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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                         VIDEO ON FT.COM


DOING BUSINESS IN                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some of Liverpool’s leading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         business figures – including
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Mersey Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         chief executive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Lorraine Rogers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         – talk about the


Liverpool & the North-West
FINANCIAL TIMES SPECIAL REPORT | Wednesday October 1 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         city region and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         its prospects at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ft.com/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         liverpool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           www.ft.com/liverpool2008




Year in limelight
adds to the buzz
European Capital                come for the first time.        Britain’s richest folk living         the missing piece of the jig-
                                  The visitors might have       cheek by jowl with its poor-          saw between the spruced-up
of Culture status               arrived for concerts by Paul    est; an imperial port grown           Pier Head and Albert Dock
has been a catalyst             McCartney or Simon Rattle,      prosperous through slavery            and the Lime Street station
                                paintings by Gustav Klimt       where freed blacks were               and museum quarter.
for a raft of revival           or Ben Johnson, or even to      t r e a ted w i th d i g n i ty a s      In December a long-
projects, writes                watch Fernando Torres on        equals and freely intermar-           awaited rail line upgrade
                                the pitch or Cilla Black in     ried; home of Britain’s sec-          will bring Liverpool within
Andrew Bounds                   pantomime. But they will        ond-oldest concert orchestra          two hours of London for the
                                have also have discovered a     and its most famous pop               first time since the Victorian



C
         an 10m people be       waterfront designated a         band; one of the UK’s safest          era.
         wrong? That is the     world heritage site by the      big cities with a reputation             John Lennon airport is the
         number expected to     United Nations, Europe’s        for teenage crime.                    fastest-growing in the UK,
         visit Liverpool this   largest new shopping and           Even Kevin Keegan, the             carrying more than 5.5m
year as the UK city cele-       leisure district, the biggest   former Liverpool idol and             passengers last year. Two
brates being European Capi-     collection of museums in        England manager, once                 strong universities, Liver-
tal of Culture. With 6m tour-   any European non-capital        cracked that he had risked            pool and Liverpool John
ists by July, the port has      city, and one of Britain’s      his car wheels by visiting            Moores, have helped regen-
become the most visited city    warmest welcomes. “Liver-       players there. But finally it         erate the city centre through
in Britain after London and     cool” is back.                  seems to be catching the              buildings      and    student
Edinburgh. By the end of          Liverpool has always been     world’s attention for its             accommodation and foster a       Red carpet treatment: shoppers at the opening of Liverpool One in May – Phase Two is due to open today
this year, millions will have   a city of contrasts: some of    highs rather than lows.               creative and biotechnology
                                                                   “This year has changed             sector.                          Liverpool has received from     haven on the sceptical isle.     going to be incredibly excit-    is that it started from such a
 Inside this issue                                              the perception of the city,”
                                                                says Warren Bradley, city
                                                                                                         Speke, to the south of Liv-
                                                                                                      erpool, hosts a leading bio-
                                                                                                                                       the European Union.
                                                                                                                                         The UK’s accession in 1973
                                                                                                                                                                          The piecemeal develop-
                                                                                                                                                                       ment that began after the
                                                                                                                                                                                                        ing here.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Traditional        strengths
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         low base.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It remains the most
  Economy With public           Property Developers are         council leader. A media that          technology manufacturing         hastened Liverpool’s decline    Toxteth riots with the 1984      remain. The area’s ports are     deprived borough in Eng-
  sector investment slowing,    having to adjust to a           once lost no opportunity in           cluster next to what was         as its mighty docks relied on   International Garden Festi-      handling more traffic than       land. Property prices have
  Andrew Bounds considers       tougher environment, writes     knocking Liverpool is now             once one of Britain’s most       trade with the US and           val has finally started to       ever and are expanding,          not fallen as much as in
  whether the private sector    Paul Unger Page 4               giving it positive publicity,         deprived council estates.                                        reach critical mass. While       though with reduced work-        many parts of the country
  can take over as the main                                     he says.                                 “Something extraordinary                                      that site remains overgrown      force. Tata, the new Indian      because they were already
  growth driver of one of the   Who’s Who Profiles of 10           There is certainly a buzz          is happening in Liverpool,”      Ports are handling              and deserted, there are signs    owners of Land Rover and         relatively cheap. Growth in
  UK’s poorest core cities      of the city’s leading
  Page 2                        personalities Page 6
                                                                about the place. Capital of           says Rod Holmes, project         more traffic than               that the new crop of projects    Jaguar, have committed to        added value per head, a
                                                                Culture status has acted as a         director for the Liverpool                                       is more sustainable.             the future of the Halewood       measure of productivity, in
  Tourism European Capital                                      catalyst for a raft of projects       One scheme for Grosvenor,        ever and are                       Mark Basnett, director of     plant, one of Europe’s most      Merseyside was among the
  of Culture year has brought                                   to remake the city. There is
                                                                a new 10,600 seater arena
                                                                                                      the Duke of Westminster’s
                                                                                                      property company.
                                                                                                                                       expanding, though               operations at the Merseyside
                                                                                                                                                                       Partnership, the inward
                                                                                                                                                                                                        efficient. General Motors has
                                                                                                                                                                                                        pledged to build a new Vaux-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         UK’s       fastest    between
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1995-2005, increasing by two-
  a range of events to
  Liverpool – ex­Beatle Ringo                                   and neighbouring conven-                 The culture year has pro-     with reduced staff              investment and tourism           hall Astra and possibly its      thirds. But it remained
  Starr (right) played at the                                   tion centre on the waterfront         vided the same feelgood fil-                                     agency, says: “Lots of people    electric Volt car at Ellesmere   £7,716, 82 per cent of the
  opening concert in January                                    that is bringing in regular           lip as the 2002 Common-                                          who have not perhaps been        Port.                            average in the north-west.
  – and has focused                                             business visitors. A busy             wealth Games did for Man-        former colonies rather than     here for 15 years or more see      The chemical factories         Equally, it houses just 23.1
  international attention on                                    cruise ship terminal revives          chester, and Mr Bradley says     the continent. However,         at first hand the change in      along the Mersey continue to     businesses per 1,000 people,
  the wealth of attractions                                     memories of the days when             Liverpool has stayed true to     Brussels has since pumped       the place and that has lots of   churn out world-leading          compared with 33.1 in the
  in the city centre and                                        Cunard’s graceful liners              its democratic traditions by     in hundreds of millions of      pull. There is a sense of con-   products as well as billows      region and 40.1 nationally.
  beyond, writes William                                        would depart from Pier Head           ensuring that 70 per cent of     euros into Liverpool, classed   fidence and pride.               of smoke.                           Much of the south of the
  Hall Page 3                                                   for New York. The £1bn Liv-           the events were free.            as one of its most deprived        “We now have a credible         There is still a long way to   city has been revitalised but
                                                                erpool One shopping centre               Capital of Culture status     areas.                          product to put into the mar-     go. Indeed, one of the rea-
                                                                opens fully today, providing          merely capped the help that        It is a rare euro-friendly    ket. The next 15 years are       sons Liverpool is doing well            Continued on Page 3
2                                                                                                   ★                                                                                                                                         FINANCIAL TIMES WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1 2008




Doing Business in Liverpool & the North­West

Recovery from                                                                                         Liverpool and North-West: map and key economic statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Young guns
                                                                                                                                                                                         M6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     leading the
paralysis starts




                                                                                                                                                           A5
                                                                                                                                                            85
                                                                                                                                      Blackpool
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A59



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     turnround
                                                                                                                                                    M55
                                                                                                                                                                      A5
                                                                                                                                                                         8   3




to bear fruit
                                                                                                                                                                                       Preston                       Blackburn



                                                                                                                                                                                                           M65                       ENTERPRISE                    “That name was aimed at
                                                                                                                                                                                   9                                                                               the ladies who tend to
                                                                                                                                                                                 A5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Andrew Bounds




                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A66
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   choose things for the house.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6
                                 less than the regional aver-      economy, which includes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     finds start­up rates          It was good that they were
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   interested enough to be help-
ECONOMY                                                                                                                            Southport
                                 age. The 3.8 per cent unem-       professional, technical and                                                                                                                                       in 18­24 age group            ful,” says Mr McCoy.
A construction­led               ployment rate is lower than       scientific       occupations,                                                                                                 M6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     twice UK average                 Mr McCoy had to change
boom has given city              the West Midlands but
                                 behind its northern peers.
                                                                   accounts for more than
                                                                   310,000 jobs in Merseyside,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   his original plans as he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   found less work for install-
a kickstart, writes                Gross value added per           half the total. The quarter is                                                                                      A5209                                Merseyside’s dependency                ing TV equipment and more




                                                                                                                                       5
                                                                                                                                      A56
Andrew Bounds                    head, a key measure of pros-
                                 perity, is growing less
                                                                   centred on the three univer-
                                                                   sities: Liverpool, Liverpool
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            culture is turning round and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it is the young leading the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   doing lighting among Mer-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   seyside’s nouveau riche. But
                                                                                                                                                     Ormskirk
                                 slowly. At £12,784 it is 72 per   John Moores and Hope, the                                                                                                        Wigan                   charge. The area has 23 busi-          he said his knowledge of



T
                                                                                                                                                                                  Orrell                              M61
         he shocks that hit      cent of the UK average and        UK’s only ecumenical higher                                                                                                                              nesses per 1,000 people com-           business plans and cash




                                                                                                                                                     A59
                                                                                                                                                                   M58
         Liverpool in the late   82 per cent of that of the        education institution.                                                                                                                                   pared with 33.1 for the                flows helped him do that. He
         20th century para-      north-west.                         The universities have been                                                                                                                             region and 40.4 for the UK as          now employs several family
                                                                                                                                            Maghull                                        M6
         lysed its economy.        Generations of low expec-       key drivers of growth both                                                                                                                     Leigh   A a whole. But start-up rates            members and says that busi-




                                                                                                                                                                                 A5
Britain’s trade shifted from     tation and poor health have       with research spin-offs ands                                                                                                                             among 18 to 24-year-olds are           ness success begins a virtu-




                                                                                                                                                                                  70
the west coast and its colo-     left Merseyside’s only raw        multimillion-pound build-                                       Crosby                          Kirkby                                                   twice the national average.            ous circle.
                                                                                                                                                          M57
nies to the south-east and       material – its people – in        ings. Their 50,000 students                                                                        Knowsley                                                Over the past decade, the               “I think it really helps if
                                                                                                                                                           80                        St Helens
Europe. Container ships          poor shape. While examina-        bring in an estimated £250m                                               Bootle     A5                                                                  number of businesses has               you know people who are
arrived, requiring far fewer                                       annually.                                                                                                                                           M62 grown by a fifth. Five times            successful and I would like
                                                                                                                              Wallasey
dockers and ending much of                                           The legal and financial                                                                                                                                more      people    go   self-         to help out with others,” he
the processing work on           ‘Companies can                    services sector is also hold-
                                                                                                                                                    Liverpool
                                                                                                                                                                                           A57                              employed every year than in            said. “I see a lot of people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7
which the onshore economy        cut costs by a third              ing up well. Hill Dickinson,                                                                      M62                                              A5    the rest of the UK.                    who could do what I did but




                                                                                                                                                                A5
depended. Passengers des-                                          the only big law firm with                                         Birkenhead                                                       Warrington             The Mersey Partnership,              don’t know how.”
                                 moving here. But                                                        West Kirby




