Welcome to Liverpool Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Liverpool ConfidentialNews & Comment.

'Friendly folks and The Beatles aren't enough to lure business to Liverpool'

Web design boss compares city to a salesman with nothing to sell

Written by . Published on January 21st 2015.


'Friendly folks and The Beatles aren't enough to lure business to Liverpool'
 

ONE of Liverpool’s leading entrepreneurs had admitted he would move to London in the interests of business, saying Liverpool has very little to offer the commercial world.

Bryan Adams, chief executive and founder of successful web design company Ph Creative, told a business conference in the city: "It’s like we have a fantastic salesman bringing people in only to find we have nothing to sell.”

Mr Adams was addressing an event called Invest in Liverpool which was attended by 140 business and property people and organised by Business Insider.

He told them: "We’re incredibly good at being entrepreneurial, taking on large scale events such as IFB and Accelerate... but we need a commercial offer.

"What are we asking businesses to invest in? What's the incentive? I think we need a tangible commercial advantage to take to market other than 'we’re Liverpool, the people are really friendly, we had the Beatles in the 60s.'”

He went on: "It’s like we have a fantastic salesman bringing people in only to find we have nothing to sell. Perhaps Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters will give us something to offer bigger businesses but I think these benefits are still years in the making."

Adams, whose company has worked with household names including MasterCard, Holiday Inn and Dulux, said despite having his roots in Liverpool he would consider bailing out of the city if necessary.

"After 11 years of running the company in Liverpool, I'm less romantic about that notion now. We'll be in London shortly and the US next. Liverpool is a relatively low cost base for a service we can deliver anywhere in the world but to attract and retain the calibre of client we're looking to do business with, we've got to be active elsewhere. Around 80 per cent of our business is already in London."

His message may resonate with so-called critical friends of Liverpool who fear the city is being left behind while others in the north enjoy a boom.

Manchester and Leeds are the main spokes in the Coalition Government's “Northern Powerhouse” strategy, leaving Liverpool, Hull and Newcastle on the fringes in every sense.

Listeners to Bryan Adams’ speech said rather than giving a kick-in the teeth to Liverpool he was proffering friendly advice.

But while some are looking beyond Merseyside, others are looking in. Allison Bacher said she decided to relocate her consultancy business, Quantum of Value, from London to Liverpool after tiring of a three-hour daily commute.

"One of our clients described Liverpool as a 'well-kept secret' after our office opening last year," she said. "He genuinely did not know about the architecture and cultural activities, let alone the city’s appetite for corporate growth. I believe the city needs to continue to promote key business stories such as the available skilled workforce and financial incentives."

BryanadamsBryan AdamsWilliam Shotton is the CEO of bio-engineering company H2 Energy Group, which became one of the region’s biggest success stories after securing a £50m deal to transform the energy requirements of the 2 Sisters Food Group.

Mayor Anderson supported H2 Energy’s move to Liverpool through his Investment Fund, backed by Liverpool Vision, support which William Shotton said was critical.

"What is genuinely outstanding is the continued enthusiasm that Liverpool has in our business," he said. "We meet regularly to discuss both progress and future strategy for the business for which we are currently working on plans for further expansion and a new factory for 2016, taking our projected jobs total to some 250."

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

69 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Green TambourineJanuary 21st 2015.

We'd have plenty TO SELL if everyone grew POTATOES and kept CHICKENS and had a BEE HIVE!!!

AnonymousJanuary 21st 2015.

Liverpool Waters is light years off. This city should get real and concentrate on what we have got, not pipe dreams. Too many people with degrees in kidology taking us for a ride. We need a pied piper to run them out of town.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Green TambourineJanuary 21st 2015.

And I could BANG my TAMBOURINE!!!

AnonymousJanuary 21st 2015.

I'd like to suggest you start by relaxing well, then take the rough edges off and coat it liberally with water based lubricant.........

Elsie and DorisJanuary 22nd 2015.

"Liverpool Waters" - Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

AnonymousJanuary 21st 2015.

Well said Bryan Adams. Let's hope it prompts a proper debate.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 21st 2015.

He's right. This City is fast becoming Pleasureland, somewhat similar to Southport, any real industry is in the adjoining boroughs like knowsley, Sefton, Halton and Wirral. As for competing with the "South", forget it, you'd be flogging a dead horse.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

He will get slagged off for this by people who never leave set foot outside the city, people who are in denial and think that there is a reason for the HS2 line to come here when we can't even fill one train an hour to London. But he is right and while those people say otherwise nothing will change.

