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WINTER 2013/2014

In this, our second issue, we look to build upon the success of THIS Autumn, which enjoyed a fantastic reception upon its launch back in September. We are delighted with all of the positive feedback and contributions we’ve received from BID members, as well as from other city region leaders – we very much appreciate your comments.


Prior to launching the first edition, we spoke in depth with many of our BID members. We found out what you wanted THIS to do. In essence, your generous feedback indicated that you wanted THIS publication to focus on the people that make the BID what it is – in short, you, our members and the businesses you represent. We wish there was enough room to fit all of your stories in - we’ve even grown THIS to 32 pages to fit in as much of the great content we’ve received. Don’t worry though as there will be plenty more issues for you and your business to be featured in. Just keep sending us your stories and we will do our best to feature you in THIS, our newsletter or on our social networking pages. Our second edition of THIS very much picks up from where issue one left off; focussing on what makes our Commercial District unique – you, our members. This month we meet some of the District’s up-and coming ‘ones to watch’ in our ‘Hot Shots’ feature. We talk change with some of our District’s great leaders, as well as finding out about the area’s lesser known jobs in our aptly named ‘Vocation Vocation Vocation’ article. Our growing night time economy is incredibly important to our BID, which is why this month we have 2 food reviews; Hotel Indigo’s Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse and La Viña . We look closer at some of our independent bars and pubs in our new feature ‘BID Wiser’ (see what we did there!) and we also spend 60 seconds with the man behind one of our city’s busiest hotels, The Thistle. Our Christmas lighting is now up, along with a 45ft Christmas tree in Exchange Flags, helping visually connect the Commercial District with the rest of the city – and of course, getting us all in the holiday spirit! As we continue to gear up for a very busy holiday season, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your involvement and support this year and we very much look forward to continuing working together in the New Year. There’s so much more to come in 2014 with new investments, partnerships and opportunities currently being developed, however, rest assured that you, our members, will always remain at very heart of everything we do. On behalf of the team at Commercial BID, enjoy THIS Winter and have a happy and healthy holiday period. Best wishes for 2014! Bill Addy Chief Executive Liverpool BID Company

OUR DETAILS 0151 233 4733 @Lplcommdistrict #BIDMAG


4-9 News Stand 10 Let’s Talk 11 Let’s Meet 12 Let’s Debate 13 Let’s Connect 14-15 Let’s Remember 16-17 Vocation, Vocation, Vocation 18-19 BID Hot Shots 20-21 THE Changemakers 22-23 BID Wiser 24-25 Food Review 25 60 Seconds With... 26-27 THIS Launch Photos 28-29 Photos From Around Your BID 30-31 BID By Night 32 Mission Christmas 0151 233 4733 Twitter: @Lplcommdistrict Facebook: /TheCommercialDistrictBID LinkedIn: /the-commercial-district-bid If you have any queries about the publication or want to feature, please email Design: Agent Marketing Editorial: Agent Marketing Photography: Agent Marketing / Periscope Productions No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the distributor. The articles in this magazine are for information purposes only. THIS assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information; nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organisation has been provided by such individual, event organiser or organisation with permission. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of .


A healthy dose of news, people and events in and around the Commercial District BID... WATER STREET MARKETING CELEBRATES 1ST BIRTHDAY

Water Street Marketing Company is celebrating a successful 12 months in business as they reach their first birthday. Based in Oriel Chambers, in the middle of the Commercial District, the marketing agency was founded by Ian Dixon and Neil Dutton just over a year ago. In its first year in operation, Water Street Marketing Company has achieved a growing and diverse client base, with businesses spanning the construction, training, retail and healthcare sectors. The firm specialises in the marketing and PR needs of micro, small and medium sized businesses and has also assisted companies as part of Liverpool Vision’s ERDF support framework. Keeping in line with their growing number of clients, Water Street Marketing has also welcomed a growing team of staff through the assistance of Merseyside Special Investment Fund. The agency is now looking to expand even further with the creation of an apprenticeship role to help with social media, web activity and graphic design work. Ian Dixon, Co-Founder and Director of Water Street Marketing Company said “It’s a great feeling to have our first year’s trading under our belt and we are delighted with the progress so far. We take pride in the work we do to help businesses grow, and our clients are brilliant to work with. We love being in the heart of the city and we are very grateful for the support and advice we have had from many other Liverpool businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Tell us about your business. 82west is a diverse business service, offering a variety of office accommodation solutions in Hanover House (Liverpool ONE) and Trident House in the heart of the Commercial District on Dale Street. They are both listed buildings and have been tastefully refurbished to provide state-of-theart offices to let which are all fully serviced and furnished. We actively support the growth and launch of start-up businesses with bespoke discounted packages including postal services, meeting room hire and telephone handling. What made you choose a building in the Commercial District? Trident House was originally the home of The Liberal Reform Club and has been visited by many famous politicians in its history, including Clement Atlee and Winston Churchill. It is still one of the most attractive and intriguing buildings on Dale Street. Its unique history and design really made it stand out for us. What are the advantages of being part of the Business Improvement District? Being part of the BID enhances the public services of the local authority to provide a safe, clean, attractive and well promoted trading area. Consequently this improves the experience for my tenants, visitors and workers in the city centre. Aims for your organisation in the next 12 months? We’d love to see more events! Things like farmers’ markets, music and charity events would increase footfall and also give something back to the community. If the opportunity for Shiverpool to do street theatre arose, we’d love to help out. The area is full of history and stories that deserve to be told. Plans for the new year? We’re continuing to develop our new start-up package with a view to helping new businesses in the current economic climate, whilst raising awareness of our new re-brand from Hanover Serviced Offices to 82west. What do you want to see more of from your BID? We’d like more opportunities to get together and connect. We know some of the best ideas come from people consulting with one another. QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS

GERARD FOY What do you do in the BID? I work at Diligent, just above the Passport Office.

Favourite Restaurant in the BID? Franco’s restaurant in Castle Street has the best pasta in Liverpool. Favourite Christmas song? It has to be Silent Night.

Where’s your favourite spot in the BID? I would probably choose City Wine Bar for great food and drink. Either there or Olive Restaurant on Castle Street.

Best kept secret in the BID? I hope the best kept secret in the BID is their attempt to rekindle the quest for the abandoned Tram System – and if successful, please make the first connection to John Lennon Airport! Whilst you’re at it, extend the M62 to the city centre!

What do you like most about the BID? It’s great because everything here is on your doorstep.

Favourite thing to do in winter? I enjoy going on holiday to South Africa



One of Southport’s most popular Italian restaurants has opened in the heart of our business district. Restaurateur and Chef Attilio Sergi has opened his second Trattoria 51 on Old Hall Street at the former Jigsaw Bistro site. The restaurant offers traditional Italian cuisine in a relaxing and friendly environment, split over two floors. The menu features classic Italian dishes, pizzas and pastas alongside a selection of daily specials.

SEAN FERGUSON What do you do in the BID: I’m one of the bar staff at Thomas Rigby’s pub.

Attilio, who has worked in a variety of Europe’s finest eateries throughout his career, said

Where’s your favourite spot in the BID: I couldn’t name just one, there’s a few nice pubs around here that I enjoy going to.

“We want to bring a true taste of Italy to Liverpool. Trattoria 51 will offer authentic food and drink six days a week and provide a hub for people to feel right at home - night or day.”

What do you like most about the BID: It’s not as hectic as some of the other parts of town. There’s a nice atmosphere to just go out and have a few nice ales after work!

