Portuguese officials and business leaders travelled to Liverpool to take inspiration from the city’s iconic waterfront developments.
The visit, organised by leading property advisers GVA, saw a 14 strong delegation from Lisbon South Bay meet with political leaders and businesses involved in the transformational schemes taking place along Liverpool’s waterfront.
The Portuguese guests, who represent partners involved in the promotion and development of major urban regeneration project Lisbon South Bay, used the trip to develop their thinking around their schemes as well as building further relationships with Liverpool and Wirral.
During their stay, delegates including Mayor of the city of Barreiro, Carlos Humberto, spent time with the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson and Leader of Wirral Borough Council, Cllr Phil Davies. They discussed and viewed some of the major projects taking place either side of the River Mersey, including Peel’s Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters presented by project directors Lindsey Ashworth and Richard Mawdsley respectively, as well as ACC Liverpool, Albert Dock and Titanic Hotel.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: "It’s been fantastic to welcome the delegates from Lisbon, particularly as they have chosen Liverpool due to the city’s success in developing its waterfront.
"This is a direct result of the Waterfront Forum we hosted last year, which was created to encourage and improve collaboration and knowledge sharing between waterfront cities, and at this point Lisbon and Liverpool face similar challenges. I know the group have had a very productive visit, and I hope this is the start of a mutually beneficial relationship between the two cities."
Stephen Cowperthwaite, regional senior director at GVA Liverpool said: "From the growth that Liverpool has experienced in recent years, we've seen first-hand that investment into waterfront developments can bring far reaching economic benefits to the city region.
"It has been fantastic to host this visit and showcase our city region to an international audience and prove what a top-class model we have here. There is still much more to achieve and it is exciting to be involved with new developments that will continue to shape both sides of the River Mersey, changing the face of the Liverpool City Region".
Lisbon South Bay is an urban regeneration project promoted by Baía do Tejo (public company) and the Municipal Councils of Almada, Barreiro and Seixal for the requalification, development and promotion of former industrial areas on the south bank of the River Tejo. The project is made up of three districts, the Barreiro Business Park, Seixal Business Park and Water City (Almada).
Sérgio Saraiva, executive board member for Baía do Tejo, said: "We see a lot of similarities between what Liverpool is doing and what we’re trying to achieve. During the 1990s we experienced the closing of some large industrial facilities in Lisbon South Bay that left significant brownfield areas that we are currently regenerating.
"The great work done on the Liverpool Waterfront is an inspiring model and our vision is to transform the Lisbon Metropolitan Area into a great metropolis with two banks, open to the Atlantic. We look forward to continuing to work with Liverpool and other waterfront cities as we all work towards our common goals of developing our great cities."
GVA will continue to lead the discussion on waterfront investment at MIPIM 2017.