                                                                                                                                                                 62
erted the big cruise ships for                                     headquarters in Liverpool,                                                                                 Widnes                                        which compiles the figures,               Mr McCoy is from Knows-
airlines – all this in a city    there is also a                   has seen fee income grow 20                                                                                                                   M6         said: “With our policy                 ley, a deprived area on the




                                                                                                                                                                                                             6
                                                                                                                                                                                                            A5
where a fifth of the work-                                         per cent annually in 2003-08,                                                                           Runcorn                                          agenda on tackling Mersey-             outskirts of Liverpool that
                                 quality of life here’                                                                                     M53
                                                                                                                                                   A4


                                                                                                                                                                                                      M56
force relied on casual labour                                      according to Legal Business                                                                                                                              side’s low levels of entrepre-         has seen a big economic
                                                                                                                                                     1




when the boat came in, a                                           magazine. That put it fourth                                                                                                 A5                          neurship, this is a good sign          turnround in the past 25
                                                                                                                                                                                                   33
contrast to the mill towns                                         in the country, while its                                                                                                                                that we are beginning to               years.
                                                                                                                                                               Ellesmere Port
around it where work was         tion results have now caught      total equity partner profits                                                                                                                             catch up with the national                Ron Round, leader of the
tough but regular.               up with the national aver-        were in the top 20.                                                                                                                                      average.”                              council, wants to double the
                                                                                                           A5
  The recovery is just begin-    age, just 62 per cent of            All this regeneration has
                                                                                                                                                                              ENGLAND                                         St Helens, Liverpool and             number of companies in the
                                                                                                                                               0




                                                                                                              5
                                                                                                                                            A55




ning to bear fruit after an      school leavers have basic         also    caused    disruption.                             Flint                         M56                                                   Northwich Knowsley councils have all              borough and find 8,500 more
astonishing building pro-        qualifications, lower than        Large parts of the city have                                                                                                                             put emphasis on stimulating
gramme. Since 2000, almost       anywhere outside South            been impassable for months,                                                                                                                              private enterprise, with
300 different projects worth     Yorkshire or Birmingham.          putting off visitors. Many                                   Shotton
                                                                                                                                                                                                      A54                   extensive help for those               ‘There is a resource
£7.3bn have been built or        Some 6,000 Merseyside 16 to       businesses have been dis-
                                                                                                               WA L ES                                     Chester
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            starting up.                           here . . . a culture
begun, according to the Mer-     18-year-olds are not in educa-    rupted by the works and                                                                                                             9                      The councillor responsible
                                                                                                                                                                                                      A4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   where people want
                                                                                                                                                                       A41




sey Partnership (TMP), the       tion, work or training – 10.9     some      find    themselves                                                                                                                             for the programme in Liver-
economic        development      per cent compared with 7.7        trapped in areas marked for                                                                                                                              pool, Gary Millar, a success-          to roll their sleeves


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A530
                                                                                                                         A494
agency.                          per cent nationally.              redevelopment, which might                  10 km                                     83                                                                 ful entrepreneur himself,
                                                                                                                                                       A4
  They range from confer-          Consumers have this year        not arrive for years, if ever.                                                                                                                           runs a recording studio and            up and get involved’
ence facilities and hotels –     kept the boom going, with           Phil Rees-Roberts, a law-                                                                                                                              hotel in the city.
six new ones have almost         the capital of culture bring-     yer who fights for compensa-      Employment                               Business stock                            Gross value added per head            Start-up rates (as a per-
doubled the number of beds       ing in record numbers and         tion from those served with       % of working age population in           VAT registered business per               £’000                               centage of new businesses              jobs.     He    has    already
                                                                                                     employment                               10,000 resident adults
– to transport infrastructure,   the opening of the Liverpool      compulsory purchase orders,                                                                                                                              compared with the existing             announced a plan to give 100
health centres, houses and       One shopping centre boost-        says too many small busi-                                                                                                                                stock) are more than 10 per            16 to 18-year-olds a three-
schools. Half a million          ing sales. Tourism is now a       nesses lose out. “I accept the    76                                       240                                       20                                  cent – and 71 per cent of              year apprenticeship with
                                                                                                             Great Britain                                                                      Merseyside
square feet of new office        £1.2bn industry.                  need for big visionary            74                                                             Liverpool                                               businesses were surviving at           local companies by Christ-
                                                                                                                                              230                                       18      Greater Manchester
space was taken up last year       The economic base has           projects but sometimes there                                                                                                                             least three years, above the           mas. More than 80 have
                                                                                                     72                                                                                         North West
at prices well below the         broadened. Speke Garston,         is a very high-handed atti-                                                                                                                              national average, in the               already been found place-
                                                                                                                              North West      220                                       16      UK
national average.                south of the city, has become     tude. The whole process is        70                                                                                                                     three authorities.                     ments with the council,
  The construction-led boom      one of Europe’s leading           very unfair. It can blight        68                                       210                                       14                                    A new business is opening            using £1.5m in government
has kickstarted the econ-        biomanufacturing sectors.         some businesses,” he said.                                                                                                                               almost every day somewhere             money to top up their wages.
omy, leading to growth of        Some 50,000 people work in          Many developers believe         66                       Merseyside                                                                                    in Merseyside, helped by                 Mark Bigley, chief execu-
                                                                                                                                              200                                       12
25.9 per cent between 2000       the sector. Companies such        the planning laws are             64                                                                Merseyside                                           public seed-funding and a              tive of Secured Mail, a young
and 2005, on a par with other    as Sony have big operations       stacked against them. Peel                                                 190             Metropolitan County       10                                  range of free advice.                  postal delivery company that
big northern cities such as      designing video games. A          Holdings has warned that it       62                                                                                                                       Take Stephen McCoy, an               has expanded thanks to ven-
Greater Manchester and           media sector is clustered         will pull its £10bn plans for     60                                       180                                        8                                  electrician. He left school at         ture capitalists investing
Glasgow. Merseyside gained       around Lime Pictures. In          giant ports at the mouth of           1999 2001 03           05     07        1994 97 99 01 03 05 07                     1996 98 2000 02 0405 16 and joined his uncle’s                         European Union money, said
11,600 jobs in 2001-06, rather   total, the city’s knowledge       the Mersey if they are held                                                                                                                              electrical firm but, after             he struggled to find premises
                                                                   up by the planning process.       Sources: ONS; BERR                                                                                                     learning the basics, decided           because there was so much
                                                                     Next year is looking grim-                                                                                                                             to set up on his own, install-         competition for them.
                                                                   mer. The UK downturn will        HBOS’s mortgage unit there. which is creating 5,000 jobs, believes the downturn could ing high-end home cinemas                                                  Mr Bigley, a councillor in
    Contributors                                                   affect Liverpool and the           Inward investment agen- is optimistic. It has a high- help the city attract more and lighting systems. “I                                                    Sefton, north of Liverpool,
                                                                   injection provided by its        cies such as TMP and Liver- street in-house job agency investment. “The commer- always had ideas for starting                                                  said the area’s workforce
Andrew Bounds                    Martin Brice                      year as the European capital     pool Vision have been as where people have counsel- cial arguments are easy to a business but did not know                                                     also had a can-do attitude.
FT Northern England              Designer                          of culture will be over.         busy trying to protect exist- lors to help with basics such make. Companies can cut how to go about it,” he said.                                              “We have young and old
Correspondent                                                        The car industry, which        ing jobs as creating new as creating a CV and prepar- costs by a third moving He found help from Blue                                                          long-term        unemployed.
                                 Emma Bowkett                      employs thousands building       ones. About 100 are to go as ing for interview. Thousands here. But there is also a Orchid, a company that                                                     There are people out there
William Hall                     Picture Editor
FT Contributor                                                     Land Rovers and Jaguars at       the Liverpool Daily Post and have used it. “Five years quality of life here.” She works across Merseyside                                                      who have struggled to get
                                                                   Halewood and Vauxhalls at        Echo, part of Trinity Mirror, ago, young people said there cites the countryside, top- helping start-ups. A counsel-                                           employment because of their
                                 For advertising details,
Paul Unger                                                         Ellesmere Port, is under         closes its printing press. Liv- was not anything much for flight football and rugby lor helped him prepare a                                                   age. They are not grateful
                                 contact: Jim Swarbrick
Editor of Place North West       phone +44 161 834 9381
                                                                   pressure because of high tax     erpool Vision is brokering them here and they wanted league, world-famous golf business plan, which he took                                                    for the job but they are com-
property website                                                   and fuel prices. High energy     talks to prevent the Royal to get out. Now Liverpool is courses such as Royal Birk- to the Prince’s Trust.                                                     mi t te d. T h ere i s a rea l
                                 Fax +44 161 832 9248
                                                                   prices will squeeze chemical     Mail closing its sorting the centre of the universe dale and cultural attractions                                         The board liked his idea. It         resource here people can tap
                                 Email :
                                                                   plants along the Mersey.         office, which employs sev- and there is faith in the such as the Tate and Royal had just one suggestion:                                                       into. There is a culture
Andrew Baxter                    jim.swarbrick@ft.com or
                                                                   Chester’s financial services     eral hundred.                            future,” he said.                        Philharmonic Orchestra.               when going on building                 where people want to roll
Commissioning Editor             your usual representative
                                                                   cluster is already shedding        Yet Rod Holmes, project                   However, Lorraine Rogers,                The paralysis is certainly sites, change the name from                    their sleeves up and get
                                                                   jobs at Intelligent Finance,     director of Liverpool One, chief executive of TMP, also over.                                                           Twinkle Luxury Lighting.               involved.”