The Puglian chef will be joined at the new venture by restaurant manager Toni Karemanj, who he has worked with since 2003, alongside head chef and friend Gianluigi Sedda, who he met in Jersey at the luxury eatery Grill at L’ Horizon in 1986. Gianluigi has worked at top restaurant Romantico Ticino in Switzerland and ran his own restaurant in Lake Como, before moving to Liverpool six months ago to complete the team. Attilio added “Between the three of us, we have nearly 100 years of experience in the restaurant industry so this is a very exciting time for everyone involved.” Trattoria 51 will be open every day except Sunday, 12pm10pm. For more information or to download the menu visit

LISTED STATUS FOR LIVERPOOL’S ICONIC INDIA BUILDINGS India Buildings, which includes Liverpool’s last and greatest shopping arcade, has been upgraded by English Heritage to Grade II* listing after fears it would be altered. The Twentieth Century Society submitted India Buildings, Water Street, for upgrading from Grade II status to protect its many original and high quality features. Gaining Grade II*-listed status from English Heritage puts the building in a select group of the country’s very best historic architecture. The India Buildings office complex, containing the marbleclad, tunnel-vaulted Holt’s Arcade, was designed by the renowned Liverpool architect Herbert Rowse and built between 1924-32. It was commissioned by Alfred Holt & Co, owner of Blue Funnel Line, as its headquarters and after war damage was rebuilt in 1953, supervised by Herbert Rowse. Clare Price, Twentieth Century Society conservation adviser, said: “It’s fantastic to see the special historic interest of this exceptional survivor recognised and celebrated. We hope this upgrade will ensure any future alterations are closely scrutinised and every effort made to maintain the splendour and integrity of this wonderful building.” The Twentieth Century Society submitted India Buildings for listing at Grade II* after fears that inappropriate alterations could threaten some of its historic features.

MATTHEW JONES What do you do in the BID? I’m a Paralegal at Parabis. Where’s your favourite spot in the BID? I like the Railway Pub when I want to get away for a quiet pint. What do you like most about the BID? I like the way the BID has brought companies together - there’s a much more social atmosphere here.

daily news @Lplcommdistrict




Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Export Britain took full advantage of UKTI Export Week by launching their new International Trade facilities. Located at the heart of Liverpool’s Commercial District BID, Number 1 Old Hall Street will be the go-to place for current and potential exporters across Liverpool City Region seeking advice on products and services for international trade. Barclays are partnering with the Chamber on this venture and the investment in the refurbishment and redesign of current office space has resulted in a vibrant and welcoming environment for exporters. Businesses are able to access digital and hard copy information on high growth markets, training, and events, hold video conference briefings with overseas chambers, and receive bespoke advice from international trade advisors. Andy Snell, Director of International Trade at Liverpool Chamber commented “This is a case of right place, right time for new exporters in Liverpool City Region. This new facility is launched as momentum is building ahead of the International Festival for Business 2014. Liverpool Chamber will ensure exporters are prepared and will work with Liverpool Vision on events to ensure our members realise their full potential during the festival.” For more information, you can email Andy Snell at EXERCISE YOUR CONTACTS

Hill Dickinson is an international law firm specialising in transport, logistics, insurance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and education through offices in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, London, Singapore, Greece & Monaco. What made you choose a building in the Commercial District? We were quickly outgrowing our former premises and needed to bring everyone together under one roof for the benefit of the firm, our staff and most importantly, our clients. St Paul’s Square demonstrates that Liverpool is continually moving forward commercially, financially and architecturally and that local, successful firms such as Hill Dickinson are fully committed to the city. What are the advantages of being part of the Business Improvement District?

As Christmas quickly approaches this inevitably means one thing – over indulgence. Whether this is food, drink or late night Christmas parties, it all equates to an extra few pounds around the waistline. In an attempt to offer you a healthy way to help shed that extra pig in a blanket, Commercial District and Health@Work are promoting ‘Walking Lunches’ Supported by partners at Merseytravel and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Walking Lunches provides the perfect opportunity to get fit whilst exploring the Commercial District - all on your lunch break. The concept is very simple; ‘Walking Lunches’ will provide an interactive map detailing places of interest to walk to, the time it will take and the amount of calories burnt – the perfect exercise companion. There will also be opportunities to meet other business contacts and guest hosts on our group walks. Walking has been described as the ‘nearest thing to perfect exercise’ based on the fact it is free, accessible and effective. Walking for just 30 minutes five days a week can increase your life by up to nine years, whilst relaxing and re-energising you for the rest of the working day. James Dunningham, Operations Director at Health@Work said “The advantages of walking even as little as 15-25 minutes at lunchtime are phenomenal. Some of the benefits include reduced stress levels, easier control of your weight, reduced blood pressure and improved muscle strength. Walking groups also provide an opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones”. All you need to do to get involved is follow @WalkingLunches on Twitter and use the hashtag #walkinglunches. Following this, register for free at to set up a profile, so you too can add and recommend your own lunch time walks.

daily news @Lplcommdistrict


Tell us about the business.

The Commercial District BID positions us in the very heart of the business district, giving us the opportunity to be neighbours with so many of our clients. Aims for your organisation in the next 12 months? It is essential for the central marketing team to keep up-todate with trends and continuously work as a tight-knit team on the firm’s projects. We delivered 170 events across our regional offices in 2013 and have now added the Monaco and Hong Kong offices to our portfolio - it is going to be even busier for us next year. Plans for the new year? Our events department will be focusing on costs and ensuring every event we host is within budget. With so many new places springing up it’s important for us to be ‘in the know’ and have a range of high quality venues and suppliers to call on at any given time. What do you want to see more of from your BID? We’d like more opportunities to get together and connect. We know some of the best ideas come from people consulting with one another. QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS Favourite Restaurant in the BID? After their amazing launch the other week, my new favourite has got to be Fazenda! If you could visit one BID organisation for the day which one would it be? I’m a Red so it would have to be LFC in the hope that my uncle’s hero Robbie Fowler would appear! Best kept secret in the BID? The soups at Out to Lunch are divine (especially the chicken & pasta) or the cocktails at Twentyfive in Beetham Plaza. Favourite thing to do in winter? Couch, quilt, film & huge bowl of salted popcorn! You know it’s Winter when… The dark mornings roll in and you’re blown down Old Hall Street!



Liverpool is to return to the world’s biggest property festival next year after a two-year absence as it steps up its bid to attract international investors. The delegation for the international real estate show for professionals includes Deloitte, Bruntwood, Brabners, Castlewood Property Management Ltd, Grosvenor, and Liverpool Business Improvement District. Liverpool Vision, through Marketing Liverpool, is to organise the promotional programme. Sean Beech, partner at the Liverpool office of Deloitte, said “Attending MIPIM is about expanding our business network and showing that our great city, with all it has to offer, is open to business. Many other UK cities attend MIPIM and for Liverpool not to attend is inconceivable. There is already firm support to be part of ‘Team Liverpool’ next year, ahead of the city hosting the International Festival for Business in June and July. I hope many more businesses will join us and take this opportunity to articulate the city’s ambitions and vision for the future. As the city’s transformation in recent times has shown we can achieve much if we work together effectively to change developer and investor confidence.” Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, added “Liverpool returns to MIPIM on the back of becoming the first European host of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2012, successfully holding the UK’s first festival for highgrowth businesses with Accelerate 2013 and having become the only UK city to have an office in London where we host regular events for potential investors. The next couple of years are very important for Liverpool, as we continue to face robustly the economic challenges and there is much to give us confidence in the future. In 2014 the world will come to Liverpool for the International Festival for Business and in 2015 the £40m Exhibition Centre will open on the Waterfront. The key to future success will be through continued collaboration and I am therefore delighted that businesses in Liverpool see the importance of attending MIPIM. We are working closely with them to ensure that together we use the event as a platform to showcase Liverpool’s burgeoning range of economic and cultural assets and our excellent reputation to the world.” MIPIM takes place between 11–14 March, 2014.

