As Downtown celebrates 20 years it’s pleasing to see how it has evolved and grown from its roots in Liverpool and the North. When Downtown was first beginning to emerge as a fledgling organisation engaging with business so was Linkedin, and most Social Media we experience today simply didn’t exist. And yet Downtown was able to connect and bring people together – mostly through sheer force of personality and application. But also, importantly, through having a consistent agenda and a desire to support business opportunity and growth regionally.
What is more remarkable is the extent to which our “downtown” urban centres have changed in that period, especially noticeable in Manchester and Liverpool. Retail and the high street, financial services, hospitality, transport and the structures of employment and services are massively changed in the last 20 years. And on top of that we have had unprecedented instability through lockdown, political change and now cost-of-living insecurity. And yet Downtown remains consistently clear in its vision to support entrepreneurial activity, public-private transparency and business partnership as a route for achieving inward investment, social impact and regional prosperity.