                                                                                                    Councillors urged to stop sniping
                                                                                                    and concentrate on the big picture
                                                                                                    POLITICS                                             members said they would not speak                       meetings and to decide on areas           the city centre in the past eight
                                                                                                                                                         at a council meeting for fear of being                  such as transport and investment          years. Mike Parker, chairman of
                                                                                                    Andrew Bounds on how                                 shouted at or ridiculed. The behav-                     jointly.                                  British Nuclear Fuels, chairs a board
                                                                                                    the creation of a formal                             iour of some members is damaging
                                                                                                                                                         the reputation of the council.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Ron Round, leader of neighbour-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ing Knowsley, chairs the leaders’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           boasting such big business figures as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sir Terry Leahy, boss of retailer
                                                                                                    city region could foster                               Mr Bradley insists that the £20m                      cabinet and says the first meeting in     Tesco, and David Bundred, the
                                                                                                    greater consensus                                    budget hole identified has been
                                                                                                                                                         plugged. Council satisfaction rates
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 September was long overdue. “We
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 recognise Liverpool is the brand and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           former chief operating officer of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Lucas Aerospace turned private
                                                                                                                                                         have risen from 53 to 56 per cent.                      that is one of the things the districts   equity investor. Board meetings are
                                                                                                    The days may be long gone when                       School results have caught up with                      have worked quite well together on        timed to coincide with Everton foot-
                                                                                                    Liverpool was controlled by the                      the national average, tens of thou-                     over the last few years. Knowsley is      ball matches.
                                                                                                    Marxist Militant Labour group but it                 sands of homes are being refur-                         the lead authority on the Liverpool          However, Mark Chadwick, chief
                                                                                                    still must be one of the few British                 bished in a £300m improvement pro-                      city region. We could have moved a        executive of Professionalliverpool,
                                                                                                    cities where the council leader goes                 gramme and crime and teenage preg-                      bit faster but it was the administra-     which represents the professions,
                                                                                                    on strike. Warren Bradley, the politi-               nancy rates are falling. The Commis-                    tive side rather than political. We       says there is still a leadership vac-
                                                                                                    cal leader, dutifully followed his fel-              sion says Liverpool is “improving                       are lagging behind Greater Manches-       uum, with no one person as a
                                                                                                    low firefighters out to protest at job               adequately”.                                            ter.” Mr Waters agrees: “Not enough       “go-to” figure, as some cities have.
                                                                                                    cuts in August.                                        He also dismisses the criticisms of                   people sign up to the city region         Too many of the city’s big names
                                                                                                       He says he fulfilled his council                  behaviour. Referring to the raucous                     idea. They are all fighting for their     confused leadership with manage-
                                                                                                    duties but some business leaders say                 House of Commons, he asks: “Have                        territory.”                               ment, he said. “We don’t need lead-
                                                                                                    meetings with him were cancelled. A                  you seen prime minister’s question                        Mr Bradley has had some success         ers with attitude, we need leaders
                                                                                                    centrist Liberal Democrat, he did not                time?”                                                  rationalising the public/private bod-     with competence.”
                                                                                                    favour action but came out in soli-                    Some question whether Liverpool,                      ies responsible for regeneration. The        The Conservative party is growing
                                                                                                    darity with his colleagues. “I was                   the most deprived borough in Eng-                       Mersey Partnership was born from          in the area but struggling to make
                                                                                                    then asked to mediate between the                    land with a quarter of the workforce                    blending private and public sector        inroads. The region routinely elects
                                                                                                    sides and we came to a swift agree-                  on benefits, can afford the luxury of                                                             Labour MPs, although the Tory by-
                                                                                                    ment,” he says.                                      Westminster’s more raffish habits.                                                                election victory in Crewe, to the
                                                                                                       Mr Bradley says his time answer-                    Damian Waters, regional director                      The Tory party is                         south, suggested the party’s grip
                                                                                                    ing calls from Toxteth fire station in               of the Confederation of British                         growing but struggling to                 was loosening as it presides over one
                                                                                                    the inner city keeps him in touch                    Industry, the employers’ lobby                                                                    of the most unpopular governments
                                                                                                    with voters. But his mediation skills                group, says the sniping can put                         make inroads in the                       since world war two. The Tories are
                                                                                                    are needed as much within the coun-
                                                                                                    cil bureaucracy itself.
                                                                                                                                                         investors off. “It can be a bit of a
                                                                                                                                                         soap opera. If you have world-class
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 region, which routinely                   also targeting the one Liberal Demo-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           crat seat in Southport, to the north.
                                                                                                       The Audit Commission, a govern-                   aspirations you have to have world-                     elects Labour MPs                            The city council remains Tory-free
                                                                                                    ment body that vets local authori-                   class attitude. That means a can-do                                                               but the Liberal Democrats’ grip is
                                                                                                    ties, produced a scathing report on                  attitude and looking at the bigger                                                                slipping. It has 46 members, against
                                                                                                    the council in February, awarding it                 picture.”                                               bodies and has also taken over the        39 for Labour, three Liberals and
                                                                                                    the lowest rating of one star. While                   One business figure, who did not                      tourist board. It is now seeking to       two Greens.
                                                                                                    progress had been made in educa-                     wish to be named, says: “Greater                        sharpen its brand amid debates               Liverpool has always swum
                                                                                                    tion, crime and health, financial                    Manchester has its arguments                            about whether it should plump for         against the national political cur-
                                                                                                    management was “inadequate”,                         behind closed doors and then comes                      Liverpool rather than Merseyside,         rent. Labour took power from the
                                                                                                    there was no strategic plan after                    out with a joint position. In Liver-                    redolent of the troubled 1980s.           Conservatives there only in 1955,
                                                                                                    2013 and some councillors were sim-                  pool they have their arguments                            Liverpool Vision, the UK’s first        much later than other northern cit-
                                                                                                    ply not up the job, it said. The £230m               through the local press.”                               city centre regeneration body, last       ies, and alternated with the Liberals.
                                                                                                    of annual grants are dwindling as                      The area has at last become a for-                    year merged with Business Liver-          By the 1980s it was taking on Mrs
                                                                                                    European funding dried up, it said.                  mal city region with a population of                    pool and Liverpool Land Company.          Thatcher almost single-handed. With
                                                                                                       Citing councillors’ “personally                   1.4m, with Sefton, Wirral, St Helens,                   Jim Gill, its chief executive, says it    elections due in 2010, it is the one
                                                                                                    abusive language and aggressive                      Knowsley and Halton councils join-                      will give it a better focus to add to     place in Britain that is seeing a
                                                                                                    behaviour”, the report said “some                    ing Liverpool for regular cabinet                       the £3.3bn of investment attracted to     Labour party revival.
FINANCIAL TIMES WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1 2008                                                                ★                                                                                                                                                          3




                                                                                                            Doing Business in Liverpool & the North­West

Range of attractions
boosts visitor levels
TOURISM                          was reached in the first five        now compete in the premier
                                 months.                              league of conference destina-
William Hall on a                  Even before the Capital of         tions. It has attracted high
destination that is              Culture year, Liverpool
                                 ranked as the sixth most
                                                                      profile events ranging from
                                                                      the MTV European Music
outpacing rivals                 important tourist destina-           awards to the BBC Sports
                                 tion in the UK after London,         Personality of the Year



L
         iverpool’s £1.2bn a     Edinburgh, Manchester, Bir-          awards and is already taking
         year tourist industry   mingham and Glasgow.                 bookings for 2013.
         is one of the city’s    Indeed, the latest Condé                Bob Prattey, ACC’s chief
         most visible growth     Nast traveller guide puts it         executive, estimates the
industries. While this year’s    in third place behind London         complex will deliver £160m
European Capital of Culture      and Edinburgh. “We are               of economic benefit to Mer-
celebrations have focused        coming up fast on the rails”,        seyside this year and £200m
international attention on       says Mr King.                        next, with the convention
the wealth of tourist attrac-      Liverpool John Lennon              centre being the main eco-
tions in Liverpool’s city cen-   Airport (JLA), the UK’s fast-        nomic driver.
tre, Merseyside has a much       est growing regional airport,           The opening last October
wider range of tourist facili-   has nearly doubled its pas-          of the new £17m cruise liner
ties than most European cit-     senger traffic over the last         terminal at Liverpool’s his-
ies of its size.                 five years to 5.5m. The              toric Pier Head, where mil-
   It has the biggest density    growth has been driven by            lions of European emigrants
of art galleries and museums     inbound foreign visitors,            once left for the New World,      Nice legs: the £1.5m extravaganza La Machine saw a giant mechanical spider move through the city centre last month                               Getty Images
outside London and boasts        whose proportion of total            is another important addi-




                                                                                                        Year to surprise the critics
Royal Birkdale and Royal         traffic has risen from 19 per        tion to the tourism infra-
Hoylake, two of the UK’s top     cent to 28 per cent, with par-       structure. Giant cruise ships
Open championships golf                                               such as the Crown Princess,
courses, Aintree, home of                                             carrying more than 3,000
the Grand National horse         Giant cruise ships                   passengers, can now dock
race, as well as a range of      can now dock                         within walking distance of
other iconic attractions such                                         the city’s leading tourist and
as the Gormley statues on        within walking                       shopping attractions.             CAPITAL OF CULTURE                    Development Agency, has also been      disappearing down the Mersey            money to continue with an
Crosby sands. Southport, 16
miles north of Liverpool city
                                 distance of leading                     Although Liverpool is bet-
                                                                      ter placed than almost all its    Andrew Bounds on a
                                                                                                                                              a firm hand at the tiller. By July
                                                                                                                                              the year had attracted 1.5m new
                                                                                                                                                                                     tunnel, it made headlines around
                                                                                                                                                                                     the world, earning publicity that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             enhanced cultural programme over
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the next three years, leading to a
centre, has been reinventing     tourist attractions                  regional rivals, in terms of      programme that has got                visitors to Liverpool and generated    money could not buy.                    commemoration of the
itself as one of the UK’s top                                         its tourist assets, there is                                            national and international publicity     Another highlight were the            Liverpool-built Titanic with
seaside resorts.                                                      still plenty of room for          everyone applauding                   for the city worth more than £70m,     superlambananas, statues of lambs       Southampton, New York and
   Liverpool’s attractions as    ticularly strong growth from         improvement.                                                            the LCC says, counting 7,500 items     with banana tails dressed as            Belfast.
a tourist destination have       Ireland, Poland and Spain.              Mr Prattey, for example,       When Liverpool won the title of       of coverage, more than 90 per cent     characters such as a pin striped          Even if the bid fails, Prof
been boosted by its role as a       Liverpool has also been           told a recent Northwest           European Capital of Culture five      of them positive.                      suit or football scarf. A charity       Redmond says the legacy will live
Unesco world heritage site       remedying the two most               Insider magazine seminar          years ago, many a metropolitan lip      The £109m bill over four years       auction of them raised £500,000         on: “We have developed the
and vibrant culture. Visitors    obvious weaknesses in its            that Liverpool was great at       curled. Even this year one            has been justified, says Warren        pounds.                                 infrastructure. Now it is about
from around the world are        tourism offering – the lack of       doing one-off events, such as     broadsheet writer sneered that it     Bradley, the council leader: “Every      While surprising the critics, the     using it.”
drawn by its role as the         top-quality hotels and con-          the Open golf or the Grand        should hardly celebrate keeping       penny invested in the culture year     city has surprised itself, too, with      The Capital of Culture year, he
birthplace of the Beatles        vention facilities. Several          National. But the quality of      company with the likes of             will come back tenfold.”               the smooth handling of so many          says, has also left a legacy among
music phenomenon and             hotels have opened over the          its hotels and restaurants        Luxembourg and Sibiu in Romania,        Mr Gray picks out three              events. Tony Wilson, senior partner     the people. Almost 1,000 have
home to two of the UK’s top      past couple of years and             still needed improving if it      last year’s holders of the crown.     highlights, showing how varied the     at Hill Dickinson, the nationwide       volunteered and many have visited
football teams.                  more are being built.                was to maximise the cross-          At first they appeared right. On    programme is. One is the emotional     legal firm headquartered in the         the city’s museums and galleries
   “We have trebled overseas        But it is Liverpool’s bid to      selling benefits of tourism.      the eve of the launch Jason           return of Sir Simon Rattle, chief      city, has been closely involved as      for the first time. Half of those at a
visitor numbers in three         exploit its underdeveloped              Whether Liverpool can          Harborow, chief executive of the      conductor of the Berlin                secretary of LCC. “What has been        recent Everyman Theatre
years”, says Martin King,        business tourism potential           enjoy a lasting legacy from       Liverpool Culture Company (LCC)       Philharmonic, to conduct his home      remarkable is how the city has          performance had never been to the
the Mersey Partnership’s         that will determine the long-        the 2008 Capital of Culture       organising the year, left after       town orchestra on October 2. The       coped with the big crowds,” he          theatre before.
director of tourism, “over-      term fate of the city’s heavy        celebrations will depend          falling out with two councillors      second was a small comic opera put     says. “There has hardly been any          Even the poorest areas have
taking cities like Oxford,       investment in new hotel              largely on visitor numbers        responsible for the programme. Up     on for just two nights in              congestion. You suddenly realise        joined in. LCC placed a rotunda in
Cambridge, Bristol and Bath      capacity.                            continuing to rise in 2009        stepped Phil Redmond, the media       Birkenhead. The third was the          how spacious it is. We can pull         a neighbourhood near the Anfield
in terms of popularity.”            The opening, at the start         and beyond. For Phil Red-         entrepreneur and professor at         £1.5m extravaganza La Machine in       these things off.”                      football stadium for the local
   The Capital of Culture        of the year, of the £164m Liv-       mond, the TV producer who         Liverpool John Moores University,     September, which saw a giant             Mr Bradley has attributed the         community to stage performances
effect has widened Liver-        erpool Arena and Conven-             is the public face of the Capi-   to act as bridesmaid. Joining LCC     mechanical spider move through         success to partnerships and             and social events. “We’ve just told
pool’s lead. Andrea Nixon,       tion Centre on the Mersey            tal of Culture, this is the       as creative director, he compared     the city centre serenaded by an        teamwork. While the council             them we want it back and they
executive director of Tate       waterfront has been a big            acid test.                        the fuss with a Scouse wedding,       orchestra in moving cranes.            invested almost £70m, the private       said they wanted to hold on to it,”
Liverpool, the most visited      benefit. The complex, con-              Tourism, he says, “will        where squabbling about who to           Hundreds of thousands turned         sector partners handed over £20m        says Mr Redmond. “Believe me, you
modern and contemporary          sisting of the 10,600 seat           become an ever increasing         invite and where to sit them gives    out over a weekend to see the          in cash and kind. LCC disbands          wouldn’t want to take it off them
art gallery outside London,      Echo Arena and the adjacent          part not just of the city         way to a great knees-up on the day.   spider, created by a French theatre    next year, with most of its 100 staff   so they are keeping it. Incredible –
says that its 750,000 visitor    BT     Convention      Centre,       region’s economy, but its           Bryan Gray, chairman of the LCC     company. Climbing buildings,           returning to the council. So the city   people threatening to riot to keep a
target for the current year      means that Liverpool can             survival”.                        as well as the Northwest Regional     tramping the streets and finally       has made a £3m bid for European         bit of culture.”