The Crocky CrewJanuary 22nd 2015.

But we have the Oldham Echo showing off all the best aspects of he city every day, greeting speculative business people as they alight the train. It even tells them who all the big commercial players are in the city, like our very own Fitzgibbon family. What's not to like??

Katie54January 22nd 2015.

He's absolutely right - but I wish he'd made some constructive comments about what is missing, such as better infrastructure and a more skilled workforce. Significant infrastructure development requires government money, but surely there are things that the council, chamber of commerce and other bodies could do? We need a lot more than building sites, hospitality, call centres and companies like Amazon. Why not provide real incentives for companies to startup or move here - lower council tax on business premises, etc. combined with targeted investment in proper vocational training. At the moment, many apprenticeships are just cheap labour, and training companies focus on courses that are cheap and easy to deliver, instead of addressing skill shortages. Training that will actually lead to decent jobs. All sorts of part-time and evening courses have disappeared, and all of them are expensive - why not reinstate them, and subsidise them so they are free to the unemployed like they used to be?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

What she says

Elsie and DorisJanuary 22nd 2015.

Hear hear!

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

What is required is some joined up thinking, never mind Manchester and Leeds. Liverpool is at the wrong end of a cul-de-sac. Remove the fee on both tunnels, do away with proposed fees for the river crossings and look to Cheshire and North Wales. Set sail for pastures new. The recent resurgence of growth in Warrington is in anticipation of avoiding the tolls that are about to blight the upper reaches of the Mersey. Pioneers wanted, westward Ho, it would open another gateway, with Liverpool and it's many attractions and facilities at its hub.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Green TambourineJanuary 22nd 2015.

YESSS!!! We need to set sail for pastures new full of BUTTERCUPS!!! And fresh woods with TREES!!!

Capt. NemoJanuary 22nd 2015.

If it weren't for the tunnel tolls they'd be gridlocked all day everyday and frankly anyone who can't spare - or is too tight to spend - the cost of the cheapest river crossing here today, isn't going to be spending much on either side of the river.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

Opening up North Wales!!!! It's not the bloody outback. This is even worse than the kind of half-baked rubbish that Anderson and his developer friends come up with. We're a port, one of the major ports on the West coast, which the EU, for instance, visualises as a gateway into Europe (which is why it is prioritising - i.e. providing the money - for the cross-country upgrading of the rail freight system to the East coast). So we should be focussing on modern port services, import-export and logistics. Which means finishing off the work to improve road and rail access to the port and ensuring we have properly educated and trained people to enable existing businesses in the sector to expand and to attract new ones.

Katie54January 22nd 2015.

So the growth in Warrington is to avoid tolls to cross the Mersey? You don't think its geographical position (midway between Liverpool and Manchester, on the West Coast Main Line, etc. etc.) has anything to do with it?

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

What parochial nonsense. England and Wales are part of the same equation, as is the Emerald Isle further to the west. Manchester, Leeds and other northern cities experience far worse traffic flow problems than this city, it's little wonder that neighbouring boroughs are reluctant to accept Liverpool's input when it comes to the wider picture.

John BradleyJanuary 22nd 2015.

This tolls issue, do you personally pay them a lot and somehow extrapolate your personal indignation into them being a cause of major grief for the economy. The tolls will be cheaper than the costs in fuel and time of driving further east to cross for free. The lack of the inclusion of North Wales in the HS3 talks is a problem any northern power house cannot be arbitrarily ended at offa's dyke. The reopening of the Halton curve partially addresses this but only partially. We need proper connections to places like SoT and Derby, never mind Newcastle. peterirate.blogspot.com/…/a-pan-northern-railway-or-trans-pennine.html… & peterirate.blogspot.co.uk/…/midland-main-line.html…

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

It's geographical position is what gives Warrington it's edge, it is ideally located on an integrated motorway network, not to mention the rail network, As for going north and east, that defies logic. The ferry crossings from Newcastle and Hull far outweigh the time it takes to cross the North Sea from Felixstowe and the channel ports. Yes tolls do impact on a regions economy, there are enough of them throughout this country to vindicate that fact.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

