Science assets to rival anywhere but scaling up is vital
The North West’s science assets are strong enough to rival anything in the UK and now business leaders have vowed to work more closely to promote the region as a major base for science and technology businesses.
Across the North West there is an abundance of assets including Alderley Park, Jodrell Bank and Thornton Science Park in Cheshire and Warrington; Sci-Tech Daresbury and Sensor City in Liverpool City Region; Corridor Manchester, which boasts more than over 120 high growth science and technology businesses and the National Graphene Institute, to name but a few.
Philip Cox, chief executive of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said during the ‘Science and Knowledge – Liverpool and Cheshire world class cluster’ event at MIPIM that he believes that the region’s assets are as strong as anywhere in the UK. He said in the coming months he will be working with colleagues in Liverpool and Manchester to highlight and strengthen the regional investment proposition.
He said: “We have world class assets across Manchester, Liverpool and Cheshire & Warrington and it reinforces the need for us to be working together. What we have is outstanding so it’s about this area coming together and being a force on the world stage.
“Life sciences is a particularly good example of how the region works together already, there are many life science companies in Liverpool, some of which find that Alderley Park in Cheshire might be a better location for them and sometimes they might go in the opposite direction or perhaps to Corridor Manchester. What is clear is that there are huge opportunities here and I am very excited about our prospects.
Colin Sinclair, CEO, Knowledge Quarter Liverpool who is leading on a new neighbourhood for the city, said work had already begun: “We feel that if Steve Rotherham metro mayor for Liverpool city region and Andy Burnham in Manchester get together on this issue and can work with their counterparts in Cheshire and Warrington we can create a proposition of scale in science and technology.
“We all have a common goal to improve people’s lives, pay people higher wages, bring in more skilled jobs and opportunities for people so if we are all going to achieve that ultimate objective of inclusive growth, improve the health outcomes of the people where we live and where we work we need to join together because global investors are most interested in scale. We have got to differentiate ourselves, we need to be world class, but most important of all we need scale in our offer.”
Malcolm Jackson, chief operating officer at Langtree, part of the Joint Venture that operates Sci-Tech Daresbury, a world class location for high-tech business and leading-edge science, said that collaboration is key at all levels in the science sector and on the campus of 140 businesses was helping to drive regional growth. He said: “Collaboration across the region is key and it’s what is happening at Sci-Tech Daresbury and it has impact.
“We know that at SciTech Daresbury that 80 per cent of all businesses collaborate with each Other or other stakeholders on site. As a results this has delivered class leading growth of 30 per cent plus
all delivering high value jobs. Therefore it makes complete sense for all science assets to collaborate and maximise the regional offer when talking to inward investors and national government.”