Liverpool, England, is possibly most well-known as the home of the very successful premier league football clubs, Liverpool FC and Everton FC. The city is located in the north west of England, in the metropolitan county of Merseyside. Although not a city with a very large population, estimated at 493,353 in 2018, however, when the surrounding areas are included, there is a population of over 2,24 million people (2011) and it is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom (UK).
Liverpool has a very rich history and heritage. In addition to being the home of the Beatles and other giants of the pop culture in the 1960’s, it has been a centre of trade, particularly through shipping, for many years. It is located on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary and grew as a major port fueled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution.
The port of Liverpool historically handled diverse cargo including raw materials such as coal and cotton, slaves transported in the Atlantic Slave Trade and in the nineteenth (19th) century, it was one of the major departure ports for both Irish and English persons emigrating
to North America.
Although the level of trade has decreased over the decades, in many ways Liverpool already has the bones for a very vibrant business environment and is working through organizations such as the Liverpool City Council to encourage and create incentives for the growth of businesses in Liverpool.
Why Start a Business In Liverpool?
If you talk to anyone in Liverpool, in particular members of the Liverpool City Council, they will give you many reasons why you should bring your business to Liverpool. What are these advantages? Why is Liverpool the best location for their business?
- The city of Liverpool is a two-hour train ride from London – using the Euston Station.
- The official airport of the city is the Liverpool John Lennon Airport which has many flights, cargo and commercial, to many destinations including several international ports. This central transportation point is located in very close proximity to the city.
- Liverpool is home to several business parks. These include:
- Liverpool Innovation
- Merseyworld; and
- Stonebridge Park
While the current stock of office space is deemed limited and smaller than the space available in other cities with which Liverpool may be competing to attract businesses, for example Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, there are immediate things being done to address this shortage. One innovative concept to address the issue of office space is that of the use of co-working offices.
Several such complexes have already been established and operational to meet the needs of new, small businesses. These include DoES Liverpool, Basecamp and Igloo. Additionally, there is the development and growth of Liverpool SUPERPORT creating opportunities which will make the Port of Liverpool into the shipping and logistics “hub” for the Northern United Kingdom and Ireland.
Labour Talent Pool
- As the home to four (4) universities and a relatively high working age population educated to at least NVQ Level 4, Liverpool has a significant labour pool.
- The average weekly earnings in Liverpool is below the national average.
- For startups, the city also runs the Liverpool Youth contract which offer these new startups an apprenticeship subsidy.
There are funding opportunities and access to grants available particularly for science and technology firms. This should be explored to determine if you qualify.
Buying Commercial Property v Renting
In starting your new business, there are several major decisions to be made and factored into your business plan. One such is the consideration of the premises for your business. Which is your best option – do you buy or rent? If you’re looking for property to rent in Liverpool, there are a wide selection of low-cost business units and warehouses – many with negiotable terms. If you’re looking for property to buy, there will be more on offer but your budget may limit your choice, especially it you are small business or start-up.
In making this decision you must evaluate the pros and cons of each option.
- No large initial capital outlay.
- Major maintenance costs would be that of the landlord.
- Rental costs will periodically increase.
- If the business grows faster than anticipated, it is easier to quickly move to new premises.
- If the business doesn’t success it is easier to exit.
- The premises will always belong to the landlord and will never be an asset of the company.