Plotting a change of course
PROFILE                          underpinned by orders for            1m dwt, more than a third of      Sherrard, a former merchant
BIBBY LINE                       Bibby Line ships.                    which was laid up, and            banker, who is now group
                                    Although shipping was             reschedule its debts.             chairman.
William Hall on a                Bibby Line’s sole business             Today the Bibby Line fleet         Although there are no
200­year­old                     for 175 years, it has steadily
                                 diversified into other areas
                                                                      is down to just two conven-
                                                                      tional ships (with one 57,000
                                                                                                        obvious synergies between
                                                                                                        most of Bibby’s disparate
success story                    such as financial services,          dwt bulk carrier on order),       operations, they all have to
                                 offshore accommodation,              three diving support vessels      meet the group’s stringent
Bibby Line, headquartered        logistics, supermarkets and          and a 25 per cent stake in        requirement for an average
on Liverpool’s Duke street,      even burial sites. With 4,100        Foreland Shipping, which          growth rate in shareholders’
is Britain’s oldest surviving    staff and revenues of more           operates six roll-on, roll-off    funds of 12 per cent a year.
shipping company and one         than £600m it is now an              ferries for the Ministry of          Bibby Line has overcome
of the city’s great corporate    international conglomerate           Defence.                          the inherent weaknesses of
success stories.                 with operations in the Phil-           “Shipping is a great mar-       many old-established family
  Sir Michael Bibby, the cur-    ippines, Australia, India,           ket to be in if you can           firms by bringing in profes-
rent managing director, is       Poland, France and the US.           change effectively with the       sional managers and non-ex-
the sixth generation to run a       Thirty years ago Bibby            times,” says Sir Michael.         ecutive directors from out-
business founded by John         was a very different animal,         Over the years Bibby Line         side the family circle. It has
Bibby, who began a regular       teetering on the brink of            has had to adapt to the sorts     also avoided the extended
passenger shipping service       bankruptcy because of its            of unexpected challenges          family quarrels that can
from Parkgate on the Wirral      overexposure to a cyclical           that led to the demise of         emerge when shareholdings
to Dublin in 1807. The early     bulk shipping industry. It           more famous Liverpool ship-       are diluted over several gen-
years of Harland and Wolff,      was forced to sell off most of       ping rivals, such as White        erations by consolidating the
the Belfast shipyard, were       its huge fleet of 20 vessels of      Star, Cunard, Blue Funnel         family shareholding more
                                                                      and Elder Dempster.               than 20 years ago.
                                                                        “We have learnt from our           Bibby Line is an exception
                                                                      history that we can take          to the old maxim that Liver-
                                                                      risks to enter new markets        pool shipowners made their
                                                                      when old trade routes or          fortunes in Liverpool but
                                                                      services disappear,” says Sir     invested them elsewhere.
                                                                      Michael. Over the past cou-       Liverpool is an “absolutely
                                                                      ple of years Bibby has sold       natural base” for a diversi-
                                                                      the bulk of its chemical car-     fied conglomerate such as
                                                                      rier and LPG fleet at a hand-     Bibby, says Sir Michael.
                                                                      some profit and is now               It has a well-trained work-
                                                                      poised to reposition its ship-    force, an ample supply of
                                                                      ping activities yet again.        reasonably-priced offices
                                                                        Bibby’s recent success is       plus great transport. Sir
                                                                      due in large part to the influ-   Michael, who lives in semi-
                                                                      ence of Sir Michael, a Coop-      rural Wirral, can get to work
                                                                      ers & Lybrand trained             within 25 minutes in the
                                                                      accountant who took over as       rush hour and be at Man-
At the helm: Sir Michael Bibby                      Julian Hamilton   managing director in 2000,        chester airport in 35 min-
                                                                      and his predecessor, Simon        utes.




Year in limelight adds to buzz
Continued from Page 1            attract the billions of invest-      leaders in September to           office skyscrapers along the
                                 ment we would like when we           Shanghai, a powerhouse of         Mersey by Peel Holdings, the
the north remains mired in       are tinkering around with            the Chinese economy.              private property company.
decades of poverty. Plans to     the sort of budget we have             Liverpool is one of dozens      Andrew Simpson, managing
improve the Anfield area         been working with in the             that is twinned with Shang-       director of Peel, which owns
have been held up by Liver-      past?”                               hai but it claims a special       the Manchester Ship Canal,
pool Football Club’s delayed       The six Merseyside coun-           place in its heart. Shanghai’s    says: “We believe Liverpool’s
move to a new stadium.           cils still pick fights with          famous colonial-era Bund is       future can be massive. It has
   Business leaders say that     each other too often, critics        modelled on Liverpool’s           tremendous heritage and tre-
greater focus is needed. A       say, though they have now            waterfront. Liverpool Uni-        mendous maritime and logis-
plethora of inward invest-       formed a city region where           versity has a campus in           tics businesses. It can regain
ment and regeneration agen-      they pool transport and deci-        China while the city is only      its status as a world class
cies can confuse inward          sions to greater effect. Their       one of a few dozen allowed        city. We are trying to pro-
investors. They are also         leaders had their first cabi-        to exhibit at Shanghai’s 2010     vide the investment to do
underfunded, says David          net meeting in September             Expo. “We are between Ven-        that.”
Wade-Smith, an entrepre-         and times have changed               ice and Cairo,” says Mr Bra-         Mark Bigley, chief execu-
neur who chairs the cham-        since the well-heeled resi-          dley. “That’s not a bad place     tive of Secured Mail, a busi-
ber of commerce and Mer-         dents     of    the    Wirral        to be.”                           ness post group, and a coun-
seyside Tourism.                 demanded a Cheshire rather             Business leaders caution        cillor in Sefton, north of Liv-
   “We should be spending        than a Liverpool postcode.           that solid contracts must         erpool, says: “I think this is
£20m-£40m marketing the            Mr Bradley says links to           come from it.                     Liverpool’s time. People
city region but the actual       China offer the next big               Shanghai is also the inspi-     should come and get a feel
figure is only £1m-£2m. How      opportunity. He led a delega-        ration for a proposed £50bn       for and understanding of
can you possibly expect to       tion of civic and business           development of docks and          what the place is all about.”
4                                                                                                      ★                                                                                                                     FINANCIAL TIMES WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1 2008




Doing Business in Liverpool & the North­West

Funding drought hits home
PROPERTY                           its largest and latest residen-      The    Mersey     Property     although a lot hinges on           subsidies but the NWDA
                                   tial building, West Tower, at     Forum calculates that city        Merseytravel. In general           wants to move away from
Paul Unger finds                   just the wrong time to bring      centre office take-up for the     terms, as you would expect,        physical           regeneration
developers having                  200 flats to market. All are
                                   now being offered for rent
                                                                     first half of 2008 was about
                                                                     160,000 sq ft and will do well
                                                                                                       we are all holding our breath
                                                                                                       to see what happens next,
                                                                                                                                          towards enterprise initia-
                                                                                                                                          tives and skills training.
to adjust to a                     rather than sale and the          to approach its five-year         but the market certainly             Liverpool’s investment
challenging new                    project’s funder, Anglo Irish
                                   Bank, has agreed to an
                                                                     average of nearly 500,000 sq
                                                                     ft by the end of December.
                                                                                                       hasn’t stopped – office
                                                                                                       inquiries are being received
                                                                                                                                          market reached record yields
                                                                                                                                          of 4.6 per cent at the start of
environment                        extension of repayment               The figures will depend on     and some people are moving.        2007, but these, in common
                                   terms.                            whether and when a big pub-          “There are several sizeable     with the UK trend, have