The future is service sector and knowledge based business. To be attractive to those kind of businesses you have to offer them a high quality workforce. Liverpool needs to be able to provide employees who are better educated, more skilled and crucially harder working than other cities. Unfortunately Liverpool doesn't offer that and doesn't have a reputation for hard work (thanks to Harry Enfield et al). The council has to invest in education and training and improving our reputation, everything else will come from that.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

There has been a huge amount of investment in mainstream education, with really good results, so the issue now is good quality training to help people acquire real skills. But what on earth does "crucially harder working"mean?. Sounds like you believe the stereotype.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

It may only in part be stereotype.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

I doubt whether you realise that education has become another conveyor belt industry. They acquire prime positions in the city centre, as if they are some form of sacred cow, universities charge fees and are in a money making industry. They are awarded grants from the public purse by government, considerable amounts. Students work hard, achieve good results, only to enter the real world to find they are not only over qualified for what jobs there are, but all of the jobs that would suit are based in the South. On top of which they are saddled with student debt for the rest of their youth.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

You "doubt whether you realise", do you??? How patronising, Anonymous. Ignorant, too. Universities have to charge fees because the block grants they used to get have been drastically cut. As for the "considerable amounts" they are awarded, where do you think new science and technology comes from? As for the notion that students leave university over-qualified, that's just not true. A huge number of employers want new entrants to have a degree, in some cases because of the specific content, and in others because of the other soft skills you acquire as a student. And for many careers, these days, you actually need a master's degree or some other form of postgraduate training. I agree with you about the debt, it's shameful - but in the days of no fees and student grants less than 10% went to university, so the fees are a reflection of the massive increase in students, without the increase in taxation that we need to fund them properly. And for the record, the huge investment in education I was referring to was in schools.

16 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

I doubt that you realise the reply was intended for the previous rant not your observation on education. Yes I was also aware that you were referring to schools. so perhaps it wasn't as patronising as you first thought.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2015.

who ever it was intended for it was patronising.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

Why is it that Scotland and Wales do not charge fees? Why was it that one of my siblings left university with a first and a Masters degree only to have to sit NVQ's? Who incidentally maintains that there are no jobs for people with PHD's, so not so ignorant or patronising when I consider whether it was a wise thing to go into debt for my own University education. I'll endeavour not to patronise you once more by telling you my parents were in no position to fund my education or to network on my behalf. There are many people with degrees manning supermarket checkouts, working behind bars and doing jobs they are over qualified for, it's called survival. Perhaps some dialogue with the many trying to find work will convince you, it's a far more held belief than you would believe

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

Surely your first question should be why can't we in England do what the Scots and Welsh have done? The answer is lack of political will. For what it's worth, I was shocked that when fees were introduced, by a generation of politicians who had all benefited hugely from their own free university education, they did not introduce a graduate tax. So we have hoards of doctors, lawyers and others who as established professionals are earning stonking amounts of money, and have done for years, who similarly paid nothing, yet we do not ask them to contribute to the cost of the education that allows them to do so well. As for the jobs point, your experience notwithstanding, there are chronic skill shortages in all sorts of areas (here's an official list, from last April - www.gov.uk/…/shortageoccupationlistapril14.pdf… But higher education isn't vocational training, and a great many people choose to study subjects that don't prepare them for a particular career. Perhaps the real problem is poor career guidance, leading people to believe that any degree is a passport to a decent job. It isn't, and never has been.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

Correction ".... that any degree is an automatic passport to a decent job."

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

You are quite right, "that any degree is NOT an automatic passport to a decent job" As for hordes earning stonking amounts of money, there's the obverse to that point of view. Many employers want experience, graduates leaving University for the first time, do not have experience. They are offered salaries that are well below the national average wage, in order to get "experience", they accept these jobs. I once met an airline pilot in Turkey who was selling tickets for boat trips, when I asked Why? He informed me "that not everything in life, runs clockwise". Lets agree to differ and leave it at that.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

Wow - so you're saying that a graduate tax on people who paid no fees and incurred no debt, for the education that has allowed them to have a good career is wrong??

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2015.

Who said what? and where? I don't recall having said anything about graduate taxes. I concede that a BSc isn't a prerequisite for making an omelette. I still maintain that the great skill shortage you refer to , is well concealed. I also maintain that employers are asking the Earth and are only too willing to offer meagre recompense for skills that graduates have put themselves into debt to attain. In short there are lots of skilled people only too willing to avail themselves of this jobs mountain, if it was as obvious as you contend.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2015.

