Liverpool is a hub of culture. Masses of green space, an attractive waterfront and a busy city centre have historically made this a visitor destination. But with the city now being stripped of its heritage status, and visitor economy down due to the pandemic, what does the future hold for the once-buzzing streets?

In EG’s Future of Liverpool production, we will look at what the industry is doing to attract new occupiers. What are the future plans to create a more diverse visitor economy, and what opportunities are there in the wider region?

We will be discussing a new narrative for the area. What is the impact of the Freeport? And with new prospects for health, life sciences and transport, we will dive into what this means for Liverpool’s future growth.


Colin Sinclair, chief executive, Knowledge Quarter Liverpool & Sciontec Liverpool

Sinclair is the chief executive of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, which is transforming almost half of the city centre into a world-leading innovation district focused on health and education, science and technology, including the £1bn Paddington Village development. He started his career in the music industry, managing bands and owning nightclubs in Manchester, before moving on to produce major televised events internationally. Sinclair was chief executive of Manchester’s investment agency (MIDAS) and, before taking up his role in KQ Liverpool, was a director at Bruntwood, leading the developer’s diversification into science parks and creative workspace. In 2018, he took up the dual role of chief executive of Sciontec Developments, a development company that was created to bring new investment to the city region’s science and tech business facilities, while creating a world-leading innovation ecosystem to help commercialise research and grow innovation-led companies. In addition to this, Sinclair is also the director of Liverpool Science Park.

Jonny Lowe, director, national offices team, Liverpool, Avison Young

Lowe has experience specialising in public sector and life sciences consultancy, as well as all aspects of commercial property agency and development. He forms part of Avison Young’s UK national life science sector group, which provides advice to a range of universities, developers, investors and occupiers. He is principally involved with the provision of strategic advice across the public and private sector as well as local authorities, providing development and acquisition advice throughout the UK.

Julie Johnson, chair of culture & commerce BID, Liverpool BID Company

Johnson is the business operations partner at Morecrofts Solicitors, chair of the Liverpool Commercial District legacy BID, which expanded geographically across Liverpool city centre to culture and commerce BID in June 2021. She built up her career in the legal world over 25 years, and became an equity partner at Morecrofts in 2014, responsible for more than 100 staff and six offices in Merseyside. Johnson is qualified in operations management and legal practice management, with a particular strength in managing large-scale office developments and relocations. Her role on the BID board sees her representing the interests of more than 1,500 businesses in the city centre. Ensuring excellent communication with levy payers and enabling collaboration with various stakeholders, Johnson strives to improve Liverpool, ensuring it is an attractive place to live, work and thrive. She promotes the city on an international scale, working with the heads of Liverpool City Region organisations. Johnson is widely known in the city region for her collaborative networking and relationship building. She is passionate about providing business support and guidance, and was integral in founding and developing the Merseyside Independent Business Awards in 2013, which is a showcase event and has resulted in a great community for hundreds of independent businesses. 

Tony Reeves, chief executive, Liverpool City Council

Reeves is chief executive of Liverpool City Council. He was chief executive of Bradford Council from September 2006 to November 2014 and, prior to that, deputy chief executive of Wakefield City Council from March 2003 to September 2006. In 2014, Reeves joined Deloitte as local government advisory partner supporting local government in areas of strategy and policy, transformation, reorganisation, health and social care integration, regeneration, economic development and housing. In October 2017, Reeves, via Deloitte, was engaged to work with Liverpool City Council, providing strategic support and advice around the implementation of the mayor’s inclusive growth plan, development and implementation of a transformation programme for the council, performance and programme management systems and the development and implementation of directorate delivery/business plans. In July 2018, he was appointed chief executive. He has worked with the key partners in the city to develop the City Plan, a collaborative approach to the delivery of public services and transform outcomes for the people of the city.

Stephen Cowperthwaite, principal & managing director Liverpool, Avison Young

Cowperthwaite has more than 30 years’ experience in the property industry. Having specialised in the retail and leisure sector, he provides wider consultancy advice on a variety of mixed-use schemes. He plays a leading role on town centre repurposing, working with local authorities, owners, asset managers and developers across the region, bringing a market facing perspective to the delivery of complex projects. He is also a member of the Shop Agents Society, Accessible Retail and REVO. Cowperthwaite is chair of the Liverpool Place Partnership (formerly MIPIM), a private sector collective across property and professional services that showcases the Liverpool City Region and aims to deliver investment to the region. An important element to this is as a collaborator with the public sector across the city region and as advocators of their investment agenda, as well as a narrative-maker for the national and international discussion about placemaking. Through the partnership, he has excellent working relationships with both political and executive leadership across the region. 

Lisa Pilkington, journalist and broadcaster, BBC

An experienced business journalist, editor and broadcaster, Pilkington has more than 20 years’ experience writing, commissioning, editing and broadcasting on a wide range of personable, topical and inspiring commercial property-related print and online content for national, trade and consumer media, including various editorial positions at EG. A BBC radio presenter, Pilkington is also the founder of Pilkington Media Consultants. Formed in September 2017, the specialist property editorial consultancy focuses on multimedia journalism, editing and copywriting in all market sectors.

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