Tell us about the business. Downing is a property company which owns and manages buildings in Liverpool City Centre. We also develop large scale urban regeneration projects across the UK. Why did you decide to locate such a large percentage of your properties in the Commercial District? The Commercial District BID is a great place to do business in a great city. What are the advantages of being part of the Business Improvement District? It gives the Commercial District a strong identity and helps to create and maintain a physical and business environment we can all be proud of. Aims for your organisation in the next 12 months? We are continuing to secure and develop major sites across the UK, and as always will be active in Liverpool – actively investing in and managing our portfolio. What will be your biggest challenges over the next 12 months? Making sure we are on hand to take advantage of all the opportunities that are arising as a result of the economic recovery. QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS Favourite Restaurant in the BID? City Wine Bar.

SUE COONEY What do you do in the BID? I’m a Recruitment Consultant at Hayes.

Favourite Christmas song? Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses, it’s relentless! If you could visit one BID organisation for the day which one would it be? Mange Tout as they seem to have a good laugh in there. Best kept secret in the BID? The Yoga Hub on Old Hall Street – it’s amazing!

Where’s your favourite spot in the BID? Panna is definitely my favourite place; good coffee and good prices.

Favourite thing to do in winter? Going for a walk on a cold, crisp day - then finding a pub with a fire.

What do you like most about the BID? There are a lot of nice bars here and a nice feel of community.

You know it’s Winter when… get your big coat out of the wardrobe.




City Central BID and Commercial District BID have joined forces to support underprivileged children this Christmas. For the second year running, BID will be co-sponsors of Radio City’s ‘Mission Christmas’, which in 2012 provided a Christmas gift to a record 17,000 children who would not otherwise have received one.

Liverpool is driving forward with its new car hire scheme, with the official appointment of a high-profile operator. The City Council has awarded a three-year contract to City Car Club, the largest independent car club in Britain. The new scheme offers thousands of people hassle-free, pay-by-the hour city centre motoring without the time and financial commitments of owning their own vehicle.

Christmas is right around the corner and we are looking to you to add your support and embrace the festive spirit. We are asking for the help of the 1,400 BID businesses in the heart of Liverpool to share the Christmas joy. Here’s how we’d love you to be involved: •

Encourage your staff to bring in gifts to your workplace.

Make a cash donation.

City Car Club members can use cars for as little as half an hour and collect them 24 hours a day, seven days a week from convenient city centre locations. The scheme will launch with an initial seven cars and one van for business use – with plans to expand it to 20 vehicles by year two. What’s more Commercial District BID members will receive a special code when they sign up, that will entitle their first five employees to free membership for the first year.

Ask your staff to drop off a new unwrapped gift at any participating city centre store or participating business.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Employment, Enterprise and Skills, Councillor Nick Small said

In return, your business will be advertised as a supporter of Mission Christmas. Radio City will also be looking to interview participating businesses. For more information on how you or your company can get involved please contact HI-TECH FIRMS VISIT FROM IRELAND

Liverpool’s cultural links with Ireland are well-known and well-exploited – but now it’s time for trade links to grow too. Ireland may be just a short trip across the Irish Sea but it can sometimes be overlooked as a potential source of inward investment. But a trade mission supported by Commercial District BID aimed to rectify this by encouraging Irish technology firms to consider investing or opening offices in the North West. In October, Trade body Enterprise Ireland brought representatives from 16 technology firms for a tour of Liverpool, Manchester and Warrington.

“This is great news for Liverpool. City Car Club has an excellent pedigree in delivering first class car hire schemes across the country, so I’m delighted we’ve brought them onboard. City Car Club operates in 14 cities across England, Scotland and Wales. Independently audited as the greenest car club fleet in the UK, it has significantly reduced emissions through the introduction of many new hybrid (electric/petrol) cars, an eco-conscious approach to motoring which it will be bringing to Liverpool. City Car Club’s Managing Director, James Finlayson, said “We are delighted to have been chosen to operate the new car club in Liverpool. We regularly get requests from residents and local businesses to come to Liverpool, so we know there is strong demand for our hourly car and van rental service here. And along with our 29,000 members elsewhere, members in Liverpool will also have access to our 700 vehicles across the UK For more information on how BID members can access membership, please contact Operations Manager, Kevin Whittaker at

In Liverpool, those trade ambassadors took part in two debates at the Radisson Blu, organised by the Commercial District BID and Downtown Liverpool in Business. The debates were centred around expansion plans for the businesses involved and also the reasons why Liverpool is such a great place to invest in. Gavin McWhirter of Enterprise Ireland believes the mission will prove to have been a success: “There are clearly things going on here. There are more companies of scale than perhaps they realised, there are more opportunities and there’s a definite sense that it’s an area that is ambitious and wanting to go places.” Liverpool Cabinet Member, Cllr Nick Small, said: “Liverpool is a really open city. It’s a city that wants to do business and wants to be open to investment.”

JEFF LILLEY What do you do in the BID: I’m a claims handler at RSA Motability. Where’s your favourite spot in the BID: Definitely City Wine Bar, it’s the best! What do you like most about the BID: It’s good for the great places to eat around work, whether it’s at lunchtime or just after!





The Michael Causer Foundation is hosting an event to celebrate the wonderful diversity found within the Liverpool City Region. The occasion, which will be held on Wednesday 11th December between 5pm – 7pm at OhMeOhMy!, already has support from the LGBT community and will be addressed by Lord Mayor Gary Millar, followed by entertainment provided by comedian Kevin Dewsbury.

Tell us about your business. We are a local independent café and wine bar with a distinct European feel. We offer fresh, locally sourced coffees and teas served with pastries and baguettes. Then in the evening we transform ourselves into a wine bar with some great speciality cocktails and a wide selection of wines and spirits. What made you choose a building in the Commercial District? We loved the fact that McGuffies has a great history; it used to be a chemist owned by John McGuffie who was quite a character on the Liverpool business scene. Also, myself and my business partner Alan have strong links within the business community. We knew there was a need for a place where business people could hold meetings throughout the day or chill out in a relaxed environment after work. What are the advantages of being part of the Business Improvement District? For us, as a small business, it great to know that there is an organisation there to meet with you and point you in the right direction with any ideas you may have. Aims for your organisation in the next 12 months? We are passionate about as many of our ingredients as possible being sourced locally and will continue to work with our suppliers to develop our products accordingly. What we intend to do is start involving our customers more in shaping our drinks menu by inviting them to cocktail classes and wine tasting evenings. We are looking at developing our Sunday offering by giving opportunities to Liverpool’s thriving music community to come play in our bar. Biggest challenges over the next 12 months? The bar and restaurant industry has taken a hammering over the past few years with many independents having to close their doors. The biggest challenges we face are around continuing to adapt to change not only from a customer perspective, but from an industry perspective too. There may even be an addition to the McGuffies family - that would certainly bring new challenges! You heard it here first watch this space! What do you want to see more of from your BID? More of THIS magazine please! QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS Favourite Restaurant in the BID? Piccolinos on Cook Street. The staff are so friendly and the food is always good. Best kept secret in the BID? Have a look at the Sanctuary Stone just outside McGuffies. It’s from the 13th Century and marks the areas where Liverpool fairs and markets used to take place. No doubt you will have walked past it and not even noticed it Favourite thing to do in winter? Besides treating myself to a McGuffie’s Bedtime Blazer cocktail (which certainly warms the cockles!), Winter is a great time to catch up with friends and family. You know it’s Winter when… ...the Movembers come out and girls start wearing tinsel as accessories!

