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  SuperPort Liverpool

SUPERPORT LIVERPOOL has been developed by a private sector led "SuperPort Committee" including representatives from Peel, Stobart, Mersey Maritime, local authorities and the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Engagement with key stakeholders and the business community is undertaken via the "SuperPort and Freight Stakeholder Forum".
SuperPort is one of the four main priorities of the Local Enterprise Partnership alongside the Low Carbon Economy, Visitor Economy and the Knowledge Economy. The vision for SuperPort Liverpool is to bring together and integrate the strengths of the Ports, Airport and Freight Community to create a ‘SuperPort' for freight and passenger operations within the Liverpool City Region that will become a key driver of its economy. Building on the development of the new Liverpool 2 container terminal, it will create the most effective and cost efficient environment for freight cargo logistics and passenger transit in the UK.
Liverpool is already well developed as a maritime hub for the Irish Sea with ro-ro ferry services to the Isle of Man, Dublin and Belfast (key operators including Stena Line, Seatruck Ferries, P&O Ferries and Isle of Man Steam Packet) and container feeder services to Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Glasgow and from English Channel Ports. These feeder services to English Channel Ports connect Liverpool to deep sea container services to the Far East, India, Africa and South America. However with Liverpool 2 there may be the opportunity to develop direct deep sea container services to Liverpool. Peel Ports also operate the innovative container ship service from the Port of Liverpool along the Manchester Ship Canal.   
Alongside these ferry terminals, the Liverpool Cruise Terminal at Pier Head also plays an important role in the visitor economy. In 2016 Liverpool's cruise industry brought in around £7 million to the local economy as the city welcomed 63 cruise ships with in total, 114,676 passengers and crew. World class hospitality has ensured Liverpool is a firm favourite with international passengers – Cruise Critic awarded Liverpool the ‘Best UK Port of Call’ for the 2013, 2014 and 2016 seasons. Main cruise lines serving Liverpool include Fred Olsen, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Silversea, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Cunard Line for example. In 2017, the Liverpool Cruise Terminal will celebrate its 10th anniversary and play host to 63 ships bringing in more than 111,000 passengers and crew.
Liverpool is a must see tourism destination and delivers world class, ground breaking events including the Liverpool International Music Festival, International Mersey River Festival, Liverpool Sound City Festival, Liverpool Biennial, Royal de Luxe Giants, etc. To have the iconic three Cunard Queens (Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth) gather together on the River Mersey in their company's spiritual homeport and birthplace in 2015 for Cunard Line's 175th anniversary celebrations was a spectacular sight and nothing short of majestic and showed a global audience that the city region is a world class destination.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport also mainly has a passenger role with limited freight traffic at the moment. Liverpool Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the UK. In 2016 it generates £250m GVA per annum for the LCR, supports 700,000 visitor arrivals per annum, supports 6,000 full time equivalent jobs and offers flights to destinations across Europe. Main airlines serving Liverpool include EasyJet, Ryanair, WizzAir, Flybe and Blue Air for example. 
SuperPort aims to develop both the infrastructure and the skills base within the City Region to enable the above vision. The main infrastructure projects are as follows:

  • "Liverpool 2" Deep Water In River Post Panamax Container Terminal at Seaforth
  • Port Centric Logistics
  • 3MG - Mersey Multi Modal Gateway, Widnes
  • Mersey Gateway Bridge
  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport Expansion
  • Manchester Ship Canal port terminal enhancements


For more information see the dedicated SUPERPORT LIVERPOOL website ( which is managed by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership ( on behalf of the Liverpool City Region. Related to this Peel Ports have launched their CARGO200 Initiative (


The Access to the Port of Liverpool Study completed in 2011, identified a series of recommendations for improving access to the Port of Liverpool and to meet the transport demands of the expanding Port. The existing bottleneck is mainly on the road network, but a package of multi-modal measures was recommended to address both existing and future problems on the highway access to the Port.