L
         iverpool is having           The Beetham family of          lic sector pre-let to Mer-        public sector inquiries and        started to retreat towards
         mixed results in its      companies has £300m of debt       seytravel, for 136,000 sq ft at   some solicitors are looking        6.25 per cent.
         attempts to limit the     across projects, built and        Neptune Developments’             to move in the medium                Jonathan Mills, director of
         damage caused by          unbuilt, across the country.      Mann Island, is agreed. The       term. I also think we will see     investment at Jones Lang
the funding drought that is        How the heavily-geared                                              some occupiers who are in          L a Sa ll e, s a ys : “ Wi th o u t
hurting the wider property         Beetham copes with the                                              substandard space coming           inward yield movement the
market.                            market in 2009 is among the       Public sector                     into the market to take            city will need to look to
  Vermont Developments, a          bellwethers to watch in the       grants are drying                 advantage of better deals          either sizeable rental growth
respected       locally-based      city next year.                                                     that will be available.”           or further government fund-
developer set up four years           Urban Splash, the iconic       up after more than                   Despite Neptune’s rosy          ing to sustain the market
ago, went into administra-
tion when a London-based
                                   loft-apartment developer
                                   founded in Liverpool 15
                                                                     a decade of                       outlook, Steve Parry, chief
                                                                                                       executive, told a conference
                                                                                                                                          improvements.”
                                                                                                                                            Meanwhile, developers
venture capitalist, Downing        years ago, is making job cuts     pump­priming                      in September that the city’s       scramble to make schemes
Corporate Finance, called in       despite attempts to resist for                                      development market was in          stack up wherever possible.
the £4m debt on a residential      longer than many rivals.                                            danger of stalling. On top of        For example, a joint ven-
project in Salford, Greater           The developer has refused      deal is in advanced legal         the credit freeze and widen-       ture between Merepark and
Manchester. The Quarter,           to set timetables for its         talks and if it completes will    ing investment yields, head-       Ballymore is seeking pre-lets
Vermont and joint-venture          future schemes, including         trigger the forthcoming           line office rents remain low       of 50 per cent before break-
financier Ethel Austin Prop-       the huge Tribeca project,         building’s pre-sale to a Ger-     at £20 per sq ft, construc-        ing ground on its £160m
erties’ big hotel, office and      where 700 homes are               man pension fund for about        tions costs have soared and        retail and leisure develop-
apartment project in Liver-        planned below the Anglican        £50m, arguably the first such     public sector grants are dry-      ment, Central Village, and
pool, appears to be safely         Cathedral to the south of the     foreign institutional pur-        ing up after more than a dec-      claims to be close to its tar-
held in a special-purpose          city centre.                      chase in the city.                ade of pump-priming supply,        get.
vehicle although construc-            While the residential play-      Mark Worthington, direc-        he pointed out.                      Similarly, St Modwen is
tion work has slowed.              ers inevitably restructure to     tor of office agency at CB           Liverpool    Vision,    the     close to announcing a food
  The Beetham Organisa-            fit the collapsed housing         Richard Ellis, says: “My own      urban regeneration com-            store tenant to anchor its
tion, arguably the pioneer of      market, developers active in      view is that we should get to     pany, is in talks with the         45-acre retail-led regenera-
high-rise development in the       commercial sectors are fac-       between 350,000 sq ft and         Northwest Development              tion of Great George Street
city in the 1990s, completed       ing similar problems.             400,000 sq ft by year-end         Agency to draw down fresh          north of the city centre.             Reflections on the future: artist’s impression of the Mann Island project




Calling all suburban shoppers                                                                                                             Sticky situation for the Toffees
LIVERPOOL ONE

Andrew Bounds on
                                      But Joanne Jennings,
                                   chief executive of Liverpool
                                   One, says she is confident it
                                                                     centre. Liverpool One’s job
                                                                     should be as simple as
                                                                     ensuring they return. “We
                                                                                                       centre. The street pattern
                                                                                                       has been retained and Liver-
                                                                                                       pool One is a collection of
                                                                                                                                          as councils fight pitch battle
                                   will beat the gloomy trend.       have people coming back           eclectic buildings, with a
the £1bn retail and                “Liverpool is one of the few      who have not been to Liver-       park covering a multi-story        CASE STUDY                            restaurants, to begin in         and business creation in the     incremental. It is a
leisure district                   cities that is outperforming.     pool for some time. There is      garage, restaurants and per-       EVERTON FC                            November. With recession         country, scale needs to be       once-in-a-lifetime
                                   It has been very vibrant this     wealth here that was going        formance spaces. There are                                               looming, some say the move       stepped up, he says.             opportunity.”
                                   year and Liverpool One has        elsewhere,” she says.             even high-end apartments.          Andrew Bounds on                      will doom the project. Sir         Mr Round says Warren             Bill Kenwright, the
Liverpool Eight is this year’s
release by ex-Beatle Ringo
                                   contributed to that. People
                                   are visiting the city for dif-
                                                                        The obvious losers could
                                                                     be the giant Trafford Centre,
                                                                                                         Some of the nearby
                                                                                                       smaller or offbeat traders
                                                                                                                                          the football club’s                   Terry Leahy, Tesco chief
                                                                                                                                                                                executive, a lifelong
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Bradley and Joe Anderson,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 leaders respectively of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  theatre impresario who is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Everton chairman, is
Starr, a musical homage to         ferent things,” she says.         a shopping and leisure com-       fear they could be smothered       contested plan to                     Evertonian, says he will         Liverpool city council and       searching for something
the Toxteth postcode where
he lived as a boy. Liverpool
                                      The facts so far bear her
                                   out. Around 92 per cent of
                                                                     plex 25 miles down the
                                                                     motorway in Manchester,
                                                                                                       by Liverpool One, but others
                                                                                                       nearby have benefited. Forty
                                                                                                                                          move out of town                      stand by the commitment.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Home to a famous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the Labour opposition,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “have put their allegiance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  equally dramatic. Short of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  funds, last month he said
One, based in the central          the 1.4m sq ft retail space       and Chester, traditionally a      per cent more people have                                                country house and safari         to the club before their         he was willing to sell out to
postal district, is a tribute to   has been let, though rent-        magnet for high spenders.         ventured to the Albert Dock        Few issues can divide                 park, Knowsley was built         responsibilities as political    any billionaire who might
those other Scouse passions,       free periods have been            Peel Holdings, which owns         on the waterfront now that         Liverpool like football.              up in the 20th century to        leaders in relation to the       be interested. Anil Ambani,
shopping and partying. The         extended to entice shops in.      the Trafford Centre, says its     they can walk through              Plans by Everton,                     house people relocated from      region of Merseyside. They       scion of one of India’s
£1bn, 42-acre site, much of        Recorded footfall in the city     footfall is up but spending is    smart streets rather than          Merseyside’s oldest club, to          the Liverpool slums and has      should have a wider view.        richest industrial dynasties,
which opened in May, is            centre has risen 17 per cent      down this year.                   desolate car parks.                move out of the city                  a population of 150,000.           “It should not have any        is reported to be in talks.
finally complete, providing        since Liverpool One opened           Rod Holmes, Grosvenor’s          M s J en n i ng s s a y s t he   boundary to neighbouring                Ron Round, Labour leader       impact on their retail             Another solution would
the city of 1.4m people a          and public transport num-         project director, says the        development is also provid-        Knowsley have unleashed               of Knowsley council, says        centres. What it will do is      be to share a ground with
retail and leisure district        bers are up more than 10 per      concept is different. “This is    ing 5,000 low-skilled jobs and     an old-fashioned slanging             the area desperately needs       give the people of Kirkby        Liverpool, whose own 60,000
commensurate with its size.        cent in the year to date.         a city centre not a shopping      has its own employment cen-        match between rival                   the development. Despite         something they have been         seater stadium across
  After eight years of hard           Ms Jennings points out         mall. It is not a Meadowhall      tre. “We have had fabulous         councils.                             £1bn of private investment       denied, quality shops.           Stanley Park has been
work by Grosvenor, the             that Liverpool has a catch-       [the shopping centre in Shef-     take-up for front-line staff:        The club says it needs a            in the past decade and one       People who live there have       delayed by an inability to
Duke of Westminster’s prop-        ment area of 5m people. It        field], it has no roof, and you   3,500 turned up to the job         new 50,000 seater stadium             of the highest rates of job      to go outside to do their        raise finance. Few believe
erty company, the area has         had slipped from fifth to 15th    have to pay to park.”             fair. In retail there is little    to ensure it can continue to                                           weekly shop.”                    that owners George Gillett
finally reopened for business      in the UK retail league table        Indeed Ms Jennings was         barrier to entry. You do not       compete in the Premier                                                   Mr Bradley is an Everton       and Tom Hicks have the
just as the consumer boom          as shoppers from the sub-         recruited not from retail but     need a degree, just motiva-        League and there is no site                                            season ticket holder and         money to build it, leading
falters.                           urbs shunned the dowdy city       a job running Belfast city        tion.”                             acceptable near its 40,000                                             would like the club to stay      many such as Mr Bradley
                                                                                                                                          capacity Goodison Park                                                 in the city but denies that      to advocate the ground
                                                                                                                                          home. The only way it can                                              has influenced his               share. It works in Milan
                                                                                                                                          afford to build it is teaming                                          opposition. “The commercial      and Rome, but perhaps not
                                                                                                                                          up with Tesco, the                                                     development is out of all        on Merseyside, which
                                                                                                                                          supermarket chain, as part                                             proportion to the area. It       rejected blue wheelie bins
                                                                                                                                          of a wider plan to                                                     was always likely to be          in favour of purple to avoid
                                                                                                                                          regenerate Kirkby,                                                     called in,” he says.             identification with either
                                                                                                                                          north-east of the city.                                                  The two leaders say the        football team.
                                                                                                                                            After strident objections                                            wrangle will not affect their      Sharing would not please
                                                                                                                                          from Liverpool council and                                             ability to work together as      Mr Round, a Liverpool
                                                                                                                                          other neighbouring                                                     part of the new Liverpool        supporter, either set of fans,
                                                                                                                                          boroughs such as Sefton                                                city region. Yet Mr Round        or the Reds’ greatest
                                                                                                                                          and St Helens, the                                                     is angry that his neighbours     manager, Bill Shankly. “If
                                                                                                                                          government announced an                                                are blocking his path to         Everton were playing at the
                                                                                                                                          inquiry into the £400m                                                 renaissance. “It needs           bottom of the garden, I’d
                                                                                                                                          scheme, which includes                                                 something quite dramatic to      pull the curtains,” he once
                                                                                                                                          shops, hotels and                     Bill Kenwright             PA    turn it round. It cannot be      said.




