Groundbreaking times at Paddington Village

Tuesday signalled another important day for Liverpool when I visited the Paddington Village to put the first spade in the ground for a new diagnostic centre that will be help turn the Knowledge Quarter into a world-class centre for health tech and other digital industries in the heart of Liverpool.

Many of you will have seen the building work which is underway in Paddington village and the Knowledge Quarter more widely. This is all part of a £1 billion development which will be home to some of the world’s most influential players in science, health, technology, culture and education and create highly paid jobs for the people of Liverpool.

Liverpool’s proud tradition of pioneering medical research and practice made it the natural choice for Rutherford Diagnostics to base its headquarters here. This state of the art facility will support a host of other medical based investments including the prestigious Royal College of Physicians opening their Northern base in Liverpool, drawn here by the Knowledge Quarter’s exciting vision for the city.

Early diagnosis is widely recognised as the key factor in improving health outcomes, including diseases like cancer where we continue to lag behind our European counterparts when it comes to survival rates. A key ambition in my Inclusive Growth Plan for the city is that people live well and age well and it is about time our city received the investment it deserves in our health services, which is why I campaigned successfully for the Government to take over financing for the new Royal Hospital.

Investing in the Knowledge Quarter is the right thing to do both financially and for the people of Liverpool.  The Knowledge Quarter is a vision for city that is based on knowledge, skills and technologies that haven’t even been invented yet.  Jobs and businesses will be the high value, high pay and high quality ones that our city deserves. Despite the Prime Minister’s assertion that austerity is over, the reality of ongoing cuts from central government mean we are being forced to make our city more financially sustainable and do more with less. This makes supporting our economy more important than ever.

I have made it clear that my driving ambition is to create new jobs, new homes and new venues for people to live, work and play. Paddington village will help deliver these aims, offering state-of-the-art workspaces, labs, cafés, restaurants, shops and accommodation. Developments have already resulted in 2,000 hotel room bookings as accommodation for the workers on-site, further spreading the economic benefit across the city. In short, this development will deliver excellent social, economic and cultural outcomes for Liverpool.

However, in light of significant cuts to our funding I have been clear about the fact that the city council cannot do this work alone. Partnerships are the smart way forward and building and developing relationships with partner organisations and institutions are our greatest asset.

The growing momentum in Paddington Village is testament to what can be achieved when we all pull together to deliver for the people of this city and there’s plenty more to come in 2019.