The full reports are available below:

Activities to improve Access to the Port of Liverpool is led by the Port Access Group which reports directly to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. For more information see the Port Access Group pages on the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership website:


The need to plan Port access improvements in the Liverpool City Region is set within the overall context of the Atlantic Gateway ( . Atlantic Gateway is a private sector mechanism for maximising investment opportunities across the Liverpool to Manchester corridor to develop the area as a logistics hub of European and global importance.

Within Liverpool City Region the SuperPort initiative has been set up to bring a more local focus to Atlantic Gateway priorities. The specific vision for SuperPort is “To bring together and integrate the strengths of the Ports, Airport and Freight Community to create a ‘SuperPort’ for freight and passenger operations within the Liverpool City Region that will become a key driver of its economy. It will create the most effective and cost efficient environment for freight cargo logistics and passenger transit in the UK”.

The Port of Liverpool access improvements are a key feature of SuperPort. However SuperPort is not just an infrastructure project, it also encompasses activities within a range of sectors including ICT, professional services and the development of relevant skills. SuperPort is also an essential feature of the Mersey Ports Master Plan (Consultation Draft, June 2011) which effectively defines the strategy for the integrated development of the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal, (which are both in the ownership of Peel Ports).

NORTHERN POWERHOUSE (Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund)
The Northern Powerhouse forms part of the government’s industrial strategy which will build upon our strong economy and help businesses up and down the country. The Northern Powerhouse is our ambition to bring together the great cities, towns and rural communities of the North of England and Wales to become a powerhouse for our economy. We will achieve this with modern transport links, a revolutionary new style of governance and increased investment. It comprises four regions in the North including North West, North East, Yorkshire & Humber, and North Wales.Building a Northern Powerhouse is about boosting the local economy by investing in skills, innovation, transport and culture, as well as devolving significant powers and budgets to directly elected mayors to ensure decisions in the North are made by the North.
Atlantic Gateway/SuperPort supports the wider agenda of promoting economic growth and prosperity in Northern England as described in the Institute of Public Policy Research’s document “Northern Prosperity is National Prosperity – A Strategy For Revitalising The UK Economy" (November 2012) and Lord Heseltine's “No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth’ (October 2012), a research paper commissioned by the UK Government. The latter report specifically refers to the Atlantic Gateway as potentially Britain’s ‘second engine of growth’ after London and the Greater South East. 


These reports also reflect the review of the Liverpool City Region undertaken by Lord Heseltine and Sir Terry Leahy and their report "Rebalancing Britain: Policy or Slogan? - Liverpool City Region: Building on Its Strengths" which was published in October 2011.
The Northern Gateways Initiative ( launched by Lord John Prescott in November 2013 centred on the Liverpool to Hull E20 Route Corridor also highlights similar themes and issues. This builds upon his original Northern Way initiative and links with Hull's HumberPort initiative and Liverpool's SuperPort initaitive The Lord Andrew Adonis "Mending the Fractured Economy" Growth Review report published in July 2014 for Policy Network also reflects similar issues to Lord Heseltine's reports and IPPR North. The RSA City Growth Commission headed by Jim O'Neill also highlights similar issues and themes in its report.The recent "Fast track to Growth: Transport priorities for stronger cities" report published in October 2014 by Centre for Cities also highlights similar issues. In January 2016, Professor Michael Parkinson published the authorative and comprehensive "State of the Liverpool City Region - Making the Most of Devolution" report for the Liverpool City Region. In January 2017 George Osborne's new Northern Powerhouse Partnership thinktank published its report on the North's potential.


