Talks Underway For New Liverpool Train Station

Quarter master - Colin Sinclair is the new chief executive of Liverpool's booming Knowledge Quarter
A NEW train station could be built in Liverpool as the city looks at ways to build on our gathering reputation as a global centre for science, technology and knowledge. Discussions are already underway about improving transport to the new Knowledge Quarter, which is the uphill area to the east of Lime Street Station, where Liverpool’s universities, new hospitals and the two Cathedrals are located, as well as a host of theatres and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. The plans come at a time when the city is investing in rebuilding roads and exploring ways to better connect Liverpool John Lennon Airport to the capital and get the best out of the new HS2 high speed rail link to London and the northern cities. One of those pushing for change is Colin Sinclair, who recently took up the role of developing and promoting The Knowledge Quarter. His background in international investment, development, regeneration and placemaking being seen as vital to secure the funds and expertise needed to turn the area into one of Europe’s leading “innovation districts”. He said: “The Knowledge Quarter is a working title to what is a joint venture between the University of Liverpool, LJMU, The School of Tropical Medicine, the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen Hospitals, Liverpool City Council and the Hope Street Community. “Liverpool is a global brand with a fantastic reputation for culture and tourism,” said Colin. “But the tourism brand is miles ahead of the city’s science and technology brand, which when you look into it is actually world-leading too – so this is where we need to focus our attention. “Liverpool leads the world in fighting infectious diseases (like Malaria and Zika virus), is a pioneer in personalised medicine and has new hi-tech centres of excellence under construction such as Sensor City and the Materials Innovation Factory. “The Knowledge Quarter itself is a place where you can work, live and socialise – it’s quite unlike anywhere else in the UK, possibly the world. “There’s nowhere else you can go in our nearest competitor cities where you can be in an academic and clinical environment one minute and then only a stone’s throw away be in the middle of all the culture we have to offer, as well as great places to stay and eat out from the Hope Street Hotel to cool independent restaurants. “If we want to give people in Liverpool city region genuinely interesting jobs with great future opportunities and also tackle the tougher employment and social issues, we need to make the Knowledge Quarter of the city a great place to be.” As well as regeneration work, Colin thinks new branches of the public transport network are necessary. “Liverpool is very well laid out and most places are in walking distance – but when you need to get from Lime Street, which is a major city gateway, to the new hospitals or Liverpool Science Park for instance it can be difficult on foot,” he said. “It’s all uphill which for an exercise junkie like me is fine but not if you’re recovering from an injury or operation and going to the hospital outpatients department or are perhaps an elderly visitor going to one of the cathedrals. “A new train station near the Universities and hospitals would make a huge difference and world class connectivity is a key part of what we need to achieve within the Knowledge Quarter and the city as a whole – whether you walk, cycle, take a bus or a train or drive. Merseytravel are already way ahead of the game in thinking about the city regions future needs, but we need the government to back us through things like the Northern Powerhouse initiative.” As well as focusing on connectivity Colin is working with the Knowledge Quarter partners to bring forward new property developments and updating some existing buildings. “It’s all about thinking big,” he said. “If we think big, we will achieve big. Liverpool will grow further and we will be rightly recognised a world leader in science, medicine and technology.