WHY IS LIVERPOOL’S INVESTMENT ZONE IMPORTANT?
Liverpool City Region’s Mayor, Steve Rotherham, has been working hard to create thousands of well-paid jobs across the Liverpool City Region. His vision is delivering investment into the area and showing the world what Liverpool City Region talent can deliver. We take a look at why Liverpool’s Investment Zone is important.
What is an Investment Zone?
Investment zones are the government’s new proposal to set up knowledge-intensive clusters that drive economic growth. They were proposed in the Spring 2023 budget and grant a small number of dedicated geographic areas tax and regulatory rules intended to drive economic growth. What does that mean practically? The government invited LCRCA to put forward plans for an Investment Zone that would specialise in a specific growth sector. If successful the government would then provide £80m worth of support over a five year period. The type of support makes it attractive for businesses to locate and relocate in the area becoming a cluster that can work together. As more businesses succeed in the area, more are attracted to it resulting in secure well-paid jobs.
The Liverpool Investment Zone is a Life Sciences Investment Zone.
It builds upon the extensive Life Sciences skills already in the area. It is the second Investment Zone to be launched in England and it is estimated that it will create 4,000 jobs across Liverpool, Runcorn, St Helens, Maghull and Prescot over the next five years.
In addition to the £80 million government support, an initial £10 million investment will be made by US pharmaceutical manufacturer TriRx. This will enhance its manufacturing capabilities. Liverpool will become the manufacturing centre for their monoclonal antibodies. This is a type of immunotherapy that works by blocking certain diseases from affecting healthy cells. It is used to treat numerous types of diseases including cancers, arthritis and skin conditions.
The investment Zone incorporates many of the Pharma companies in Speke.
You may not know that Speke is home to one of the UK’s leading bioprocessing regions. The investment zone will highlight this and is expected to attract other businesses that will bring a further £320 million private funding from a range of investors in the life sciences sector. The dream is to transform Speke, making it a pharmaceutical production superpower.
The government has been working over the summer with the Liverpool City Region, University of Liverpool and other local partners to develop the plans for the Life Sciences Investment Zone together. This includes agreeing priority development sites before final confirmation of the plans.
The health and life sciences sector already contributes an estimated £290 million to the Liverpool City Region’s economy every year. “Our area is fortunate to play home to world-leading clusters in life science research and innovation, which support thousands of secure, well paid jobs and training opportunities for local people. I am incredibly proud of what our region has achieved in the sector, but this is just a down payment on my future ambitions. I want us to go even further and establish our region at the forefront of UK science and innovation. With a potential £310 million worth of investment and thousands of local jobs on offer, it is clear that this is an opportunity worth exploring. Yet, throughout this process, I have been clear that any investment in our area must go much further than purely financial incentives. I want to use our status as a force for good, to connect our residents up to secure, well paid jobs and training opportunities, and attract transformational investment into our area,” explains Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Lee Rowley welcomed the first private investment into the new Life Sciences Investment Zone by TriRx. “Investment Zones will drive growth across the UK. For Liverpool City Region that means over £300 million of private investment and 4,000 new, well-paid jobs all building on the city’s world leading reputation in medical science,” he announced.
Mark Proctor, AstraZeneca site lead for Speke in South Liverpool, also welcomes the Investment Zone: “AstraZeneca welcomes the establishment of the Liverpool City Region Investment Zone focused on life sciences, which has the potential to attract more businesses to the region’s already thriving medicine development and manufacturing cluster. We employ 400 people at our site in Speke to manufacture our intranasal influenza vaccine, used in the UK for the child and adolescent immunisation programme and exported to markets around the world. The site has the potential to expand into new technology platforms for vaccines and we look forward to working with the Liverpool City Region to identify opportunities to develop these capabilities in the coming years,” he added.
As well as delivering jobs and driving economic growth, investment zones will be used to help provide new housing in areas of need. A new “supersquad” of expert planners, backed by £13 million will help provide high quality homes that complement the high quality jobs that are being created.
Liverpool’s Investment Zone will complement the region’s Freeport, which became operational in January and is expected to deliver thousands of new jobs and £850 million for local economies.