Northern Prosperity is National Prosperity - A Strategy for Revitalising the UK Economy (November 2012), IPPR

No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth (Oct 2012), Lord Heseltine

Rebalancing Britain: Policy or Slogan? - Liverpool City Region Building upon its Strengths (Oct 2011), Lord Heseltine and Sir Terry Leahy

Mending the Fractured Economy Growth Review (July 2014), Lord Adonis 

RSA City Growth Commission final report (Oct 2014), Jim O'Neill

Centre for Cities - Fast track to Growth report (Oct 2014)

State of the Liverpool City Region report (Jan 2016) 

Northern Powerhouse Partnership first report (Jan 2017)


The NORTHERN POWERHOUSE vision was launched on the 24 June 2014 in a speech by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at that time, at an event in Manchester( This vision aspires to see Britain's great northern cities be a northern powerhouse of the British economy. Reviving the great northern cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle will help rebalance the UK economy and complement the economic powerhouse in London and the Greater South East.


If the North of England grew at the same rate as is forecast for the rest of the UK the prize is huge. The recently published Northern Independent Economic Review, commissioned by Transport for the North, found that the north of England has the potential to add £97 billion and 850,000 more jobs by 2050. The Chancellor of the Exchequer strongly believes that’s a prize worth having, and it’s why the Government is making massive investments in the transport, science and culture of the North. That includes £13 billion in the biggest rail improvement programme since Victorian times, ground-breaking scientific investments like the quarter of a billion pound Sir Henry Royce Institute and backing exciting arts and sports projects across the North including the Great Exhibition of the North event to be held in 2018 in Newcastle Gateshead showcasing the region's creativity. The North of England is of increasing economic importance to the UK, but it is also fast becoming a hub for investment from innovative global companies, such as Siemens in Hull, BAE Systems in Lancashire and Cumbria, Optare in North Yorkshire, Nestle in York, Plaxton (Alexander Dennis Ltd) in Scarborough, Jaguar Land Rover in Liverpool, Hitachi Rail Europe in County Durham, Nissan in Sunderland and Unilever in a number of locations including Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester and Leeds.

The population of the area covered by the Northern Powerhouse is over 16.7 million people and is similar to that of the Netherlands and accounts for a quarter of the UK population. Generating 19% of UK GDP, the Northern Powerhouse includes the great cities of Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield. It was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and today is still home to world renowned brands, ambitious businesses and cutting edge research. For centuries our goods and services have been sold in all corners of the world. The Northern Powerhouse is today recognised as a global centre for creativity and design and has attracted thriving international investment. This heritage of expertise and manufacturing know-how is well established on the world stage where the Northern Powerhouse exports £60 billion of goods alone annually. The North has world-leading "prime" capabilities including advanced manufacturing, digital technologies, health innovation and energy. These are complemented by "supporting" capabilities such as education, logistics and the financial and professional services. These prime and supporting capabilities are in turn underpinned by the North's quality of life and visitor economy assets. By working together to promote the North of England, we can remind the world of how much the Northern Powerhouse has to offer.

Building on the Chancellor's Northern Powerhouse vision, the five Northern Cities (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle) launched One North and published the ONE NORTH report in August 2014. The report outlines a strategic proposition for transport in Northern England and aims to radically improve transport connectivity across Northern England and within city regions to make its cities and towns more attractive as places to work and live thereby encouraging inward investment and economic growth. This was followed up in March 2015 by the "Northern Powerhouse: One Agenda, One Economy, One North" report. In June 2016 IPPR North in partnership with the Northern Ports published a report "Gateways to the Northern Powerhouse - A Northern Ports Strategy".
These are being developed further as part of Transport for the North (TfN). For more information on Transport for the North and its workstreams see their website at:
In addition, Rail North, is the organisation responsible for the Northern and Transpennine rail franchises in partnership with the Department for Transport.


In March 2016 the National Infrastructure Commission published a series of reports on the infrastructure needs of the UK. One of the reports was High Speed North.

