part of connectivity in and out of the city. Liverpool Lime Street provides a service to working professionals, approximately 62 million visitors every year and a growing student population of around 50,000. These are all essential demographics fuelling Liverpool’s relentless economic growth.

Bramley-Moore Dock

As a result of the enviable economic boom occurring in Liverpool over the last decade, the regeneration of Bramley-Moore Dock will bring a further £1 billion boost to the economy as well as an estimated 15,000 jobs. Due to begin at the start of 2019, Everton Football Club has signed a 200-year lease with Peel Land and Property. They plan to construct a state of the art stadium with a capacity of 52-55,000.

Bramley-Moore Dock has been in serious need of regeneration for nearly three decades. Situated in the L3 postcode, Bramley-Moore Dock is nestled between three significant Liverpool postcodes which feature in the top 10 highest yielding areas in the UK. This location will help the new Everton stadium to become a hotbed for potential investors keen to take advantage of Liverpool’s lucrative offerings.

Everton is not the only football club in the Liverpool region embarking on aspiring plans to extend its existing grounds. Liverpool Football Club are well underway with their Anfield regeneration project aiming to introduce over 1,000 new and refurbished homes, bolstering the area’s economy.

Mersey Waters Regeneration Zone Liverpool and Manchester Regeneration

Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone

Peel Land and Property are spearheading one of Liverpool’s most adventurous projects. Liverpool Waters, situated on the city’s northern docks, is a £5.5 billion regeneration scheme set to redefine Liverpool’s waterfront. Approximately 1.2 million square metres of property and 15,000 hectares of land and water will be redeveloped to form a prodigious multi-use destination for business, residential housing and leisure facilities. This will also benefit the structure and the economy of Liverpool City Region.

Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone is made up of Liverpool Waters and a sister programme Wirral Waters. They are joining together to form an unrivalled powerhouse enhancing both sides of the River Mersey. Wirral Waters is a £4.5 billion regeneration scheme aiming to transform the left bank of the river into a monumental city extension. As the largest regeneration in the UK, the scope for opportunity has strengthened the city’s economic wealth and attraction to overseas investors is excelling.

Liverpool and Manchester form some of the greatest success stories of regeneration in the UK. Once notable cities for their chosen trade, they have quickly emerged as one of the most notable hotspots for regeneration, leading to a rapid spike in population growth. Thanks to numerous schemes cropping up in both regions, their position for global property investment stands robust and prosperous. What better time to be a part of this truly modern success story?

Manchester is a region brimming with potential for the future, and past projects show huge promise for forthcoming years. However, Liverpool continues to lead the way. Currently undergoing the biggest project in the whole of the UK, after receiving the largest planning ever granted in Great Britain, this has set the bar exceptionally high for cities vying to compete with Liverpool’s relentless success.

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