"Lets agree to differ, and leave it at that".

DIB DIB DIBJanuary 25th 2015.

I looked briefly at the.gov attachment and landed on tier2... Production Manager in mining and Energy. New entrant £15,000. Nuclear Waste Management decommission, another derisory salary... It's little wonder there's a skill shortage. All of these jobs in God forsaken wilderness, you would have to live in a tent or sleep in the back of someone else's car.

Dob dob dobJanuary 25th 2015.

I too looked at the list. DANCERS are in short supply!

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

In the news today. There are 75 applicants for every graduate position, which rises to 107 in banking and 146 for roles at top consumer goods companies. The author then berates graduates as being "picky" because one in seven, chooses not to accept the position. Some spin. How many applicants are there for the many job seekers who do not have degrees? I'm sure those that are seeking employment are cognisant of salary, location, logistics of travel, unsocial hours etc, whether they are graduates or otherwise.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

More than two-fifths (45 per cent) of graduate employers had one or more unfilled job last year, the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has found. Employers responding to The Graduate Recruitment Survey 2015 (Winter Review) said they had received an average of 74.5 applications for each graduate post. But Stephen Isherwood, AGR chief executive, explained: “Many of the applications could almost be called spam, meaning employers have to just dismiss a lot of them because they’re highly speculative with no thought."

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

Selective quoting, Anonymous "In the news..." (who sounds a lot like Anonymous "I doubt you realise"). Didn't you see the bit about "highly speculative with no thought"?Illuminating, don't you think? Here's a short list of what not to do in job applications (or essays, reports or any other written work, for that matter). 1) Don't use words like "endeavour"and "cognisant" when you could talk about trying and knowing. It sounds pretentious and alienates people. 2) Don't talk down to people - why assume you know more than they do, it might be the other way round. 3) Don't jump the gun - read things all the way and check you've understood them before you answer, and then 4) Check your answer - for instance, you don't apply for a job seeker, you apply for a job. Etc. etc. etc.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

Perhaps you should follow your own advice, it wasn't selective quoting. In the article I read, it never made any reference to "highly speculative with no thought". It could well of been selective reporting, but then you would of not been able to hear the sound of your own voice. As for using the English language, I make no apologies, how you perceive something written to sound pretentious is a wondrous talent, if it has alienated you, again I make no apology. Yes you are quite right, you do not apply for a job seeker. If you had taken the time to read the rest of the sentence, you will have found that although badly constructed, the sentence will have conveyed the gist of what was written.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

Does pretentious and alienate piss you off. I does me

mickeydrippin'January 22nd 2015.

The past prosperity of Merseyside was down to a number of entrepreneurs, both local and from the North West in general, who provided employment in both shipping and manufacturing. Men like John Bibby, William Laird, Henry Tate, William and Richard Pilkington and Frank Hornby started their businesses here on Merseyside. Nowadays, we have a few names like John Hargreaves (Matalan) and Tom Morris (Home Bargains), whose businesses have expanded nationally. What is therefore needed is a few more local entrepreneurs, who love Merseyside and who are prepared to stay and provide much needed employment.

13 Responses: Reply To This...
Green TambourineJanuary 22nd 2015.

Like REDROW??? Oh NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2015.

They'd turn in their graves reading some of the backward looking, suspicious, negative rubbish from the usual piss ants on here. No spirit, just lots of droning grumbles

JonJanuary 23rd 2015.

Seems like a realist who wants the city to fulfil its potential. Some people can't cope with the truth and start using really intelligent adjectives like "piss ants" which really do make people outside think again. But that's fine, anyone in denial they can go and read the "It's Liverpool" website containing lots of happy booming material by highly paid PUBLIC funded executives at the LEP and Liverpool Vision.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2015.

Now then jonny you were doing so well, and almost sounded as clever as you seem to think you are.....until you got adjectives and nouns all mixed up. 2/10

mickeydrippin'January 23rd 2015.

GREEN!!!. You probably do not like REDROW!!!just because they would like to build some expensive HOUSES!!! near Sefton Park but Garston-born Steve Morgan is a successful entrepreneur and businessman. The country needs more people like him.

Green TambourineJanuary 25th 2015.