Commercial District BID is proud to be sponsoring this important event, recognising the vital contribution made by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to our city. The Foundation aims to provide businesses in the area with an opportunity to show their workforce that they are supportive of all, regardless of their sexual orientation. The event is an LGBT networking event, but is open to anyone wanting to attend to support the diversity of Liverpool’s business scene. Kevin Whittaker, Operations Manager at Commercial District BID says “It is vital that we fully understand the diversity of our members to be able to provide support and guidance for everyone throughout their different career stages. The BID recognises the diversity of the businesses in the Commercial District and is supportive of all who work and live in the area. We jumped at the chance to get on board and support this event.” To book your place, or for more information please email SPOTLIGHT ON KEVIN WHITTAKER

Being the Operations Manager for Liverpool’s Commercial District BID Company is a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable role. I prioritise and implement programmes and activities to improve and enhance the BID area in line with our business plan. Our aim is to continue to develop, maintain and manage a world-class business district that is clean, green and connected. I deal with a number of key partners ranging from Liverpool City Council to Merseyside Police, Resilient Liverpool and The Whitechapel Centre on a daily basis to continue the constant improvements the area needs. Back when… When I joined the Commercial District Partnership it had not yet gained the ‘YES’ vote to become a ‘Business Improvement District’. Back then I had been working with the late Paul Rice on the Security and Environment Group, before moving on to manage the Street Concierge programme for the area. Paul and I then worked with other stakeholders on the successful BID ballot and once we secured the successful vote I was appointed Operations Manager. The spice of life… No two days are the same in the BID office and I enjoy the fact that my role is incredibly varied. I am responsible for everything from looking at district cleansing plans and organising anti-terrorism training for members, to arranging Christmas lighting, organising Food and Drink Festivals, assisting with travel planning for the area and looking at ways members can utilise the collective purchasing power of the BID to save money on utility bills, telecoms and trade waste. True or false? I ran the 2011 Liverpool Marathon dressed as Bananaman. I’ve shared sashimi with former supermodel Sophie Anderton. Jennifer Ellison once gave me a rose. The answer: they are all true, apologies for the trick question!


let’s talk

Commercial District BID takes some time out with social entrepreneur, Bernie Hollywood OBE to talk humble beginnings, Wallace & Gromit, being one of banking’s good guys and why he’s raised £36.5 million for charities around the far.

case, Lloyds Banking Group and a BITC company is one that is concerned with their corporate social responsibility – we want to be responsible in what we do. We want to be conscious about the communities we operate in and really activate the social good around us. As a Business Connector, I see myself as a catalyst for change. I’m a business broker so I bring businesses together with charities and communities and together we have brought about over £750,000 worth of social economic value in the last year alone.” With all of these mammoth achievements under his belt and a reserve of unrivalled humbleness, we decide to ask Bernie about his proudest moment to date. A smile creeps across Bernie’s face “My proudest moment to date is completely unrelated to my charity work. Some of the proudest moments I’ve experienced include my eldest, Louis, being accepted into University of Liverpool and my youngest, Macaulay, receiving his AS Level results.” So a world record holder with two sons following in his intellectual footsteps, we can’t help but wonder what else is there left to do? Enter stage right, the Community Superstar Awards. “There are so many unsung heroes in this city. People who do amazing things everyday out of the goodness of their heart and don’t get the recognition they absolutely deserve. We’re here to make a change to that.” Come February 2014, Anfield’s Isla Gladstone will be flooded with people from all around the city in the inaugural celebration of the Community Superstar Awards. The awards are the brainchild of Bernie and Liverpool-firm Orb Events, setting out to give the people who make a real difference in our city the platform to be congratulated and celebrated. But in true Bernie Hollywood fashion, this is not your average awards show. “These awards are going to be something you’ve never seen before. To start off with, the categories themselves are really special. We’ve got categories like Neighbour of the Year, the Bravery Award and the Best Blossoming Community award – there’s 10 in total.” The event has already received a great of support with a lot of interest already shown, Bernie continues

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Bernie Hollywood OBE before, it would be fair to describe him as a force to be reckoned with. Over the past 30 years, Bernie has helped raise around £36.5 million for charities worldwide, including stints for SportsAid, Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity, Maasai Heritage Preservation Foundation and most recently, Alzheimer’s Society, when he cycled from the Caribbean to the Pacific. Bernie, who has been seconded from Lloyds Banking Group for a year as a Business Connector with Business in the Community (BITC) really is a man on a mission. But the first thing we wanted to know was why. “My mum and dad were the driving force for myself and my 3 brothers in getting an education and using it to do good for others. Although I came from humble beginnings in Speke, I had a fabulous upbringing and a very happy childhood. Both of my parents unfortunately passed away 30 years ago due to cancer – and soon after, my brothers and I decided that we’d run a marathon in their memory. That’s where you could say my journey began.” And began it did; 30 years later, we’re sitting with Bernie as he regales us with his many feats of human determination. Like the time he completed 35 marathons in 20 days, or the time he cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, his 3 Peak Challenge or even how he holds the World Record for running the longest distance in 7 days. And no, we’re not making this up. Alongside Bernie’s awe-inspiring work for charity, his ‘day job’ is as a Business Connector for Lloyds Banking Group’s BITC programme. Bernie, who is based at The Plaza, St Paul’s Square explains “A Business Connector is seconded from BITC companies, in my


“We’ve had lots of businesses coming on board to show their support; sponsoring categories and the event itself. Because of this kindness the tickets are only going to be priced at £5 each so everyone has the opportunity to attend. It’s set to be the hottest ticket in town and so you’ll have to get them quickly! This is really going to be the biggest community fest you could ever imagine. We’ve got the phenomenal Roger Phillips as the Master of Ceremonies and the night is going to be peppered with showcases of young talent; arts, music, poetry, dancers, samba’s going to be fantastic.” However, the Community Superstar Awards do have an ulterior motive; “The money that we raise from the Community Superstar Awards will be going to fund 21 young adults from North Liverpool to travel to Africa. These 21 young adults, aged 16-21 aren’t in education, employment or training but are some of the most wonderful individuals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. As such, we’re bringing these individuals out to Africa to really find themselves and to build relationships with the schools out there. These young people have set themselves key objectives; for example, one individual wants to be a teacher but hasn’t had the opportunity to get any experience. In this, we’ve arranged for her to teach English to a young crèche and stand alongside a teacher to get some real hands on experience.” Bernie’s passion and zealousness to make a difference is unrivalled and we just have to ask him for a bit of wisdom. What piece of advice does he have to share with us? “Don’t forget where you come from and don’t forget where you want to go. Examine this and take a tour of your conscience every day.” Thank you, Mr Hollywood. To sponsor an award, make a nomination or buy a ticket for the Community Superstar Awards, please visit

let’s meet Opening a bar at any time, never mind during a recession, takes a huge amount of courage, determination and well, hard graft. But who hasn’t heard of Leaf, the popular, independent tea house on Bold Street, born out of a love for tea and music? In a short space of time Leaf has grown to be one of Liverpool’s most popular food, drink and entertainment establishments, having even been cited in The Independent’s ‘Top 50 tea rooms in the UK’. The brains behind the tea leaves is Natalie Haywood, who has worked her way up through the hospitality industry to become one of Liverpool’s brightest entrepreneurs. Following on from the success of Leaf, Natalie joined forces with FACT earlier this year to open up her second venue; aptly named The Garden. With both outlets thriving, Natalie and her team have turned their attention to the Commercial District, opening the newest addition to their collection of destination venues; café and social space Oh Me Oh My, situated on Water Street. THIS caught up with founder Natalie to discover why she has decided to locate her third venue in the Commercial District and what Oh Me Oh My has to offer BID members.

Describing the picturesque venue as something totally different from her two other offerings, Natalie said “Oh Me Oh My is a tea house during weekdays and a secluded events space for all manner of wonderful things during the evenings and weekends – the space lends itself perfectly in accommodating various parties and functions. In a funny old way Oh Me Oh My is like LEAF’s older sister - put them both together and you can really see the resemblance. The big sister definitely has a more relaxed and sophisticated offering.”

