A summit, bringing together local businesses and investors, is to be held to stimulate economic growth in a diverse area of Liverpool.
It is aimed at attracting investment into the Lodge Lane, Lawrence, Smithdown Road and Earle Road neighbourhood – known as Liverpool 1578 after the postcodes for the area.
The half day event will take place on Thursday 25 October at the Powerhouse, Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool 8. It will include presentations, a walkabout of the area, and direct access to key local organisations and individuals. It is being staged with the involvement of a number of organisations including the Muslim Enterprise Development Service (MEDS).
It is particularly aimed at the retail, food and restaurant sectors and will show the types of site available in the area, from premises such as former pubs to small shop units.
The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, explained the thinking behind the summit: “This is an area where there have been some recent encouraging developments, especially in the retail sector in Lodge Lane and Smithdown Road and occupancy rates for shops have been going up against the national trend, but it is an area whose full potential still has to be realised.
“There are significant housing developments taking place and a real opportunity for us to bring new investment and jobs into this area, driving up income and giving the local communities a brighter future.
“I want to bring together local business people, investors, the city council and other agencies to look at what can be achieved and how we can remove any barriers which stop us forging ahead. I believe that, as Mayor. I have the clout to deliver what entrepreneurs say is required to bring about the economic growth and jobs which are badly needed, to help existing businesses grow and encourage start-ups.”
Liverpool 1578 has a number of important shopping corridors and there has been new-build housing developments on the Groves, Tunnel Road and west of Lodge Lane. It is an area with a high student population and there is a strong community spirit
To capitalise on these assets a multi-agency group, consisting of city council representatives, businesses, voluntary organisations and other stakeholders in the area has been set up. It is:
• Subsidising the training to acquire world host destination status. World host destination is a recognised award which acknowledge areas for their excellent standards of customer service
• Investing in cleaning and greening projects.
• Working with partners including the Tiber Group, who with backing from national shop guru Mary Portas are building a £100,000 market square in Lodge Lane.
• Working with the ‘Granby Toxteth Development Trust’,who are administering £1,000,000 for local Food and Fuel projects over the next five years.
Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said; “The area has seen some ups and downs over the last 40 years – mainly downs. But in the last couple of years there’s been a striking change for the better. New shops and restaurants are opening up and there’s a real buzz about the area. People are working together and won’t settle for anything but success. We want to show potential investors the great opportunities available to them by showcasing the 1578 area.”
The summit has drawn a warm response from the private sector in the area. Rizk Saleh Director of Parkfield Properties, whose organisation have invested heavily in the area, welcomed the Business Summit. “Areas like Lodge Lane are starting to see the benefit of investment from companies like ours, investing in the provision of retail and restaurant units which has attracted some of the fastest growing Asian food chains in the world. The more investment we can attract to the area the better it will be for local businesses, the city of Liverpool and more importantly the people of Liverpool.”