Mr DRIPPIN!!! We do NOT need people like STEVE MORGAN!!! And we need fewer people from GARSTON!!! Are there any TREES left in Garston??? Or any WILDLIFE???

John BradleyJanuary 25th 2015.

The Mud contains a wide variety of molluscs and other such things.

mickeydrippin'January 25th 2015.

GT!!! What sort of people do you think we need??? Perhaps you think we need someone to DEMOLISH!!! all the nasty BUILDINGS!! around Liverpool and plant millions of TREES!!! in their place. We will then have a massive FOREST!!! and everyone including YOU!!! will have to go and live in MANCHESTER!!!

Green TambourineJanuary 25th 2015.

We could demolish NO 1 PARK WEST!!! And that horrid tenement by Lime Street STATION!!! Then we could plant some TREES and SHRUBS, and make people HAPPY!!! No, Mr Drippin, I'm not going to MANCHESTER!!! It would be nice to live in a FOREST and be friends with all the BIRDS and the DEER!!! I would live on BERRIES and MUSHROOMS and NUTS!!! We need a forest in LIVERPOOL!!!

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2015.

Could I nominate the flats diagonally across from Park West for demolition seeing as you are in the area, the ones that look like a prison ship.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

I note that Mr Bradley has added "Mudlark" to his long list of talents.

John BradleyJanuary 27th 2015.

More a case of o'level biology.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

Giving your age away JB.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2015.

I work for a global manufacturing and consultancy company that really appreciates the fact we now have an office in the north west close to the digital tech and innovation companies in Liverpool. We see "sensor city" as something we need to be near to for instance. It is interesting that the company from Liverpool in this article complains of it being too small and backward whilst other companies from outside see its appeal. It rather suggests that Mr Adams is actually behaving just like any teenager or student. His company is beginning to outgrow its home. That's fine. Good luck to them. But it doesn't make the home a bad place for others. Does Barclays only trade in London? Microsoft only in Silicon Valley? He may have a valid point that Liverpool needs to improve its offer somewhat, but he's hardly the oracle of the city.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2015.

Never mind all that...We are supposed to be getting a Pound Pub in Wavertree High Street. That's the slogan for the brochures. Liverpool. Pound A Pint.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2015.

your glass is likely to be half full or half empty, whichever way you look at it. I think it is £1 a half pint. Maybe I've had one too many.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2015.

I remember they has a Miss Wet Shell suit competition in Wavertree town hall a few years back. People came from as far a field as Netherley and Old Swan.

Green TambourineJanuary 24th 2015.

She sells WET SHELLS on the SEE-SAW!!!

Judith PattersonJanuary 23rd 2015.

England still has the best educatin in the world, so long as they don't follow Australia, Americas not good, still friendly in Liverpool,do up buildings, get the city shipshape, more positive influence, and the right people running the city, yes I love Liverpool for the friendliness, the buildings, The Beatles, the feel about the place, you can walk, or take public transport, not a hot place, or expensive.Help yourselves.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
SexyJanuary 24th 2015.

M'Lud, the Prosecution rests its case

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

I had a lump in my throat reading this glowing endorsement of the English educatin system, and the temperate climate is an added bonus

Jack LordJanuary 24th 2015.

I dunno. The commercial offer would definitely be improved if Liverpool had more palm TREES. I blame Uncle Joe

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

"Tip of the week"...When the "O" is stuck use the 0 (zero)

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

Is that a grammatical tip or one intended to be of use when scoring the quality of some of the messages on here? :-)

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2015.

We could blow up Liverpool 1. We could sell raffle ticket like we did when we blew up the Piggeries and turn the land into a park, and then Joke Anderson could sell it off for luxury homes in a few years time.

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2015.

It's a theme park. Don't you get it? It's 'Scouseland' We are like Disney characters. The people who visit come to get pissed all night and spend money in L1 shops.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mickey MouseJanuary 26th 2015.

Which one are you?. . . "goofy"

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
OR CREATE AN ACCOUNT HERE..
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Anonymous

I agree with the Councillor. His examples really don't go far enough, because of the complexities…

 Read more
Anonymous

Perhaps a "dolmus" system could be used in the city centre, they work quite well for tourists and…

 Read more
Fairminded

Not price related but sad to see that they are doing away with the Citylink bus. This runs around…

 Read more
Anonymous

Thank you Woo

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2017

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code