“We are hoping to bring an independent and creative spirit to the area. Oh Me Oh My offers a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere...” We here at BID give Oh Me Oh My our genuine seal of approval after the venue hosted our brand and ‘THIS Autumn’ launch. With beautiful high ceilings and intricate detailing, coupled with exquisite cuisine and exceptional service Oh Me Oh My really is one of the premier venues in the Commercial District. No need to consult our tea leaves about visiting again – we’re sold. Oh Me Oh My West Africa House 25 Water Street Liverpool L2 0RG

Natalie derives from a family of business people, so that when she graduated from Lancaster University in 2003 with a degree in Business Studies and Marketing, starting her own business seemed like the next natural step. The development of Natalie’s portfolio of venues is something that has progressed naturally “I don’t have a great master plan of expansion, I just want to grow organically just as and when it feels right.” With her latest offering overlooking the Royal Liver Building, the Grade II-listed building was originally a bank and for several years was home to a photography studio. Just last year Leaf started using the space for pop-ups and private parties before Natalie and her team jumped at the opportunity to make it a permanent home. Speaking of the new Oh Me Oh My venue, located at West Africa House, Natalie explains “It was an opportunity that landed on our lap and a building we just fell in love with. We love the beautiful architecture, tranquillity, the proximity to the river and our lovely neighbours.”


let’s debate As you are by now probably aware, either through the multiple newspaper inches amassed or by driving around the city centre, the bus lanes in Liverpool have been scrapped. The controversial move, instigated by Mayor Joe Anderson, has seen 24 bus lanes temporarily suspended for a nine month period in the hope of reducing congestion in the city. But what do you think? Good for the city or bad for business? THIS finds out.

Mayor Joe Anderson “We are only a few weeks into the nine-month trial, but it is already proving to be very useful in helping us gather the data we need. We have received a great deal of feedback - so far more positive than negative - and we will continue to monitor people’s views, suggestions and comments.”

James Tune, Policy Officer, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce “The primary issue is not whether the removal of bus lanes is a good or bad idea; it is how the suspension has been enacted and how the effects of the suspension will be measured. We recognise that the suspension of the bus lanes is on a trial basis, with a consultation period that the Chamber will use to engage our membership. We look forward to consulting our members on this issue and working with Liverpool City Council during the consultation period to ensure that the effects on businesses and their staff are communicated, enabling it to make an informed decision regarding the longevity of the bus lane suspension.”

Howard Farrall, Area MD at Arriva Merseyside “I am disappointed at the lack of any meaningful consultation prior to this proposal. Ourselves and Stagecoach were invited to a meeting with the Mayor at which we were informed of the decision to suspend bus lanes, a decision we made clear at the time we could not support.”



Julie Johnson, Practice Manager, Morecrofts LLP “As a regular commuter into the city, I’ve found that the removal of the bus lanes has helped greatly in calming down rush hour congestion. I do feel that the lanes were confusing for commuters, not knowing what times or days they were in force. There are limited routes into the City Centre and Liverpool has a regular intake of visiting professionals and delegates, as well as tourists. These are the people who tended to find the bus lanes confusing. What I would like to see is more cycle lanes and bike parking facilities, particularly for routes into the business quarter, to make it easier for commuters who choose to cycle to work.”

Joseph Venables, Business Development Manager, Bruntwood “I fully support the Mayor’s office in this trial and look forward to seeing the results. Anecdotally I’ve heard that it’s made a massive difference so far in traffic flows around the city centre. As a company, Bruntwood would like to see a significant investment in cycle facilities including the expansion of cycle lanes to match the investment that’s been made in other leading European cities”.

Paul Moran, Mason Owen “I honestly think it is a good thing. There are still a lot of people who use cars to get into the City Centre for a variety of reasons. For example, they may live in places where transport links to the city are not good or as well as commuting to their place of work, they may need to use their cars during the day for business purposes. These users are important to the life and vitality of the city and I think the imposition of bus lanes discriminated unfairly against them. My view is only compounded by seeing the number of buses that run around the city centre nearly empty, even at peak times. Everybody who works in the city should be treated fairly and I think Mayor Anderson has recognised that by introducing the trial suspension.”


THIS: Thank you both for joining THIS today. Elaine, let’s start off by talking about why you chose the BID to open your second store. EC: The Commercial District was a natural choice for my business - we wanted to create a city centre destination for our brand. We’re a boutique furniture and home interiors store with another store (our first) in Aigburth. We knew we wanted to be in a new area which wasn’t tightly governed and which allowed us to be creative with our own space. I think this is a fantastic up-and-coming area with all the new hotels and businesses opening here. I guess the business district just fitted the bill perfectly and the store’s huge windows really did persuade me to look closer at this building. We also have a great relationship with our landlords who’ve worked with us to make sure it’s affordable to be here – that’s so important for a small business like ours. THIS: Tell us about the type of customers you get here, Elaine. EC: We’ve chosen a superb location for our home store – we’re surrounded by apartments and it’s great for business. We get so many people coming in from the West Tower and the Unity building, obviously. I just think this area is so cool now; it’s trendy, funky and you get a real mixed bag of people. Not to mention all of the professionals that work in this area who like to call in on their lunch breaks to take a look at our latest ranges. One lady came in over a year ago for a look and now she’s back to get her wallpapers and dining range – people can pop in as and when they like, you see. We’ve also brought in new lines of stock with them in mind – hence our cards and gift ranges – little bits that people can pick up for birthday, leaving gifts etc. Not everyone wants to buy a new sofa every day! We’re also seeing more tourists coming into store, having disembarked from the cruise liners - we’re now looking at Liverpool-inspired homeware for 2014 to give them what they want. THIS: and you, Martin? MW: Wilcocks & Associates was initially based over in Heswall from 2005 until 2009 and when the economic crisis came about we decided it was time to put a new strategy in place. The question was this – do we stay in a nice, affluent, west-Wirral village or do we move to a business community where we can roll our sleeves up and really get involved? We obviously chose the latter. THIS: Sounds like it was the right move to make, how did your location affect the way you’ve grown your business, Martin? MW: Well, it’s been brilliant for helping us understand that typically, not always, some financial advisors can get a bit of a bad rep for always trying to push products; insurances, pensions and the likes. We realised quite quickly that there was an awful lot of noise in the marketplace and it was noise we had to listen to in order to shape the way we would promote and deliver our own services. Primarily, we like to work with business owners as they have great vehicles, i.e. their companies, to help them project forward. It therefore stood to reason that if we wanted to have a conversation with, not just throw noise at, business customers we needed to be around them. The BID area was our best bet and it’s worked brilliantly so far being based in the Plaza off Old Hall Street. THIS: How has being around these business owners helped shape the way you deliver your services?

MW: We’ve made some great connections and friendships with business people who we would normally not have had access to. It’s helped us to really hone our core message ‘We really help you, our clients, focus on what you want to achieve with your life, without simply looking at financial products’. Our clients find our approach refreshing and as such, our relationships couldn’t be better, THIS: It seems like you both place an importance on the relationships you have with your clients and customers – are relationships more important than ever for business success? MW: Relationships are incredibly important to us – we wouldn’t have a business if our clients didn’t trust us. Our business owners and private clients work so closely with us as it’s about building their own financial strategies that take them from today up until their 60th or 70th birthdays. We have different ‘service hats’ that we wear so that we are giving clients the right advice, guidance and direction going forward. One of those ‘hats’ is the life planning service – you couldn’t talk in depth with a client about where they are today, how they got there and where they want to go next without having a strong relationship. Plus, we know the better we know and understand our clients, the better we can deliver our services – after all, we’re talking about planning their lives; everything they’ve worked for and are working towards. It’s definitely not a numbers game when it comes to the clients we want to work with. We have to work with the right people and deliver them the right solutions – you can only do this if you actually know your client. EC: We’re absolutely the same. We’re not planning people’s financial investments or pensions, we’re actually designing their homes. To many of our clients, this is equally as important or, for some, even more so. They have to like what we do and love what we create. THIS: Has the area helped you with these relationships? MW: Absolutely. The BID has helped me as my face is on a lot of the lampposts around the area, it’s definitely a conversation starter…’don’t I know you from somewhere?’ EC: I think the area itself helps you meet new people – in fact, one of the best places for networking and meeting new people is The Restaurant Bar and Grill. That place is perfect for connecting with new people – I’ve met many a new customer whilst enjoying a chilled glass of white at the bar! MW: Their Bombay Cosmos are a networkers’ best friend! They’re reason enough to move to the BID area! THIS: Thanks for connecting today and best of luck with your businesses for 2014.