                                                                                                                                          Cluster has growth culture
                                                                                                                                          BIOMEDICAL INDUSTRY                   turing Centre (NBC) at           helped several small biotech     sion of the Liverpool School
                                                                                                                                                                                Speke, close to the Novartis     start-ups, such as IntelliHep,   of Tropical Medicine (LSTM)
                                                                                                                                          William Hall on a                     and Eli Lilly plants, is         a glycotherapuetics company      is the best known.
                                                                                                                                          sector with many                      another sign of Liverpool’s
                                                                                                                                                                                determination to consolidate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 based on research from Liv-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 erpool university’s School of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     This July saw the opening
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  of the LSTM’s new £23m
                                                                                                                                          strings to its bow                    its position as one of           Biological Sciences, to Cam-     Centre for Tropical and
                                                                                                                                                                                Europe’s leading biomanu-        bridge’s ImmBio, which is        Infectious Diseases. It is con-
                                                                                                                                          Liverpool is home to one of           facturing centres.               developing an innovative flu     centrating on the research
                                                                                                                                          the UK’s top three biomedi-              The NBC, owned by the         vaccine,     and    London’s     and development of drugs,
                                                                                                                                          cal clusters. More than 5,000         Northwest Development            Stealthyx Therapeutics,          vaccines and insecticides, to
                                                                                                                                          people work across 100 com-           Agency (NWDA) but oper-          which is researching treat-      treat diseases affecting the
                                                                                                                                          panies in a sector whose              ated by Eden Biodesign, a        ments for inflammatiory dis-     world’s poorest people.
                                                                                                                                          growing international repu-           private company, was set up      eases.                              LSTM now has more than
                                                                                                                                          tation is being built on its          to overcome one of the big-        The     NBC     has     also   £100m of research contracts
                                                                                                                                          role as one of Europe’s top           gest obstacles facing UK         attracted considerable inter-    on its books and has
                                                                                                                                          biomanufacturing centres,             research scientists – lack of    national attention, hosting      attracted a considerable
                                                                                                                                          with an emphasis on vaccine           access to small-scale bioman-    14 visits from experts from      amount of research funding
                                                                                                                                          production and a leading              ufacturing operations to test    countries such as Japan,         from Bill Gates, Microsoft’s
                                                                                                                                          position in research into             potential drugs and com-         Korea,     Australia,   Latin    founder, for the control and
                                                                                                                                          infectious diseases.                  pounds.                                                           treatment of malaria in
                                                                                                                                            For example, Eli Lilly, the            NBC chief executive Craw-                                      Africa.
                                                                                                                                          big    US     pharmaceutical          ford Brown’s mission is to       LSTM has attracted                  It has also joined forces
                                                                                                                                          group, has been on Mersey-            help research teams “get a       a considerable                   with the Royal Liverpool
                                                                                                                                          side since 1963. Its Speke            good idea out of the lab and                                      University Hospital and Liv-
                                                                                                                                          plant, the group’s largest            into the clinic”. The NBC’s      amount of                        erpool university to estab-
                                                                                                                                          bulk manufacturing facility,
                                                                                                                                          has been at the forefront of
                                                                                                                                                                                services range from advising
                                                                                                                                                                                small companies about what
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 research funding                 lish the Liverpool Biomedi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cal Research Centre, whose
                                                                                                                                          several new product initia-           to do, to producing small        from Bill Gates                  goal is to become the UK’s
                                                                                                                                          tives over the years and sup-         batches of prototype materi-                                      centre of excellence for
                                                                                                                                          plies other Lilly facilities          als that can be used in clini-                                    infectious diseases, develop-
                                                                                                                                          with active ingredients for           cal trials, and training staff   America and the US, as well      ing new drugs and diagnos-
                                                                                                                                          both animal and human                 for the biopharmaceutical        as advising academics from       tic tools to treat conditions
                                                                                                                                          health products.                      industry.                        UK universities such as          such as HIV and Tuberculo-
                                                                                                                                            Switzerland’s Novartis,                The NBC has more than 70      Oxford, Cambridge, Edin-         sis.
                                                                                                                                          which took over the troubled          staff and expects numbers to     burgh and Cardiff.                  Linda Magee, head of
                                                                                                                                          Chiron vaccine plant at               exceed 100 by next year.           Eden Biodesign, NBC’s          Bionow which champions
                                                                                                                                          Speke in 2006, is investing           However, it is at a critical     operator,     has    recently    the north-west’s biotech
                                                                                                                                          more than £100m in a new              stage in its development         opened a US operation it         industry, says that the com-
                                                                                                                                          primary production building           since the public-sector pump     hopes will provide a flow of     bination of Speke’s vaccine
                                                                                                                                          and another £25m in addi-             priming, to help small com-      business for its Speke centre.   capability and the expertise
                                                                                                                                          tional secondary manufac-             panies and academic group        There is enough space to         of LSTM and other univer-
                                                                                                                                          turing facilities, due to open        access the NBC’s develop-        double the NBC’s size if         sity departments mean Liv-
                                                                                                                                          in 2010. The plant, which             ment and clinical manufac-       demand materialises.             erpool is now firmly recog-
                                                                                                                                          employs more than 700, is             turing services, is about to       While the success of the       nised as the UK centre for
                                                                                                                                          the UK’s largest manufac-             end and the NBC will in          NBC has boosted Liverpool’s      infectious diseases.
                                                                                                                                          ture of flu vaccine as well as        future have to rely on its       profile as an international         It is a title that some cities
                                                                                                                                          an important supplier of              clients paying for the use of    biomanufacturing base, the       might not want to advertise.
                                                                                                                                          Avian flu vaccine for govern-         its facilities.                  city’s reputation for medical    But in the case of Liverpool
                                                                                                                                          ment stockpiles.                         Mr Brown is confident the     research has also been           it highlights the competitive
                                                                                                                                            The opening in 2006 of the          NBC can develop into a self-     enhanced by a number of          advantage of one of its few
                                                                                                                                          £34m National Biomanufac-             sustaining business. It has      moves, of which the expan-       high-tech growth industries.
FINANCIAL TIMES WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1 2008                                                             ★                                                                                                                                                                 5




                                                                                                         Doing Business in Liverpool & the North­West

Revival helps to turn tide                                                                                                                                              Global gateway plan
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Andrew Bounds on
                                                                                                                                                                        builds head of steam
a sector that has                                                                                                                                                                                         of investment and a reputa-     now under common owner-
                                                                                                                                                                        MARITIME SECTOR
emerged from                                                                                                                                                                                              tion for trade union mili-      ship.
the doldrums                                                                                                                                                            William Hall on a                 tancy among its 25,000 dock-       Ms Ellman has thrown her
                                                                                                                                                                        buoyant outlook in                ers put many customers off.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            But that has all changed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          weight behind plans to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          develop a “SuperPort” strat-
                                                                                                                                                                        ports and shipping

L
          iverpool’s profess-                                                                                                                                                                             In 2007 the Port of Liverpool   egy for Liverpool by harness-
          ional services sector,                                                                                                                                                                          handled 32m tonnes of cargo,    ing the freight handling
          one of the largest in                                                                                                                                         The Port of Liverpool, which      compared with 9m tonnes in      capacity of the Mersey ports,
          the country, is thriv-                                                                                                                                        lies at the hub of the largest    1984, while the 36-mile long    the canal and the airport to
ing again. Wealth has been                                                                                                                                              maritime sector outside Lon-      Manchester Ship Canal,          create a “global gateway”.
managed in the city since                                                                                                                                               don, is handling more cargo       which for many years had           Lorraine Rogers, chief
the 18th century, when huge                                                                                                                                             than ever. More than £300m        looked increasingly obsolete,   executive of the Mersey Part-
amounts were generated by                                                                                                                                               of private sector investment      is also being turned around,    nership, notes that places
merchants and shippers.                                                                                                                                                 has gone into the port over       handling 8.3m tonnes of         such as Dubai and Singapore
   In his book “Liverpool:                                                                                                                                              the past few years and there      cargo last year.                have flourished as interna-
City of the Sea”, academic                                                                                                                                              are plans for another £150m         The Port of Liverpool,        tional gateways by integrat-
Tony       Lane    says    that                                                                                                                                         over the next five years.         acquired in 2005 by Peel        ing their core assets such as
between 1804 and 1914 only                                                                                                                                                 Mersey Maritime, which         Holdings, the north-west        ports, airports and logistics
London and Glasgow pro-                                                                                                                                                 represents a range of mari-       property developer, employs     operations. Liverpool wants
duced more millionaires                                                                                                                                                 time-related companies, from      very few people these days      to do the same.
than Merseyside. Its 1879-80                                                                                                                                            port and shipping operations                                         There are already several
business tax take was higher                                                                                                                                            to high-tech systems suppli-                                      clusters of maritime activi-
than that of Birmingham,                                                                                                                                                ers and specialist profes-        ‘We are very                    ties along the canal at Elles-
Bristol, Leeds and Sheffield       Material gains: sailors unloading cotton at Liverpool Docks in 1875 – the maritime tradition has fostered law firms          Getty   sional services, calculates       optimistic about                mere Port, Runcorn Docks,
combined. The long mari-                                                                                                                                                that there are more than                                          Irlam and on the upper
time tradition has fostered        value of the economy.            in this sector,” says Mr           However, the city council      Beech, senior partner at          1,000 companies involved in       the Manchester                  reaches at Salford. Compa-
law firms and commodity
brokers. The global cotton
                                      Barclays Wealth, the asset
                                   management arm of the
                                                                    Flynn.
                                                                      DLA Piper, the law firm,
                                                                                                     then designated an area just
                                                                                                     behind the Pier Head water-
                                                                                                                                      Deloitte, says the city’s three
                                                                                                                                      universities provided a good
                                                                                                                                                                        Liverpool’s maritime sector,
                                                                                                                                                                        with 26,000 employees and
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ship Canal’s long               nies active in moving a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          range of cargoes such as
trade is still run from the        banking group, opened an         has also raised its profile      front as a financial sector      source of graduates. Annual       turnover of £2.5bn a year.        term prospects’                 containers, coal, chemicals,
city.                              office in June. Mark Esner,      with heavy sponsorship of        and encouraged developers        recruitment would remain at          There are even signs that                                      oils and grain include house-
   While numbers thinned           area director, says the trans-   the Capital of Culture year,     to build offices. Hill Dickin-   planned levels despite the        shipbuilding, one of Mersey-                                      hold names such as Shell,
out with the collapse of the       fer of Liverpool work back       especially the Tate gallery.     son now has its own glass        downturn, he says.                side’s biggest industries for     and strikes are non-existent.   Tesco, Ineos, Cerestar, Rank
docks and industry in the          from Manchester was justi-       Philip Rooney, managing          tower with stunning atrium.        While the downturn has          more than a century, is mak-      The combination of the port     Hovis, Procter & Gamble,
1960s and 1970s, old firms         fied. “You cannot get the        partner, enticed the firm’s      “It’s a good example of how      hit some areas, others such       ing a comeback. Birkenhead-       with the canal, which Peel      and Castrol.
such as Rathbones, estab-          business unless you are          global board to meet in Liv-     public sector commitment         as corporate restructuring        based           Northwestern      already owned, ended 120           Last year Peel launched
lished 1742, and Rensburg          here. The local lawyers and      erpool, where former US sen-     brings in the private sector,”   are growing, he says.             Shiprepairers and Shipbuild-      years of fierce competition     the first regular shuttle
Sheppards stayed put. The          advisers want to deal with       ator George Mitchell, DLA        Mr Wilson says.                    Mr Flynn at E&Y says:           ers (NSL) recently won a          and has given fresh impetus     barge service moving con-
last few years have seen an        someone on their doorstep,”      Piper’s chairman, delivered        But Mark Chadwick, chief       “Talent is returning to a         £234m five-year contract to       to the renaissance of one of    tainers between Liverpool’s
influx back the other way.         he says. Five members of the     a lecture on the future of       executive of Professionalliv-    revitalised city that presents    service ships for the Royal       the UK’s busiest estuaries.     Seaforth container terminal
   Barry Flynn, senior part-       Manchester      team     were    western democracies.             erpool, which lobbies for the    a better work-life balance. In    Fleet Auxiliary fleet, which        “We are very optimistic       and Manchester’s Irlam Con-
ner at Ernst & Young in Liv-       already commuting from             Hill Dickinson remains the     sector, says the public sector   the last two years people         means that its workforce          about the canal’s long-term     tainer Terminal – a distance
erpool,     trained    as    an    Liverpool.                       only top law firm headquar-      could do more. “There are        have relocated to Liverpool       could soon top 1,000. To cele-    prospects,”    says    Frank    of 44 miles. Irlam is the fore-
accountant there in 1979.             It moved to new offices       tered in the city. It has        large sums of money in pub-      from Belfast, Manchester,         brate its increasing success      Robotham, Peel Ports’ mar-      runner to Port Salford, a
“Professional services work        with the Commercial bank,                                         lic procurement that are         Newcastle, Leeds and even         it p la n s to re a do pt t h e   keting director. At one stage   £100m scheme for a 130-acre
in the 1980s was corporate         which now provide leads. Mr                                       going outside the local econ-    Milan.”                           famous      Cammell      Laird    this year every bit of ware-    inland container port with
recovery and grant claim led       Esner has recruited special-     ‘Talent is returning             omy,” he says. He has com-         The Liverpool zeitgeist has     brand name.                       house space that Peel con-      access to the M60 motorway
in the city. Liverpool was         ists from backgrounds which      to a revitalised city            missioned a report to see        also attracted lawyers who           “There is a feeling all        trolled in Liverpool and        and the west coast rail line.
suffering, the economy was         include private banking,                                          what ripple effect it would      have eschewed the discipline      round that Liverpool’s mari-      along the canal was fully          The timing of the Port Sal-
flat-lining and the political      stockbroking,       pensions,    that presents a                  have if NHS trusts, regenera-    of the big firms. Mark Ship-      time sector is buoyant, and       occupied, so Peel has begun     ford development has yet to
environment was in tur-
moil,” he says. “In the last
                                   accountancy and tax plan-
                                   ning. Clients are interested
                                                                    better work­life                 tion companies and the like
                                                                                                     spent on Liverpool advisers
                                                                                                                                      ley set up a specialist intel-
                                                                                                                                      lectual property and brand
                                                                                                                                                                        has the potential for further
                                                                                                                                                                        significant growth,” says
                                                                                                                                                                                                          to buy back land sold by the
                                                                                                                                                                                                          canal 20 years ago to build
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          be agreed. However, at the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          other end of the canal, work
decade, Liverpool’s renais-        in tapping the Barclays glo-     balance’                         rather than those of other       protection practice three         Jim Teasdale, Mersey Mari-        canalside warehouses in         will soon start on a £100m
sance has turned the tide of       bal network and spreading                                         cities.                          years ago that has won some       time’s chief executive.           Warrington and Runcorn.         plan to double the size of
professionals and bankers          their money, often in cash,                                         Mr Chadwick, installed in      landmark        international        A century ago Liverpool          Louise Ellman, MP for Liv-    Liverpool’s existing Royal
flowing out of the city.”          around it. “Security is what     branched far beyond its mar-     April, also believes the Liv-    cases.                            was the premier port of the       erpool Riverside and chair-     Seaforth container terminal,
   In the last couple of years     people are looking for now,”     itime roots – it represented     erpool financial services sec-     Phil Rees-Roberts has           British Empire. But for sev-      man of the House of Com-        to 1.5m teu (twenty-foot
the likes of Sweden’s Han-         he says.                         Titanic owner White Star         tor should promote itself bet-   become the champion of            eral decades the port’s for-      mons Transport Select Com-      equivalent units) a year, by
delsbanken, Panmure Gor-              E&Y has also moved to         Line at the inquiry into its     ter and has arranged a dele-     businesses who find them-         tunes seemed in terminal          mittee, says the acquisition    building two new riverside
don and Lloyds TSB corpo-          new offices. “In the next        sinking. Indeed a couple of      gation to meet the new Lord      selves on the receiving end       decline. The advent of con-       of the port by Peel Holdings    berths. These will be able to
rate have set up operations        three to five years I aim to     years ago it had outgrown        Mayor of London, who repre-      of compulsory purchase            tainerisation and the growth      has created a unique situa-     handle the next generation
in Liverpool. There are more       establish a team of local gov-   its premises and was consid-     sents UK financial services      orders, the flipside of the       of air travel in the 1960s dec-   tion because the port, along    of “post-Panamax” contain-
than 200,000 jobs in profes-       ernment and capital project      ering leaving the city for       globally.                        massive regeneration that         imated its traditional gen-       with the fast-growing John      ers ships of up to 8,000 teus,
sional services across Mer-        advisers     in    Liverpool,    lack of alternatives, says         Recruitment      has    not    has taken place in the last       eral cargo and passenger          Lennon Airport and the          too big to fit into the exist-
seyside, adding £8.3bn to the      responding to local demand       Tony Wilson, senior partner.     proved a problem. Sean           decade.                           liner businesses, while lack      Manchester Ship Canal, are      ing container terminal.




