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Liverpool City Region: Liverpool Knowledge Quarter

Liverpool City Centre master planning is driving change for the city.

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Region: North West, West Midlands

Theme: Integrated Public Services

The challenge

The Knowledge Quarter, which includes the Paddington Village regeneration scheme, is a central part of Liverpool’s OPE programme of work and is set to become one of the main economic drivers of Liverpool City Region. Liverpool city region’s £23.1 billion economy continues to struggle to punch at its economic weight. Average ‘gross value added’ (a measure of the value generated by an area engaged in producing goods and services) per capita is 75 per cent of the national average and this gap has remained largely unchanged over the last decade. As a result, the city region suffers from an £8.2 billion output gap compared to national figures. Additionally, Liverpool needs to build nearly 30,000 new homes between 2013 and 2033. In order to achieve this, it is essential that all major development schemes contribute to this total.

Actions taken/planned

There are already over £1 billion of new developments planned or underway in the Knowledge Quarter. One Public Estate awarded £170,000 in 2015/16 for consultancy fees and to develop the master plan for Paddington Central. This has informed a strategic framework document for the Paddington Village site, developed and consulted on by Liverpool City Council with its partners. This includes 10 proposed development plots, a multi-storey car park and significant public realm and green space. The site’s first anchor tenant is the Royal College of Physicians who began occupying the site in 2021, which has established its northern centre of excellence there.

A vision for the Upper Central area could incorporate a new light rail network (also known as a trackless tram) that could provide public transport routes throughout Upper Central and the Knowledge Quarter area . The Paddington Lime Line is currently undergoing consultation by KQ Liverpool.

There are six site acquisition plots in phase one, five of which are now in the ownership of Liverpool City Council. The outstanding plot, Elm Grove, is progressing through a compulsory purchase order. Kaplan International College was completed and opened in January 2020. This comprises of a £35 million facility welcoming students from around the world.

Outcomes/potential outcomes

The new Knowledge Quarter is set to provide significant outcomes for the Liverpool city region, including:

• £2 billion of investment (over £1 billion of new developments in the pipeline and a further £1 billion likely in the next five years)

• more than 250,000 square metres of development floorspace/land.

Architects impression of Kaplan International college

Over the next four years, phase one of the Knowledge Quarter (Paddington Village) project will deliver:

• 167,000 square metres of science, technology, education and health space

• £1.6 million capital receipts

• 2,000 jobs (170 already confirmed)

• 785 homes

• 8,300 square metres of space for ground-floor retail and hospitality

• at least 700 new car parking spaces (1,256-space multi-storey car park opened in January 2021)

• 3.4 hectares of quality public realm.


Graphic masterplan of Paddington village

Update on progress

• The Spine was completed in 2021, which houses the Royal College of Physicians and has been identified as one of the world’s healthiest buildings. The Royal College occupies the lower and upper floors of the Spine. The remaining floors will be let to other health, science and education-focused occupiers.

The Spine in Liverpool has also been designated as the headquarters for the Pandemic Institute in 2021, committed to working collaboratively with the NHS and University partners to respond, prepare and prevent pandemics in the future.

•. The Rutherford Cancer Centre North West was opened in August 2020, built by Interserve, which offers comprehensive cancer services using high energy proton beam therapy.

• The new Royal Liverpool Hospital is expected to open in summer 2022 • Knowledge Quarter development company special purpose vehicle to be created and a development partner procured by early 2019

The Upper Central Spatial Regeneration Framework (formerly Knowledge Quarter Gateway) was approved by Liverpool City Council in 2020, running from Central Station to Liverpool Science Park and Lime Street to Bold Street. This will link into the wider Knowledge Quarter area.

  • Paddington Village expansion site is set to attract a further £1 billion to the city and will house 1.8 m sq ft of science, technology, education and health space

Architects impression of the Royal College of Physicians