Back in the room with Liverpool Property Club

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Following the return of the first LIVE Liverpool Property Club, Managing Director of Project Four, Alan Robson gives his take on the day and some of the key points from the panel.

Today saw the return of the Liverpool Property Club and not on bloody Zoom. Face to face felt good, a sunshine-filled morning in Liverpool (and a big boat as a back drop). Great to see so many familiar faces and some new ones too, and to hear from Tony Reeves, Stephen Cowperthwaite + Colin Sinclair. This is my very brief summary on the key points discussed.

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Colin Sinclair kicked off proceedings at the Liverpool Malmaison + discussed the change in office dynamics, productivity levels, mentioning that he feels (and I agree) that the timescales for people returning to offices/cities highlighted in the Centre of City Report will be greatly improved; we are already seeing the Liverpool City Region bucking the trend, and getting back to it. Colin also touched on the issues surrounding career development + opportunities being greatly improved with offices returning. Colin was also keen to highlight the need for quality workspaces, that offer more than a desk, providing better experiences for staff.

Colin’s final point of interest, was that we/the Liverpool City Region (like others regions) have a real shortage of labs, and the need for quality developments/place making to connect these workspaces with the public – using the recently completed Spine and forthcoming Hemisphere as perfect examples.

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Next up was Tony Reeves of Liverpool City Council, the man tasked with leading Liverpool back to credibility and trust, something I am confident he will do. There is going to be ‘some hard yards‘ as LLC must get it right now. Liverpool has stuck its/their head above the parapet, a dynamic + pioneering approach has meant we are the most progressive city in the western world – this helped with securing the mass pilot testing. Liverpool is fighting back.

Tony sympathised with the room of property + development professionals, and understands the frustrations – but transactions will be slower for now, no room for failure if we are to push forward. Commissioner’s involvement not great, but so much better than a full take over. He highlighted that the Liverpool City Region appeal to funders, investors + developers is evident, and bigger hitters like L&G are interested.

UNESCO World Heritage bureaucratic nonsense can ‘do one’. UNESCO wanted all planning decisions for the whole City Region stopped/paused.

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Last up, but by no means least, Stephen Cowperthwaite of Avison Young + who heads up the MIPIM Partnership for Liverpool. Avison Young commissioned report proves that the so called ‘death of cities’ is bull. The MIPIM offering has evolved and is not just about five days in Cannes (that’s just the good bit), but about a year round programme of events + support for the private + public sector partnership. As part of this evolution, the MIPIM Partnership will be rebranded ‘Liverpool Place Partnership’. Stephen used the three P’s to describe how Liverpool strategically tackle the fight back + at MIPIM…PROMOTION, PLACE, PARTNERSHIP.

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The one re-occurring message mentioned by all speakers, was the need for QUALITY developments and a real focus on placemaking, connectivity + sustainability.

So – a tough couple of months ahead for LCC, but doing things right and ensuring trust + credibility is restored. Much to be positive about and shout out about, onward + upwards! Look out for the next Liverpool Property Club social event in July – date TBC shortly by Downtown.

Words by Alan Robson, Managing Director of Project Four Safety Solutions

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