Liverpool is well qualified as an alternative to London, with a population of almost half a million, a large university, two cathedrals and a well-serviced airport. It’s been a recent European Capital of Culture and has World Heritage City status – underpinned by its musical legacy that stems from The Beatles.
Often referred to as the seventh largest city in the UK, Liverpool celebrates its past but is keen to look to the future, currently redesigning and refining itself beyond recognition. There are many forces working in Liverpool’s favour, most notably inclusion in the Government’s Northern Powerhouse project. Liverpool Vision has also been formed to market Liverpool to a wider audience, to create investment in the city and to run the International Festival for Business. Also working in tandem is the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, helping to shape the city’s future economic vision.
Their influence is paying off. It’s hard to keep up with the regeneration and development hotspots in Liverpool but each of them points to a healthy employment scene. On the radar is the New Chinatown development set in the shadow of the Anglican cathedral – a mixed use development already encouraging Chinese businesses to relocate; the new Royal Liverpool hospital and teaching school – recently finished at a cost of £335 million; Pall Mall in Liverpool (400,000 sq ft of office space) and the new £400 million Port of Liverpool container terminal.
Complementing the under construction sites are a host of established and emerging ‘quarters’ that are fostering business opportunities, cultural hubs and residential enclaves.
The Baltic Triangle, with Baltic Quay at its heart, is one of the most exciting. It’s a melting pot of creative and digital companies, served by a growing number of independent, urban-flavoured bars and restaurants. More conventional growth has come in Liverpool’s Commercial District, where the last five years have seen 71,000m2 of Grade A office space successfully delivered.
The Ropewalks area – centred around Bold Street and Berry street – has become the city’s heartbeat for a bohemian way of life, with bars, restaurants, galleries, boutique hotels and live music venues around every corner. A complete juxtaposition can be found in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, where long streets of 19th century elegant townhouses are joined by some of the city’s most respected restaurants.
Liverpool’s Waterfront is where old meets new. There’s a healthy dose of culture in the shape of Tate Liverpool, three museums and The Beatles Story, together with a number of modern hotels, Albert Dock, The Echo Arena and the cruise terminal. Business activity centres around the ACC events venue and business centre, and the Liverpool Exhibition Hall.
Relocation companies should also note Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter – a main employment hub in the science, health, technology, culture and education sectors. There are over £1bn of new developments here in the pipeline, including Paddington Village – a £1bn flagship expansion site that will house 1.8m square feet of science, technology, education and health space. This joins Liverpool Science Park, with its 120,000 sq ft of high-specification office accommodation and commercial laboratory units.
Liverpool’s lettings market is robust, and the volume of rental properties available is buoyed by two things. Liverpool has low property prices and according to Which? Mortgage Advisors in 2016, it was the most affordable property hotspot in the UK. Investors are also heading north for returns that dwarf those found in London – in the region of 5-6%. In fact, in 2016 The Times put Liverpool second in a table of best city rental yields. Couple this with the affordability aspect and there’s a veritable feast of rental accommodation for relocators to choose from.
Popular areas include the city centre itself, Allerton, the Strand district, the business district and Albert Dock. The Unity Building in Rumford Place and West Tower in Brook Street are home to some of the smartest apartments and penthouses. In terms of rents to pay, home.co.uk has the following average figures for Liverpool: one-bedroom properties at £466 per calendar month (pcm), two bedrooms at £579 pcm, three bedrooms at £740 pcm and four bedrooms at £1,082.
Our relocation agents are currently active in Liverpool, monitoring the private rental market, sourcing properties close to employment hubs and helping settle home movers. If you have clients relocating to Liverpool and would like orientation and rental advice, contact Klippa Relocation today.