A private and public sector consortium involving Liverpool John Moores University, Mersey Maritime and the Peel Group will benefit the local economy with skills development and opportunities for knowledge-sharing, by creating an education and collaboration campus for advanced manufacturing and engineering.
The historic Hydraulic Tower building, which once used to drive the lock gates and bridges in the Birkenhead Docks, will be the centrepiece of this new £20 million project that aims to provide the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to support the Northern Powerhouse agenda. The first phase of the Maritime Knowledge Hub in Wirral opened in March 2016. Operated jointly by Mersey Maritime and LJMU, the new facility is designed to be a global centre of excellence within the UK.
The facility will also include serviced business start-up space and support, an offshore survival centre and marine simulation centre, and a unit to help manufacturers design, test and build products.
The Tower, housed within a disused Grade II Victorian building on the banks of the Mersey which is modelled on Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, is located in the heart of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone. The Enterprise Zone is focusing on advanced manufacturing and engineering, automotive, energy, maritime and business services.
The Centre will provide new and niche activities to bring together business and academia, providing local firms and wider industry with the skilled engineering and technology staff they need to grow and compete.
Operated jointly by Mersey Maritime and LJMU, the new facility is designed to be a global centre of excellence within the UK.
Within the Liverpool City Region, the marine and maritime sectors generate about £3.5bn of sales and contributes to 12 per cent of the region’s GDP. More than £947m of those sales are exported, making the sector a “key element” in rebalancing the economy.