Finding new solutions for
living in a material world
PROFILE                            to create 50 or 100 samples      Mersey. Towns such as            developed his spin-off
CENTRE FOR MATERIALS               and test them one by one.        Runcorn and Widnes are           company, Iota
DISCOVERY                          The robots we have can test      still thriving hubs of           Nanosolutions, in
                                   all 50 at once. We can test      chemical production.             conjunction with Unilever,
Andrew Bounds                      them in parallel and do it         “Clean energy is the           the consumer goods
visits a new £9.6m                 much quicker.”
                                     Prof Cooper, 38, who has
                                                                    biggest challenge for
                                                                    science for our generation,”
                                                                                                     company, which was
                                                                                                     interested in new
facility designed to               already started a successful     Prof Cooper says, “making        ingredients for its products.
speed up research                  nanotechnology business
                                   with colleague Steve
                                                                    energy and transport
                                                                    independent of fossil fuels”.
                                                                                                     Unilever, which still has a
                                                                                                     laboratory across the
                                   Rennard, has been lobbying         So the centre is working       Mersey at Port Sunlight,
With commodity prices at           for the centre for years.        on ways to store liquid          already has a team working
record highs as a growing            But it took collaboration      hydrogen that could be           closely with the university.
world population puts raw          between the university’s         used to fuel cars. It is also      “We are trying to break
materials under ever-greater       chemistry department,            researching new materials        the mould in the way we
strain, Liverpool University       industry and the Northwest       for solar panels that would      work with industry,” he
hopes it is sitting on a           Regional Development             require less energy to make.     says. While “pure” science
goldmine. Its £9.6m Centre         Agency, along with                 “What is really needed is      has its place, the focus
for Materials Discovery,           European Union funding, to       new concepts. The trouble        should be on processes that
unveiled this year, aims to        get it built.                    is that most do not work         can get a commercial
help industry find a new             “It is a shared risk for a     but a centre like this can       return.
generation of raw materials        shared resource. No one          try them until one does,” he       “The mistake a lot of
for energy storage, medical        partner had the money to         says.                            academics make is that
equipment and consumer             buy all the kit so we              Any company from across        they think they know more
products.                          created a centre where we        the UK can use the centre        about commercial viability
  Andy Cooper, head of the         share it,” says Prof Cooper.     and tap into the expertise       than companies do. You
centre, says it will allow           Liverpool was an obvious       among staff.                     have to be prepared to kill
companies to speed up              place to site the centre, he       Prof Cooper admits he is       projects that are quite
research processes.                says, as it has a large          more comfortable than            interesting but not
  “The traditional way to          cluster of chemical              many academics in working        practical. You have to be
discover a new material is         companies based along the        with the private sector. He      quite ruthless.”




Keeping an eye on security
PROFILE                              Neil Norman, 35, the           mines that there are not two     years after setting up the
HUMAN RECOGNITION                  founder, was working as          people sneaking through          company, using empty fac-
SYSTEMS                            chief technology strategist      together.                        tory space owned by an old
                                   for Accenture, the consul-         “It is completely secure       business contact of his
Andrew Bounds on                   tancy, when he saw the           and saves thousands of           father’s.
a Liverpool group                  potential for biometrics,
                                   identity management and
                                                                    pounds,” says Mr Norman.
                                                                    “The potential for this sort
                                                                                                       Last year a £2m cash injec-
                                                                                                     tion from Capital Values
carving a niche in                 human behaviour analytics        of technology is enormous.”      Group, a private equity
biometric systems                  in security systems.
                                     The group now has turno-
                                                                      He aims to lift turnover to
                                                                    £60m within five years as
                                                                                                     group, enabled HRS to take
                                                                                                     on more staff and move to
                                   ver of £3.2m a year and con-     biometric security devices       the Wavertree Technology
There is no one around as I        tracts with government and       become ever more popular,        Park in the suburbs of Liver-
slip through the sliding           the construction industry.       though he accepts the public     pool.
doors from the arrivals hall         The system being used at       need reassurance about their       Mr Norman, who went to
airside. Suddenly a metallic       Manchester airport involves      privacy.                         school in nearby Southport,
voice shouts and a siren           cameras in sensitive areas.        HRS also works with Sell-      says he chose Liverpool as a
blares. Within seconds police      They track behaviour – if        afield, the nuclear power sta-   base for his company for
will be on the scene. I have       someone approaches a door        tion. Further, it has devised    more than sentimental rea-
been caught where I should         from the wrong side or even      a system to ensure only          sons.
not be at Manchester airport       spends too long loitering in     qualified workers on con-          “It’s a great place to live
– not by man but by                the baggage area it is picked    struction sites can operate      and there are a lot of good
machine.                           up and an automatic warn-        machines. It also won a con-     technology         companies
  The airport – the country’s      ing issued. The control room     tract to dispense methadone      around. But the best thing is
fourth biggest – is the first      is alerted and police called.    in prisons to ensure that        the staff,” he says. “You get
to have installed a security         The thousands of staff and     heroin addicts get the right     very good graduates here
network from Human Recog-          contractors also have their      dose while others cannot get     from the universities. And
nition Systems. That’s not         entry controlled. They must      access to the drug.              we have tried to give oppor-
surprising as the company          pass through a scanner that        Along with many entrepre-      tunities to people from areas
was started just a few years       cross-checks their iris with     neurs Mr Norman has had to       that might not have had
ago in a cardboard box fac-        their identity card to gain      make sacrifices. He went         them before. The staff really
tory in Liverpool.                 access. A weight pad deter-      without a salary for three       feel part of the business.”
6                                                                                                     ★                                                                                                                FINANCIAL TIMES WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1 2008




