Liverpool’s culture will set the city’s multi-billion pound Knowledge Quarter apart from other destinations’ similar offerings, according to key figures behind the project.
Representatives of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, universities and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) came together in London this morning (20 October) to officially launch the vision for the area and a five-year plan which will see the confirmed £1 billion of investment double to £2bn in the coming years.
Following this week’s announcement that Kaplan International will join the University of Liverpool to develop a 45,000 sq ft Liverpool International College on the Knowledge Quarter’s Paddington Village expansion site, further information on how that area on and around the former Archbishop Blanch School plot will take shape.
Kaplan’s facility will be an anchor tenant for the 30-acre site alongside the previously announced Northern Centre of Excellence for the RCP, which hosted the launch at its London base during the three-day MIPIM UK property exhibition and conference.
Speaking during the well-attended event Professor Jane Dacre, president of RCP, said the almost 500-year-old institution’s move to the city is about it “looking to the future” as it aims to reach out to physicians around the country while approaching its quincentenary in 2018.
She added: “As we looked around, the place with the most things lined up to make this a perfect partnership was Liverpool.”
Other Knowledge Quarter Liverpool developments which are currently underway include Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool Life Sciences Accelerator, the Materials Innovation Factory and Sensor City.
Meanwhile a fourth innovation centre at Liverpool Science Park, a Centre of Excellence in Infectious Disease Research (CEIDR) and Materials Innovation Factory 2 – The Robotics Innovation Factory linked to the University of Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design – could also follow.
Mayor Joe Anderson also told attendees that the proposed new “crucially important” train station to connect the district to areas including Wirral could be in place by 2021-2022, with talks already underway on funding for its creation and a feasibility study due around March 2017.
When questioned on how Liverpool’s knowledge focused offering will stand out amongst similar areas in other destinations, Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, said: “One thing which differentiates this quarter from any other knoweldge district is the culture embedded within it.”
With the nearby cathedrals as well as the likes of the city’s Everyman theatre being highlighted, Mayor Anderson added: “The uniqueness is the sense of place. It’s completely different to the sterile places which are just pulled up and placed there.”
Nigel Jones, Kaplan’s director of estates and construction, also addressed guests at the launch, as did chair of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, Professor Janet Beer.