Let’s Remember

When you walk through a storm, Hold your head up high, And don’t be afraid of the dark.

Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain, Though your dreams be tossed and blown.

At the end of the storm, Is a golden sky, And the sweet silver song of the lark.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, And you’ll never walk alone, You’ll never walk alone.

Along with being embedded in the consciousness of Liverpool fans throughout the world, these famous words also epitomise the spirit and character of the man who helped secure the resounding ‘yes’ vote which marked the award of BID status for Liverpool’s Commercial District.

In 2010 however, after a routine eye check-up, Paul was sent to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital for emergency admission after blood tests revealed a dangerously low red blood cell count. Two weeks later he received the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with a mylodysplasia (MDS) – a rare form of blood cancer. After this shock, his reaction typically, was of concern for his family coupled with a complete determination to continue working to secure the future of the Commercial District.

Paul Rice was born and bred in Liverpool. His passion for the region and ambition to do all he could to transform and improve the place and quality of life for those who lived and worked there was infectious. A gifted communicator with extraordinary powers of persuasion and influence, Paul was also regarded as a man of deep integrity, warm hearted with an immense generosity of spirit and a big sense of humour. It is no understatement to say that he lived and breathed for the City of Liverpool. His energy and dedication was legendary; Paul worked seemingly tirelessly but never failed to make time for his family, friends and colleagues and causes that he believed in. One of which was the successful campaign uniting Liverpool and Everton fans to create the Football Quarter, designed to regenerate the deprived areas around Anfield and Goodison Park. Alongside this, Paul was heavily involved in the success of the Spirit of Shankly Group as Vice Chair, Honorary Vice President and former Chairman. As CEO of the Liverpool Commercial District Partnership, Paul spearheaded a number of initiatives which formed the basis of the aims and objectives in today’s BID business plan around making the area cleaner, greener, safer, more business-friendly and likely to attract inward investment. The arrival of the Grand Cirque saw St Paul’s Square transformed, as one of the world’s most famous circus acts drew crowds of thousands into the heart of the Commercial District, putting the area on the map for the first time. Paul was instrumental in helping to secure £3million funding to develop Castle Street; this led to major improvements of one of the City’s most historic and iconic walkways. What’s more, the Partnership’s work over five years involved the creation of over 70,000m2 of new Grade A commercial office space, the refurbishment of 32,000m2 of existing space and the completion of the final 11,000m2 phase of St Paul’s Square. The Partnership was funded by voluntary contributions from some of the region’s largest employers and gained the support of organisations such as Liverpool Vision, Merseytravel, Merseyside Police, and the Chamber of Commerce who helped promote its work. The ad-hoc nature of the funding streams, however, meant despite Paul’s resourcefulness, it wasn’t always possible to deliver results on the scale and within the timeframes he wanted. It was decided that the area needed to achieve BID status and Paul resolved to make it happen.


Whilst under the care of the haematology team at the Royal, he underwent several rounds of gruelling chemotherapy and a painful treatment programme followed by a bone marrow transplant. At the time, the economic climate was rocky. Many people were cynical about the benefits of BID status and believed a ballot win would be difficult to achieve. Undeterred, Paul campaigned relentlessly, making calls, lobbying and writing plans and letters often from his hospital bed. With his ability to win hearts and minds firmly acknowledged by the ballot result, he took on the new role of CEO of the BID with characteristic enthusiasm and delight. A few months later, however, his battles against the infections caused by his illness became more frequent and he passed away on January 21st, 2012 in the Marie Curie Hospice. Over 1,500 people attended his funeral at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Commercial District workers and business leaders, Liverpool and Everton fans, colleagues, staff, family and friends were joined by music and sporting celebrities in a moving celebration of Paul’s life. Those close to Paul would say he would be extremely proud of what has been achieved in the Commercial District. He would also urge leaders to prioritise the progress of the District above politics and encourage workers to support one another, take pride in their City and continue to do all they can to make Liverpool the best place in the world to live and work. Paul was a visionary, an influencer and a true leader. He had such a positive impact on so many. If he could leave you with a guiding thought, it might just be “Work in Partnership and You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Words kindly provided by Geraldine Turner.

Paul Rice 1957~2012



VOCATION VOCATION Commercial District BID is a vibrant, busy and vivacious district of the city – not to mention that the range of professions here is as varied as the people who live, work and play in the area. Vocation, Vocation, Vocation sets out to hunt down those with unusual lines of work, getting to know them and their unusual skills that bit better…

DEVIN STEWART R&H WINES, QUEEN AVENUE (OFF CASTLE STREET) Tucked away in the beautiful Victorian arcade that is Queen Avenue lies R&H Fine Wines. The concept of expert Devin Stewart, R&H Wines is not your average wine merchant. For aperitifs, it’s Liverpool’s only independent wine merchant – a pretty impressive feat, if you ask us. “R&H Fine Wines was born out of a hobby I’d had for many years, which bred into a real passion and knowledge for wines. When Oddbins Wine Merchants closed down, I saw an opportunity worth chasing and went for it. The rest is history and we celebrated our 1st birthday on October 31st with a gala tasting at the majestic Town Hall.” In deciding where to set up his establishment, it didn’t take Devin long to choose the Commercial District; “I love this part of Liverpool. I’d worked in the area before I set up independently and I already knew a lot of people who worked here. In the early days of the business, being based in the BID did a lot to establish our initial customer base.” R&H Wines carries with it a certain type of intrigue and temptation; from the yellowy glow inside to the gold lined traditional sign which swings above the door – there’s something about this place that you just can’t help but be captivated by. It may have something to do with Devin’s penchant for classic and quirky wines lined up on neverending shelves, a lot of which “lean towards the organic and biodynamic” (his words, not ours). Or it may be the fact that the whole establishment oozes authentic and reliable charm (Devin admits to us the whole place was put together from entirely recycled materials for a grand total of £25). Whatever it is, once you’re past the threshold, it’s easy to while away hours reading the handwritten labels on the specialist wines and chatting to Devin. A purveyor of exquisite wines, a warm welcome and the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting a home-grown Liverpool independent, right on your doorstep? Chin chin indeed, bottoms up. WALTER SMITH CRAFT TAILORING, QUEEN AVENUE (OFF CASTLE STREET) From the second we cast our eyes on Walter, we can tell he is a man of extreme sartorial prowess; his suit is the best we’ve seen in a long long time. When we sit down to talk with Walter, tailor extraordinaire of Craft Tailoring, it is clear his expertise is in abundance. Walter starts off by explaining just what ‘bespoke’ actually is and why it applies to his establishment. “Bespoke is an old English word, which comes from tailoring and it literally means to be spoken for. It’s all about word of mouth and building a reputation for yourself, which is exactly what we’ve done over the years.” 62 years to be exact. Craft Tailoring has been a gem in the Commercial District for over half a century; nestled in Queen Avenue amongst fitting cobbled streets and majestic buildings. So how has an independent tailors survived a tremulous number of years against the advent of disposable fashions?


“It’s all about the quality. There is a certain kind of person who wants the type of quality we provide and we’re the people to come and see. We’ve a tremendous range of cloths, fine tweeds, silks, linens – you name it. We can provide anything for ladies and gentlemen, from overcoats to suits – if you find the pattern, we can make it. Our prices also range to suit a number of budgets, so we can cater for just about anybody who walks through our door.”

