AN internationally-recognised Merseyside business with a multimillion turnover has just announced highly ambitious plans to relocate its headquarters to Liverpool’s north docks.
This area has been in the doldrums for decades and is long overdue a major investment that will give confidence to other businesses and investors and bring about meaningful regeneration.
That business is, of course, Everton Football Club, which recently signalled its plans to leave its Goodison Park home after 125 years and move to Bramley Moore Dock, located off Regent Road near to the Titanic Hotel.
The news came after the club agreed an innovative funding deal that will see Liverpool City Council create a new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company to lease the stadium from a funder and sub-lease it to the club, effectively making the local authority a guarantor of the funding required to build the stadium, said to be around the £300m mark.
While this incurs no cost to the taxpayer, it still represents a significant and unusual move by the council.
The fact they were willing to support Everton in this way, especially at a time of economic austerity, speaks volumes about how important the new stadium could be to this part of the city.
Alongside the Ten Streets plan, it would help to accelerate regeneration of the north docks, supported by the potential creation of new roads and a railway station, connecting it to the current north edge of the city centre near Pall Mall.
A new Premier League football stadium would create another key visitor destination on the banks of the Mersey and should also attract a host of hotels, restaurants and other leisure operators, all of which brings extra jobs and money to the city region.
It’s also a timely reminder of the pivotal influence that football has on our city region.
Liverpool FC’s new main stand has been a driver for regeneration in the Anfield area, while Tranmere Rovers are doing a fantastic job at reconnecting with the local community as it plots a return to the league pyramid.
You only need look at the great community work being done by City of Liverpool FC, a semi-professional team run by an army of talented, passionate volunteers, to see how the sport can be such a powerful, positive tool here.The impact of football regularly transcends tribal colours and Everton’s stadium plan is more great news for the whole of the Liverpool city region – whatever the hue of your shirt.Works’ the place to be“PLACEMAKING” is a common term used in commercial property circles to discuss the extra elements of a building or area that can help elevate it beyond a simple work space to somewhere that has its own sense of identity and where people enjoy spending time.Done well, placemaking strengthens the connection between people and the places they share, encouraging them to collaborate and collectively shape the future of where they are based.One important way to get the conversation started is through good, old-fashioned socialising.It’s incredible how much real business can be done when you bring people together in a relaxed environment, give them some food and put something nice to drink in their hand.This is certainly an approach we take at Bruntwood, where we hold regular social get-togethers for the businesses in our buildings, such as Cotton Exchange and The Plaza in Liverpool, helping them to break through any perceived barriers and get to know their neighbours.Aside from improving their business network, working in more connected, vibrant workplaces has also been shown to improve people’s health, happiness and wellbeing.So, why not go and knock on your neighbouring business’ door and say hello? You never know where it might lead.