Doing Business in Liverpool & the North­West

Leading lights in business and public affairs
WHO’S WHO                                                                                                             Detecting the rise of support for    Phil Redmond
                                                                                                                      far-right parties among white        Grange Hill, the show that
Ten of the city’s top                                                                                                 working class voters, his latest     launched Phil Redmond’s TV
personalities are                                                                                                     move is to team up with
                                                                                                                      aristocratic Tory Sir Nicholas
                                                                                                                                                           career, may have ended this
                                                                                                                                                           year but its creator shows no
profiled by Andrew                                                                                                    Soames to call for a cap on          sign of stopping. The public face
Bounds, William Hall                                                                                                  immigrant numbers.                   of the Capital of Culture year
                                                                                                                                                           and, for many, of Liverpool
and Paul Unger                                                                                                        Bernard Hogan­Howe                   itself brought much-needed
                                                                                                                      Bernard Hogan-Howe, chief            credibility to the company
                                                                                                                      constable of Merseyside Police       delivering it. He himself likened
Sir Michael Bibby                                                                                                     since 2004, has done more than       the chaotic arrangements to a
If Liverpool still had a Liverpool                                                                                    anyone to rid Liverpool of its       Scouse wedding that would
Shipowners Association then Sir                                                                                       reputation as a crime-ridden city    work out on the day. His
Michael Bibby, chief executive                                                                                        with an uncontrollable gang and      socialist roots have enabled him
of Bibby Line Group, would                                                                                            drugs culture. Although              to open many doors in
probably be president, just like                                                                                      shocking events, such as the         government to the Liberal
several of his forbears who                                                                                           gangland murder of 11-year-old       Democrat-controlled council.
managed the fortunes of the                                                                                           Rhys Jones in Croxteth,              This year he has also become
UK’s oldest surviving shipping                                                                                        continue to colour outside           chairman of the National
company for more than 200                                                                                             perceptions, crime in Liverpool      Museums Liverpool, the largest
years. However, there are no                                                                                          has been falling faster on Mr        collection outside London. A
other shipowners left in                                                                                              Hogan-Howe’s watch than in           professor at Liverpool John
Liverpool, and Sir Michael, who                                                                                       any other big police force. A        Moores University, he believes
took over the family business in                                                                                      highly approachable figure, he       the city’s creative talent and
2000, has overseen its rapid          Mark Chadwick                                                                   has forged strong links with         broadband infrastructure can           Phil Redmond                                                       PA
diversification into less cyclical                                                                                    local communities and taken a        make it a media hub in the
areas such as financial services,    policies are actually having an         villages to 1m sq ft of offices in       tough line, not only on violent      future. “Culture means                 Rovers Football Club,               Liverpool, corporate offices at
logistics, supermarkets and          impact on the ground,” he says.         his home city, including the             crime, but also anti-social          commerce and commerce means            Merseyside’s third team, and a      his 200-acre Media City UK in
burial sites. Sir Michael, an                                                elegant Port of Liverpool                behaviour. He is also not averse     cash,” he says. He already has a       director of RadioCity, the radio    Salford. Even his biggest fans in
accountant who was educated,         Mark Chadwick                           Building. The down-to-earth              to criticising politicians, health   CBE for his services to                station. Ms Rogers was an           the audience, though, may have
like his father, at Rugby and        A new arrival on the Merseyside         Everton FC supporter keeps his           and safety rules, and judges’ lax    broadcasting, and is tipped for        investment banker with              wished that Mr Whittaker would
Trinity College, Oxford, is a        business scene, Mark Chadwick           property assets in a Jersey-based        sentencing policies – a stance       higher honours after Capital of        Hambros when she saw the            spend more time on the
throwback to an older                brings a useful outsiders’              trust, lives in Verbier,                 which just might scupper his         Culture year.                          potential for dealmaking in the     economic argument for his case
generation of Liverpool families,    perspective to                          Switzerland, and sends his                                                                                           north-west and moved to
which channelled part of their       Professionaliverpool, which             children to school in Spain. In                                                                                      Liverpool. She is leaving
wealth into local charities, such    represents the city’s legal and         Liverpool, his challenge is                                                                                          Tranmere at the end of the
as the Birkenhead Boys Club.         finance community. His job is to        learning to live with all the                                                                                        season after a decade because of
                                     ensure that the ancient firms           national and regional                                                                                                disillusion with the state of the
                                     speak with one voice and                newcomers to the Liverpool                                                                                           game and believes smaller clubs
                                     promote the city globally. He           property scene, demanding                                                                                            could soon go under. She will
                                     has already scheduled trips to          ever-higher standards for the                                                                                        remain on the board of the
                                     London and Shanghai to pitch            city’s built environment. It is a                                                                                    Football League. Leaving the
                                     the city to investors and is on         challenge that Mr Downing is                                                                                         club should allow her more time
                                     the board of the Liverpool              meeting head on, adding to his                                                                                       to focus on her key job
                                     Shanghai World Expo. Mr                 senior management team and                                                                                           attracting inward investment
                                     Chadwick kept his family home           outbidding for key sites such as                                                                                     and tourism.
                                     in Liverpool while working in           The Capital.
                                     the City of London for Aon, the                                                                                                                              John Whittaker
                                     insurance group. That followed          Frank Field                                                                                                          The powerful billionaire owner
                                     a career with TSB, Sedgwick,            MP for Birkenhead since 1979,                                                                                        of Peel Holdings, the big
                                     Marsh and as managing director          Frank Field has become a                                                                                             transport and property group,
                                     of Opus Consulting. Looking to          respected voice in and outside                                                                                       John Whittaker recently treated
                                     work back in the area to spend          the Labour party. His latter-day                                                                                     a ferry-load of dignitaries to a
                                     more time with his children, he         role as a thorn in the side of                                                                                       trip down the Manchester Ship
                                     could not believe his luck when         the establishment has not                                                                                            Canal, which he owns, to launch
                                     the Professionaliverpool job            diminished his support among                                                                                         his Ocean Gateway concept. Few
                                     came up.                                traditional Labour supporters. It                                                                                    questioned the strategy of
                                                                             was no surprise to find him                                                                                          linking gems in a regional
                                     George Downing                          among the rebels calling for             Bernard Hogan­Howe                                           Getty Images   crown; the freight passing          John Whittaker
                                     George Downing started with a           Gordon Brown to go. He                                                                                               through his Port of Liverpool,
Warren Bradley                       snooker club at 17, which he            compared Mr Brown’s thwarting            chances of replacing Sir Ian         Lorraine Rogers                        tourists into his Liverpool John    rather than tales of a thrifty
                                     sold to a friend and started a          of his welfare reforms during            Blair as the next Metropolitan       The chief executive of the             Lennon Airport, consumers           Lancashire upbringing, the
Warren Bradley                       lucrative phase investing in            Labour’s first administration            Police Commissioner.                 Mersey Partnership embodies            lapping up his out-of-town          bitter memories of boarding
A successful Capital of Culture      student digs. More than 20 years        with the campaign of the far-left                                             many of the region’s passions.         shopping centres, new waterside     school, impressive to a point but
year has boosted the Liberal         later Mr Downing has a £500m            Militant Tendency to get him             Rod Holmes                           She is chairman of the Royal           homes on his dockland in            not enough to disarm the
Democrat who leads Liverpool         portfolio stretching from student       deselected in the 1980s.                 The man who has spent eight          Philharmonic and Tranmere              Birkenhead and North                planning gatekeepers.
City Council. His job is never                                                                                        years overseeing Liverpool’s
assured – predecessor Mike                                                                                            biggest private investment, the
Storey was ousted in a very                                                                                           £1bn Liverpool One retail and
public coup in 2005 despite                                                                                           leisure district (see article on
presiding over Liverpool’s                                                                                            Page 4) , turned 65 this year.
renaissance. Mr Bradley is more                                                                                       However, he is not hanging up
dogmatic but remains a                                                                                                his hard hat just yet. Mr
pragmatist and has maintained                                                                                         Holmes, a Yorkshireman who
a good relationship with the                                                                                          has grown to love Liverpool,
business community. Criticised                                                                                        will remain a consultant to
by some for being too ready                                                                                           developers Grosvenor, the Duke
with an aggressive soundbite, he                                                                                      of Westminster’s property
argues that it is a politician’s                                                                                      company. He will also take over
job to talk straight. His                                                                                             as chairman of the Mersey
diplomatic skills will be tested                                                                                      Partnership in October. He is
to the full as Liverpool and its                                                                                      expected to bring to the role his
five neighbouring councils form                                                                                       unstinting attention to detail
the Liverpool City Region this                                                                                        and ability to get things done.
year. A serving firefighter, he                                                                                       “I finish at Grosvenor on the
keeps in touch with constituents                                                                                      Friday and start the new job the
by continuing to work night                                                                                           next week but I have promised
shifts on the tender at the                                                                                           my wife I’ll take the Monday
Toxteth station. “There’s no                                                                                          and Tuesday as holiday,” he
better way to see whether your       Frank Field                                                       Getty Images   says.                                Rod Holmes




Halewood makes its case
PROFILE                          lander 2 has been a sales          JLR      takeover,    having      some 35 per cent this year,
JAGUAR LAND ROVER                success. But there remains         acquired Brunner Mond, the        and Halewood is to shut for
                                 uncertainty over whether           UK’s biggest soda ash pro-        a week at the end of October
William Hall on                  Halewood will feature in           ducer in 2005, and Corus          due to falling demand for
the aftermath of                 future production plans for
                                 the proposed environmen-
                                                                    Steel last year. It owns Tet-
                                                                    ley Tea and its UK opera-
                                                                                                      luxury cars.
                                                                                                        David Smith, JLR’s new
the takeover by                  tally friendly “Baby” Land         tions employ around 47,000.       chief executive, believes his
India’s Tata Motors              Rover LRX.
                                    It is not the first time that
                                                                      Ratan Tata, chairman of
                                                                    Tata Motors, has promised
                                                                                                      company can be faster on its
                                                                                                      feet under Tata than Ford,
                                 there have been question           that Jaguar and Land Rover        where financial constraints
Does the recent $2.3bn acqui-    marks hanging over Hale-           will retain their own identi-     made life much more diffi-
sition of Jaguar Land Rover      wood. In the 1970s there was       ties and continue their           cult. “Tata wants us to be
(JLR) by India’s Tata Motors     a very real threat that it         respective business plans.        autonomous – I’ve got all the
mark a new era for car man-      would suffer the same fate         Tata has given assurances of      executive authority I need to
ufacturing at Halewood, one      as the neighbouring Stand-         no immediate job cuts and         make both the day-to-day
of    Merseyside’s     biggest   ard Triumph sports car plant       has no plans to outsource         and the long-term executive
employers, or is it the begin-   at Speke, which was closed         supplies to India, which sug-     decisions without having to
ning of the end?                 as a result of militant strike     gests manufacturing will          consult with Ratan [Tata]
   Halewood, which was the       action and poor quality.           continue at Halewood for the      and Ravi [Kant, Tata Auto-
world’s biggest car factory         But management and              next five years at least.         motive’s chief executive]”,
under one roof when opened       trade union relations have           However, rising oil prices      said Mr Smith in a recent FT
by Ford in 1963, looks the       improved vastly since the          and growing government            interview.
most vulnerable of the three     dark days of the 1970s, and        pressure for stricter emis-         Halewood appears to have
UK      car   manufacturing      Halewood’s working prac-           sion standards place particu-     made a good impression on
plants that Tata inherited       tices, efficiency and quality      lar pressure on manufactur-       Mr Tata, who visited the
when it bought two of the        control have been trans-           ers of large cars such as Jag-    plant shortly after the takeo-
m ost i coni c Br it ish car     formed. It is now regularly        uar and Land Rover. The lat-      ver. He was said to be
brands.                          rated as one of Europe’s top-      ter’s US sales are down by        impressed by the real sense
   Jaguar    production     is   performing car plants.                                               of pride in the cars turned
largely concentrated at Cas-        “In terms of logistics –                                          out by Halewood and the
tle Bromwich and Land            both inbound and outbound                                            “dedication and enthusiasm
Rover at Solihull, just nine     – we are ideally situated,”                                          shown by all”.
miles away. Halewood, by         says Thomas Klein, Hale-                                               Merseyside officials are
contrast, used to be a mass      wood’s operations director.                                          cautious about reading too
production car plant employ-     “We have good, quick links                                           much into Mr Tata’s warm
ing 14,500 in its heyday, but    to the UK motorway and rail                                          words. Nevertheless, Steven
was switched to premium          networks and are minutes                                             Broomhead, chief executive
car production seven years       from Liverpool’s airport and                                         of the Northwest Develop-
ago.                             docks – essential when you                                           ment Authority (NWDA), is
   It now employs 2,500 staff    have parts coming in from                                            encouraged by the energy of
producing Jaguar’s X-Type        suppliers around the world.”                                         Halewood’s new owners and
and the Land Rover Free-            Halewood supplies vehi-                                           their long-term outlook.
lander 2, two very different     cles to 147 global markets                                             “Halewood was regarded
models on the same produc-       and benefits from having                                             by Ford as its most produc-
tion line with no shared         several of its leading suppli-                                       tive car plant in the world
components.                      ers, including those manu-                                           because of its commitment
   The Halewood-produced         facturing seats, instrument                                          to lean manufacturing,” says
X-Type, designed to attack       panels and bumpers, based                                            Mr Broomhead.
BMW’s hold over the com-         in a nearby industrial park.                                           Tata has shown a commit-
pact executive car market,          Tata, India’s biggest indus-                                      ment to sustainability and
has never lived up to initial    trial conglomerate, was                                              quality, so, he says: “I think
expectations and is nearing      already a leading investor in                                        the long-term future is
the end of its life. The Free-   the UK before this year’s          Ratan Tata              Reuters   good.”

				
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