Liverpool Bets Big on Life Sciences: Massive Investment Zone to Create Thousands of Jobs

Liverpool City Region outlined plans for an ambitious Investment Zone focused on expanding the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus and other projects to create thousands of jobs and establish the region as a global innovation superpower in health and life sciences.

Sci-Tech Daresbury is at the heart of ambitious plans for Liverpool City Region’s Investment Zone, which have been outlined in detail at the international property conference MIPIM today.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram told the event in Cannes, France that the region’s new Investment Zone will supercharge health and life sciences and create 8,000 jobs.

A total of 21 projects were highlighted, led by the latest major development being delivered at Sci-Tech Daresbury. The campus is expanding its Violet series of buildings, bringing a further c.80,000 sq ft of prime real estate to the North’s science and innovation offer in the form of two new three-storey buildings, known as V4 and V5.

Sci-Tech Daresbury, a joint venture between Langtree, Halton Borough Council, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), is already both home to the NW Healthtech cluster, and hosts over 150 high-tech businesses of which 50 are health and life sciences businesses. It is also the location of the UK’s most powerful supercomputer dedicated to industrial R&D. The Investment Zone support will help towards ambitious plans to increase workforce at the campus from 2,000 to around 10,000 over the next 15-20 years.

All of the detail regarding the Life Sciences Investment Zone plans is set out in a new Prospectus highlighting the area’s world leading innovation strengths and assets, while showcasing the projects that will create new hi-tech facilities, provide business and innovation support and train the next generation of talent.

Along with Sci-Tech Daresbury, the focus is on progress of 20 other projects including the Knowledge Quarter in Liverpool, and schemes in Maghull and St Helens to create new hi-tech facilities while training next generation of talent. Other projects will drive breakthroughs in children’s health, mental health, vaccine production, therapeutics and the use of data and AI to help people lead healthier lives.

The Three Investment Zone tax sites in Maghull, St Helens and Sci-Tech Daresbury will run for 10 years and offer financial benefits to expanding or relocating businesses, while Halton and St Helens borough councils will be able to retain business rates on new properties to help pay for further developments.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “With up to £800m of investment and thousands of quality, high skilled jobs on offer, the Liverpool City Region Innovation Zone is an important tool in our arsenal to position our area at the head of UK science and innovation.

“But in the Liverpool City Region, we’re proud to do things differently. Throughout the development of our Innovation Zone, I have been clear that any investment in our area must go further than purely financial incentives. I want to use our status as a force for good, to connect our residents up to secure, well-paid jobs and training opportunities, and attract transformational investment into our communities.

“Becoming an innovation superpower is a lofty ambition – but I firmly believe that, if anywhere has the potential to achieve it, then it is the Liverpool City Region.”

John Downes, Chief Executive Officer of Langtree and Chairman of Sci-Tech Daresbury said: “Liverpool City Region has made incredibly impressive strides in the knowledge economy, with life science and healthcare becoming particular strengths. The centre of gravity is shifting towards highly competitive locations, with a critical mass of skills, relevant scientific partners, access to funding and facilities, and where there is room to grow and the potential of a home for life. We are very proud to be in the vanguard of this change and to be supporting businesses engaged in discoveries.”

The Investment Zone plans were developed in collaboration with the city region’s life sciences sector, with the University of Liverpool playing a major role and identifying around £200m of related investment.

Speke Pharma Cluster is one of Europe’s largest biomanufacturing centres, containing the UK’s biggest vaccine facility, and is home to some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical names including CSL Seqirus and AstraZeneca, who last week announced a £450m investment in its Speke facility.

The Liverpool City Region also has the UK’s largest concentration of specialist hospitals outside London and with more than 7,000 volunteers, is a leader in clinical trials.

Together with neighbouring Cheshire and Warrington, the city region delivers £2bn of infectious disease research and development each year – the biggest concentration in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

The Investment Zone plans were developed in collaboration with the city region’s life sciences sector, with the University of Liverpool playing a major role.

University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Jones said: “We are a global University, delivering world-leading research but with a keen focus on our civic role in the city and wider region.

“We look forward to playing a vital role in the delivery of these ambitious plans which will result in meaningful research that will have real-world impact.”

Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder for Digital and Innovation Cllr Paul Stuart said: “The Investment Zone has the potential to transform the city region’s health and life sciences sector by growing our world-leading strengths and tapping into our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

“It will also provide huge opportunities to local people. The projects are both ambitious and imaginative and will help ensure the benefits are felt far and wide.”

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