High Speed North – Report by the National Infrastructure Commission (March 2016)


If you are a business interested in exporting then UKTI and the UK Government have launched a dedicated website (f you are a business interested in exporting then UKTI and the UK Government have launched a dedicated website ( with useful advice and guidance on how business can get into exporting to markets globally. Also Liverpool hosted the International Festival of Business 2016 following on from the success of the inaugural event in 2014. The next Liverpool International Business Festival is in 2018.  

On 23 Oct 2014, Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister at that time) announced in a speech in Sheffield the launch of Tech North for Northern England involving Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle. To realise this initiative, the Government are creating Tech North, an agency tasked with promoting a world-class tech cluster spanning five cities in the North. The scheme will bring together the best in tech industries from across the North to create an internationally renowned virtual agency. Tech North ( will put the tech clusters in Northern England on the international map and serve to do what Tech City UK ( had done for East London and the three Tech Clusters centred on London, Oxford and Cambridge. It will help to attract tech inward investors to the North and support existing tech businesses to grow by pooling ideas and resources, across local boundaries. The aim is to position Northern England as a place where the digital tech industry thrives. Tech North will seize an opportunity to capitalise on existing tech talent by creating a Northern Tech Hub to rival Berlin, New York, or Shanghai and will also provide a counter balance in Northern England to complement the three tech clusters in London, Oxford and Cambridge in the Greater South East.


Since the launch of the Northern Powerhouse initiative the Government has published various documents and undertaken trade missions to key markets globally. In August 2015 the Government published a Blueprint for Connecting the Northern Powerhouse showing how transport investment will support this initiative. 

Other key documents relating to the Northern Powerhouse include:

Northern Powerhouse NW Financial Centre of Excellence brochure April 2016

Northern Powerhouse Strategy Nov 2016

Northern Powerhouse Investment Opportunities brochure Jan 2017


South Pennines Route Strategy (Highways England) March 2017

London to Scotland West Route Strategy (Highways England) March 2017


At a European level, the SUPERPORT LIVERPOOL and NORTHERN POWERHOUSE initiatives support the priorities of the European Union and the development of a trans-European network by significantly improving the mobility of goods between member states and promoting a shift to more sustainable modes. It also supports the EU's mobility and transport priorities such as development of the TEN-T and Motorways of the Sea networks which comprise important EU trade corridors and gateways.
In its Transport White Paper (Sep 2001), the European Commission proposed the development of "Motorways of the Sea" as a real competitive alternative to land transport. Four corridors have been designated:
  • Motorway of the Sea for the Baltic Region (linking the Baltic Sea member states with member states in Central and Western Europe, including the route through the North Sea / Baltic Sea canal);
  • Motorway of the Sea for Western Europe (leading from Portugal and Spain via the Atlantic Arc to the North Sea and the Irish Sea);
  • Motorway of the Sea for South East Europe (connecting the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus);
  • Motorway of the Sea for South West Europe (Western Mediterranean connecting Spain, France, Italy and including Malta and linking with the Motorway of the Sea for South East Europe and including links to the Black Sea).
Additionally, the port access improvements would support the developing EU Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area. In particular supporting the expansion of the Port of Liverpool would allow growth in employment, including high-added value jobs, which the Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area seeks to ensure. The access improvements would also support the port’s use for developing wind farms; another priority of the developing Maritime Strategy. This latter is also a key feature of the EU ‘Blue Growth’ initiative to develop opportunities for the maritime economy whilst supporting the reduction of greenhouse gases.


Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic Area (2013)

Atlantic Strategy (2011)