With a captive audience on his doorstep, the Commercial District seems like the perfect area for a bespoke tailors “Liverpool is a great city and with a business like ours, you need to be in a major city, full of people who need suits; the Commercial District is perfect for that! Whether it’s for day-today, a job interview or a graduation, we’ll create attire worthy of a celebration.” But it’s not just business people who Walter can cater for. Back in 1962, four floppy haired Scousers walked through his door and tried their luck. A lesser known band at the time, The Beatles needed smartening up for their first ever television appearance on Granada and Walt still remembers the blue wool and silk mix suits he made for the Fab Four. It just goes to show a well-tailored suit really can get you anywhere… LAWRENCE ALBRIGHTON MUSIC NOTES, NORTH JOHN STREET A stone’s throw away from one of Liverpool’s most famous music destinations, The Cavern, sits Music Notes – an Aladdin’s cave of printed music and instruments. Music Notes is the creation of Lawrence Albrighton who, after 21 years as Head of Music in a High School and eight as a manager in a music shop, decided to take the plunge and set up his own. So with decades of experience in the music industry, it would be fair to say that you’re in safe hands in Music Notes and Lawrence agrees “A shop like this needs good musicians on the staff. As such, I’m very proud to say that everyone who works here are all avid musicians. I play piano and organ and also sing in a large choir of 170 voices. One of my colleagues plays and teaches cello and another is making a name for himself in his Ukulele group, Ukebox!” Not your average Commercial District establishment, we’re sure you’ll agree. “We decided to base ourselves in the Commercial District because of the busy thoroughfare. For a specialist shop like this being close to the city centre is always a good move - we’re in a prime spot where people work and shop.” When we walked into Music Notes, we were astounded by the range of instruments on show but also the printed music that was available to buy. Lawrence continues “We’ve got over 180,000 titles on our website but there are probably 2-3 million titles we can get. Whether you want a beginner piano book for a five year old child, a complete orchestral set for a professional orchestra or the latest piece of popular music for guitar, we can supply it.” With a collection like that, you can’t help but think all bases are covered – but not for Lawrence. “The only way is up. We’ve got plans to improve on what we do and we’re always looking for ways to make the shop more interesting and more relevant to musicians and anyone with an interest in music.” And it’s that type of determination that is certainly music to our ears… LUCY BYRNE DOT-ART, QUEEN AVENUE (OFF CASTLE STREET) Originally voyaging into the city to study, Lucy Byrne of Castle Street’s dot-art soon set her sights on something a little bit different when she spotted a gap in the market. “I originally came to Liverpool to study the History of Art, mainly thanks to the city’s wide collection of fantastic and internationally renowned visual arts infrastructure organisations. When I graduated, I spent a lot of time meeting people in the industry and kept hearing the same thing – there were just no commercial galleries in the city, meaning artists were struggling to find the right outlets for their work.” This fact, coupled with a desire to do something different is what got Lucy thinking: “I knew I wasn’t the only person out there who didn’t want some generic, mass produced print on my living room wall. I’d always prefer to buy something unique and original from a talented, local artist.”

And so dot-art was born. Having a prestigious Castle Street address within the Commercial District has helped Lucy with her loyal client base and she admits that most of her clients are within walking distance. “As a large proportion of our clients are based in the BID area, it means that we’re always on hand to answer questions or fulfil those last minute requests. The fact that we’re surrounded by such excellent coffee shops means that we’re spoilt for choice if we want to step out of the office for more relaxed meetings! In addition, we’ve always had such great support from the Commercial District BID team over the years.” As well as supplying paintings, prints, photography and sculptures on a sale, commission and rental basis, there is a second arm to the business in the form of the social enterprise offering, dot-art Services CIC. Lucy explains “dot-art Services CIC is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to support North West-based visual artists, both emerging and established, through a range of services and activities designed to help them develop their careers and gain exposure.” But dot-art is showing no sign of slowing down. “We intend to stay in the Commercial District area, whilst growing our corporate client base. My goal is to see locally sourced, original art in every office in the area. We’ve also just announced an exciting new partnership with the Walker Art Gallery, who will be hosting the 2014 dot-art Schools Exhibition, so the growth and expansion of this programme will also be key to the next few years.” dot-art is certainly on a mission and we can’t wait to see the result. CLIFF SIMPSON SUTTONS AND ROBERTSONS, NORTH JOHN STREET You may have to do a double take when walking past Suttons and Robertsons, as the sparkle of the window display is sure to catch your eye. Suttons and Robertsons offer a high-end pawn-broking experience to the business world and where better placed in Liverpool than the Commercial District’s North John Street? Part of the affectionately named ‘Posh Pawn’ trend that’s gripping the UK, the business offers a wide range of coveted items to the professionals and entrepreneurs of the city. We sit down with Cliff Simpson, Manager of the North John Street store and marvel at his 27 year long experience and expertise in all things luxury. “Suttons and Robertsons set up their Liverpool offering in early 2012, but as one of nine stores across the UK, founder T.M. Suttons started out in 1770. I’ve always had an interest in watches and diamonds and have been in the industry since I left school. Over the years, I’ve further developed my valuation skills to include antiques, fine art and silverware.” We ask Cliff how he feels about having that prestigious North John Street address “We’re in a prime spot here – we’re surrounded by affluent professionals whose tastes match the selection of items we have here.” As our eyes wander around the showroom, we can’t help but ask what the most interesting items they’ve ever come across; Cliff’s answer doesn’t disappoint: “Some of the more fascinating and exceptional items we have valued and held as pledges include a 19th Century Russian side cabinet that belonged to Tsar Nicholas II, artwork by Salvador Dali, a first edition X-Men comic – the list really does go on!” In their relative infancy here in the BID, what lies on the horizon for the business? “We want to continue to provide exceptional service to our loyal customers. We can provide £10,000 in cash within the hour and also have the financial resources to loan up to £1 million.” We’re looking forward to keeping an eye on this North John Street gem...  


bid hot sh ts

HELEN DAVIES MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST LIVERPOOL POST AND ECHO “My job involves sourcing news about businesses in the area, carrying out interviews and writing articles. I write for The Liverpool Post and Echo newspapers and websites, as well as for The Liverpool Post Business Daily. This is a new e-edition launched in June this year which features business news from around Merseyside, Warrington and Chester and is available on tablets, smartphones and PCs. Prior to starting here in May I was chief reporter for the Denbighshire Free Press in North Wales and before that I was a digital journalist for the Flintshire Leader. I studied at the University of Manchester and then undertook my journalism training whilst working for M&S Money in Chester. I undertook work experience with the Liverpool Post and Echo when I was at University and had wanted to return ever since. So securing this job was definitely a career highlight – I absolutely love what I do. Through the Post and Echo publications my colleagues and I can help communicate the news that matters to businesses throughout the Commercial District BID. I like to think in our way we’re doing our bit to help local firms grow. The Post and Echo building is situated in the heart of the BID in the middle of Old Hall Street so it’s really quick for me to get to meetings and interviews with people. The BID team work hard to successfully improve the area and create a friendly environment for everyone working here. This is beneficial to us because the more businesses that choose to locate and develop here, the more good business news stories we have to bring to our readers.”

This edition we’ve headed into the District to meet some of the talented professionals that are helping our area go from strength to strength. Whether they are new to the BID or have been here a while, have started a new job or have climbed the ranks, these people have achieved great things so far and take it from us, these are certainly the ones to watch. Moving? Yes. Shaking? Certainly. Ladies and gentlemen let us present our very own BID Hot Shots…

SARAH HUBBARD CLUSTER SALES MANAGER INTERSTATE HOTELS GROUP “I am a mummy to 2 beautiful girls aged two and five - I spend the majority of my days juggling work and a busy home life. I worked in America for 11 years, having started my career as a Sales Executive in a busy sales office working my way up the ladder within IHG and then ending my career with IHG as a Regional Sales Manager after 8 years. I took a job with Hilton Hotels in America, again as a Regional Sales Manager before relocating back to the UK in April 2010. After returning to the UK, I worked as the Director of Sales at the Radisson Blu in Liverpool where I worked closely with the Commercial District and was a part of the initial BID process. Working in America as a Regional Sales Manager allowed me to travel the whole country and experience a different culture – a lot of which has helped shape the way in which I work. Interstate is located in the heart of the Commercial District and we aim to be a location that can help drive new companies, with the strength of our brand to the Commercial District. We offer discounts to LCD members and are keen to be a part of such a strong community. The majority of our customers during the week are corporate clients and due to the increase in businesses locating to the Commercial District, this can only be a benefit for us and the city as a whole. I would definitely like to stay within Interstate Hotels as it is a growing international Hotel Management company and one I can see myself with for a long time to come.”


