The government has announced Liverpool as the second of the UK’s Investment Zones, with both national and local authorities saying it will build up the city as a major hub for medical innovation and life sciences.

The Department for Levelling Up said in a statement that it hopes the policy will unlock £320m of private investment and provide 4,000 jobs across the North West of England over the next five years, including in Liverpool, St Helens and Runcorn.

Earlier this month, South Yorkshire was announced as the first of the UK’s Investment Zones. With the Yorkshire-based zone building up the high-quality manufacturing sector, the Liverpool City Region will focus on life sciences, looking to expand the pre-existing Speke Pharma cluster.

The government aims to transform the region into “a pharmaceutical production superpower” with £80m of funding into areas such as skills and infrastructure.

TriRx, a US pharmaceutical manufacturer, has made an initial investment of £10m, and the University of Liverpool is said to be working on the zone.
Six more investment zones are due to be announced in England. Two more are expected in Scotland, with Glasgow City Region and North East of Scotland “offering the most potential”, according to the government.

Discussions are on-going with devolved governments in Wales and Northern Ireland.