At a global level, the SUPERPORT LIVERPOOL and NORTHERN POWERHOUSE initiatives have the potential to link with global trade corridors. Liverpool, via its rail connections to the WCML and Channel Tunnel, could be well positioned as a gateway to Europe and the One Belt One Road Landbridge Corridor to China. Liverpool is also well positioned to take advantage of opportunities arising from the widening of the Panama Canal and potential new trade routes via it to Australasia and the Far East. There are also opportunities to develop a west-east trade corridor across Northern England linking the Mersey Ports on the UK West Coast with the Humber Ports and others on the UK East Coast to link with maritime trade routes from these important port complexes. This would help rebalance the UK and help ease the excessive pressure currently placed on the congested north-south transport routes to the Continent via London & the Greater South East that focus on the South Coast ports and the Channel Tunnel.
To the WEST, these initiatives potentially have linkages with the Canadian Government's National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors. This framework includes three trade gateways - the Atlantic, Pacific and Continental Gateways ( Canada's Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor initiative ("The Atlantic Gateway") is a transport network that connects Canada and North America to markets in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia via the Suez Canal. With its deep-water ports, specialized niche and customized services, modern intermodal transportation network, and partnership between government and the private sector, the Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor reaches into the economic heartland of North America. This complements Canada's Asia–Pacific Gateway and Corridor (APGCI) Initiative ("The Pacific Gateway") that aims to strengthen Canada's competitive position by establishing the best transport network between Asia and North America. This gateway links the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert with the inland supply chain and the rest of the continent.  The Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor ("The Continental Gateway") focusses on Canada's domestic heartland and south towards the United States and includes strategic ports, airports, intermodal facilities and border crossings as well as essential road, rail and marine infrastructure.
To the EAST, these initiatives potentially have linkages with the Chinese Government's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. This is a development strategy and framework that focusses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily in Eurasia, which consists of two main components, the land based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the ocean going Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The One Belt One Road initiative was unveiled by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013.
As part of this strategy, the China Railway Corporation has begun operating container train services to 14 European cities via the New Silk Road land corridor, including Madrid, Milan, Duisburg and Hamburg, with more than 1,800 services completing the journey since their launch. In Jan 2017 London was added to the destinations served when a container train service was launched direct from China to London (Barking) Eurohub. Known as the East Wind this is the first direct freight train linking China and the United Kingdom. It started its 16 day journey at the Chinese industrial city of Yiwu, before crossing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France and then passing through the Channel Tunnel bound for London Barking Eurohub. The two breaks of gauge between China and Europe’s 1 435 mm standard gauge and the 1 520 mm broad gauge used in the former USSR required transhipment at Dostyk on the China-Kazakhstan border and at Brest on the Belarus-Poland border. The train was operated by InterRail Group, a multinational transport operator based in Switzerland, on behalf of China Railway Corporation. The journey was 7,546 miles, with DB Cargo responsible for the train from Duisburg (Germany) to London Barking, running via the Channel Tunnel and High Speed 1. The train's route between Yiwu and London takes 30 days less than maritime transport, while only costing a fifth of air transport.
It is supported financially through the Chinese led international financial institutions including the Silk Road Fund ( and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) ( In March 2015 the UK Government signed up to become "prospective founding members" of the Chinese led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as one of only a few European countries to do so. In November 2015 the UK formally ratified the Articles of Agreement and became the first country from outside Asia and first G7 member to ratify the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Also there is the New Development Bank (NDB) (, formerly the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The goal of the bank is to "mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries". These new institutions will complement the work being done by existing multilateral international development banks such as the World Bank (, International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( and Asian Development Bank (
Essentially the Silk Road Economic Belt includes countries on the original Silk Road through Central Asia, West Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The initiative calls for integration of the region into a cohesive economic area through building infrastructure, increasing cultural exchanges and broadening trade. In addition to the zone covered by the original Silk Road, the initiative also covers South Asia and Southeast Asia. The Maritime Silk Road (also known as the 21st century Maritime Silk Road) is a complementary initiative aimed at investing and fostering collaboration in Southeast Asia, Oceania and North Africa, through several ocean areas including the South China Sea, the South Pacific Ocean and the wider Indian Ocean area. East Africa (in particular Kenya) is also intended to form part of the Maritime Silk Road once improvement of local ports and rail infrastructure has taken place.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor initiatives are also closely related to the Chinese Government's One Belt One Road initiative.

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