Affluence in Liverpool – The UK’s Fastest Growing Non-Capital

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Having operated from Liverpool for the past three years, Team OPEN is naturally a huge fan of the city. However, taking bias out of the equation, Liverpool is continually developing and becoming more affluent as years go on. This brings about the question, why are some brands unaware of Liverpool’s immense advertising potential?

We figure that it must be because they’re not educated on all that’s happening in Liverpool, so we thought we’d take on the task of spreading the word about the UK’s fastest growing non-capital…


Liverpool’s Growing Economy

Between 1998 and 2016, Liverpool’s economy grew by a factor of 2.1. This incredible statistic was more than any other non-capital city in the UK (London, Cardiff and Edinburgh). Liverpool’s economy is worth over £121 billion, seeing 15% increases in economic growth year-on-year.


Why is Liverpool’s Economy Growing?

This transformative economic growth makes you wonder, why is Liverpool’s economy growing? How is Liverpool achieving this? The answer isn’t straightforward, as there are a lot of factors to consider, outlined below:

1. European Capital of Culture 2008

In 2008, Liverpool was European Capital of Culture, which saw 9.7 million visitors come to the city and generated £754 million for the local economy. This cash injection saw exciting new infrastructure built, including Pier Head’s transformation and the opening of the Echo Arena. What’s more, after the 2008 ECoC, 85% of Liverpool’s residents agreed that the city was a better place to live than before!

A report by the Institute of Cultural Capital named ‘Impacts 18’ will conclude the long-term effects of hosting ECoC 2008 for Liverpool, ten years down the line. Unfortunately for us it hasn’t been released yet, but will be presented in October of this year…                                                                   

2. Liverpool ONE

Liverpool ONE also opened in 2008, alongside ECoC, although an entirely separate endeavour.

The complex is the largest open-air shopping centre in the UK, and has gone from strength to strength. Retailer performance is consistently strong, having grown 8% above the national average since launch. This has resulted in Liverpool growing an impressive reputation as a quality retail destination (in the top five retail destinations in the UK), seeing brands like JD Sports and Foot Locker open flagship stores in the past year.

3. Infrastructure and Tourism

Aside from the previously mentioned developments that came as a result of the ECoC and opening of Liverpool ONE, the city has seen some other exciting buildings open in the past decade, all of which have contributed to tourism in Liverpool.

In 2015 the Exhibition Centre Liverpool opened, a brand new space for The ACC Liverpool group, dedicated to hosting world-class events, exhibitions and conventions, such as the International Festival for Business, an event that sees tens of thousands of attendees.

Another notable change was the renovation of Liverpool Lime Street Station. The Lime Street Gateway Project demolished the parade of shops and offices that previously fronted the station, being replaced with a sleek plaza. As a result, Lime Street was voted Station of the Year at the National Rail Awards in 2010.

The next year, in 2011, The Museum of Liverpool was unveiled- the world’s first national museum devoted to the history of a single city.

One statistic that shows the impact of infrastructure on Liverpool’s tourism is that in 2008 the city had just 37 hotels in in the centre, and it now homes 67, with tourism as a whole worth £1.3 billion a year for the city and the visitor economy worth over £4 billion. Wow.

4. Knowledge Economy

Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter is focused on the education, knowledge and research sectors- the largest development being the £451 million new Royal Hospital. This is a huge district for Liverpool, with notable institutions including The University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Liverpool Science Park.

Another industry that is thriving in Liverpool is creative and digital, which has been spurred on by the development of The Baltic Triangle, an area traditionally associated with the shipping trade. The Baltic has been dubbed the creative and digital hub of Liverpool, and has also provided opportunity for a lot of independent companies to flourish.

5. Film Industry

Liverpool is the second most filmed city in the UK, after London, and in recent years it has provided the backdrop for big shows such as Peaky Blinders and The Crown. It therefore came as little surprise when Twickenham Studios announced in June that they would be setting up a £50 million production facility in Liverpool’s Old Littlewoods Building, a development that has seen the city proposed as the ‘Hollywood of the North’, and which will no doubt contribute to Liverpool’s propelling economy.


The Future of Liverpool


So, what is the future of Liverpool? How will the city continue its rapid economic growth? Two exciting projects underway are Liverpool Waters and the STEP Scheme…

Liverpool Waters expects to see a £5.5 billion investment in the next 50 years. The developer, Peel Holdings, plans to redevelop Liverpool’s northern docks with over 315,000 sqm of office space, 53,000 sqm of hotel and conference facilities, residential, leisure, retail and parking facilities, as well as a new cruise liner terminal and football stadium. The redevelopment will help Liverpool to prosper further and expectations are high regarding the economic benefits, such as the creation of 17,000 jobs over time.

Furthermore, the STEP Scheme is part of Liverpool City Council’s £300 million Better Roads Programme, and aims to transform two areas in the city centre: Bold Street/Seel Street and then Wood Street/Fleet Street/Slater Street and Colquitt Street. The plan wants to ‘improve connections to and around the city centre, and support and attract future investment’, part of which will involve pedestrianising the iconic Bold Street, which will see a better environment for the street’s independent, urban café and music scene.

So, there you have it… Liverpool’s thriving economy rounded up in a singular blog post. We for one can’t wait to watch Liverpool proliferate as the years go on.