GEOFF PARKER MANAGING DIRECTOR BLUE OCEAN SEARCH “I’m a Southerner who is proud to have relocated 11 years ago to such an amazing city like Liverpool. I run a new and vibrant search engine marketing agency focusing on increasing search engine visibility through high quality content. After graduating from the University of Liverpool studying Engineering I went straight into online sales. I was one of the original three Directors at Click Consult growing them from three to 105 members of staff in seven years. I then took an MD position at a search marketing agency in London before realising that I could do a better and more efficient job in Liverpool off my own steam. Blue Ocean Search was then created specifically to help SMEs ranging from start-ups to £20 million turnover with their online marketing strategies. I’ve lots of career highlights, although one of the best when, through a combination of multi-channel marketing offline and search engines, I helped a client go from a bedroom business to one of the UK’s most notable brands. Not bad, eh? Our plan is to assist as many SMEs as possible with their online marketing. Search engines are the most direct way of tapping into consumer demand and we want to help new and established businesses create more awareness of their services through the web.” ANGELO DI MINICA OPERATIONS MANAGER CITY WINE BAR “I was born in Italy and moved to Glasgow 19 years ago. My role as Operations Manager at City Wine Bar involves looking after the venue’s branding; establishing it as a place to be seen in Liverpool. I’m responsible for the overall performance of the wine bar and its marketing – the two very much go hand in hand. I was approached in Glasgow by one of the City Wine Bar directors after they noticed my performance in Viva Brazil Glasgow. I took the chance to come to Liverpool as a challenge for both my personal satisfaction and most of all, my professional growth! During my time in Glasgow I worked and managed a variety of sites, ranging from 5 star luxury resorts, 6 star cruise liners and my final role was launching and managing Viva Brazil Glasgow. I have been very lucky as my career has allowed me to meet so many interesting people and visit some of the most beautiful cities in the world. My career highlight to date definitely has to be my appointment at City Wine Bar as Operations Manager and I’m really enjoying the challenges that my new role brings. I am also proud of my achievements at Viva Brazil Glasgow. After a very successful opening, I was responsible for driving the unit to become one of the most popular venues within Glasgow’s restaurant scene. City Wine Bar gives people the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a wide selection of food and drink in a relaxed environment. The food menu, available from 11:30am through until 9:00pm each evening, boasts honest home-cooked, classic dishes with a Liverpool twist, presented as small plates, deli planks, large plates and grills. All food is freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients, by a team of great local chefs. It’s the perfect combination really! As for the future? My plans are to really establish City Wine Bar firmly on the Commercial District BID map, becoming an established favourite for food lovers and wine and cocktail connoisseurs alike. Oh and my quest to explore Liverpool that bit more - I can’t wait!”

GENIENE REESE MANAGING DIRECTOR PROMINENT PROFILE “I’m a freelance Sales and Business Development Manager for various clients around the city. I work mainly with lifestyle clients, getting them noticed and making their profile well, more prominent! On a personal level I’m a music-loving, platform-shoe-wearing gig-goer who hates cleaning and sprouts. I started off my career working in credit control and debt recovery before going on to do sales in recruitment, magazines and radio - in fact if you name it I’ve pretty much sold it! I even had a stint of selling artwork door-to-door when I was in Australia, which I don’t recommend as a career choice! These days I focus on business development and public relations – I leave the art to the experts like dot-art! A career ‘highlight’ was selling deckchairs on the beach in Australia - I strive to do it again someday! I am passionate about making connections and making things easier for my clients – I pretty much have a career highlight every day. No two days are ever the same. I really enjoy being based in the Commercial BID (Martin’s Bank building on Water Street). It works well for my business being so close to so many other firms, the majority of which want to grow – which, of course is where I come in. Plus, I am just a stone’s throw away Gourmet Coffee in Exchange Flags to help fuel my often 12 hour days. 2014 is looking to be my best year in business so far. I have some fantastic clients here in the city including Signature Living’s Titanic Hotel opening on James Street, which is going to be sensational. I can’t wait to start spreading that news. And who knows what will come next - the world awaits!”


JAMES DUNNINGHAM, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR AT HEALTH@WORK “Confidence is always key” begins James. “Confidence is what builds businesses and it’s what makes investments in new products and markets – it’s what keeps the city ahead of the game.”


James is Operations Director at Liverpool-based charity Health@Work and has held his post there for just over a year. Being at the helm of a company that strives to make Liverpool a healthier place is no mean feat but James has had his fair share of experience to prepare him for his current role. As Operations Director at Health@Work, James has seen his influence as a Changemaker emerge as a result of the development of his work at the organisation. In the past year alone, James has introduced new products to Health@ Work, such as corporate health checks, which give employers a clearer idea of the wellbeing of their staff. Additionally, James has led the organisation to become an example of best practice, with an invitation from Public Health England to lead a national health and wellbeing project. By putting Liverpool at the very forefront of workplace health, James really is making a change for the better – so why has he chosen this city to make his impact? “Liverpool isn’t just a great place to do business - it’s a great place to live. Let’s face it – we go to work and strive for success largely to build a good life for our families but what would be the point if you didn’t really love the place you live?” But as with any other great city, the past five years has seen Liverpool face some real challenges. “The past five years has seen some very tough trading times and periods of really low consumer confidence. We’ve got a great opportunity now to make real changes within the city through the work we can do with the International Festival for Business – this is a great chance to position Liverpool as the power city we most definitely are. The trick is in the confidence…” MARIA BRESLIN, DIGITAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR AT TRINITY MIRROR MERSEYSIDE


ommercial District BID is proud to be home to some of the most influential and powerful business leaders in the city. These are the people who get up earlier than everybody else, people who lead beyond their authority, never take ‘no’ for an answer in order to push their organisations forward whilst transforming our city – we call them the Changemakers. THIS met with a handpicked bunch of BID professionals in the luxurious surroundings of the Radisson Blu Hotel to find out more… 20

“I don’t think I chose Liverpool – really it chose me.” Digital Editor of Trinity Mirror, Maria Breslin explains to us how she came to Liverpool to study French at University and never really left. “I’m a naturally nosy person so journalism was the perfect career choice! I’ve been extremely lucky to travel widely, covering some of the biggest national events of the past 15 years or so. The Lockerbie Bombing trial stands out – though nothing has mattered more than reporting on the Hillsborough families’ long and painful fight for justice.” Maria has been a part of the Trinity Mirror team, the firm behind The Liverpool Post and Echo publications, for years, but only in early 2013 was she appointed as their Digital Editor – a position she’s not taking lightly. Maria explains “I really enjoy my job and I’m prone to bouts of 'workaholism'. Leading the digital division of Trinity Mirror is a huge honour and I’m really looking forward to helping drive our digital-first newsroom.”

The leap from print to digital is a large one and as such, the primary reason we saw Maria as a Changemaker in her field. A prevalent role, albeit one in its infancy, we quiz Maria on her priorities and what we can expect from our beloved Liverpool Post and Echo – Maria is quick to answer “My priorities over the next 12 months are growing the papers’ audiences and therefore their relevance. The appetite for news is now greater than ever before but people just choose to consume it in different ways. Through our print product, website, app and e-editions we’re reaching a bigger audience now than we have done for almost 30 years.” The Liverpool Echo in particular holds a special place in the hearts of thousands of Scousers across the city, even the world. One could argue it’s become synonymous with everything the city and its people stand for. “I’m quite a driven person - I take pride in my work and can be, at times, a little competitive. I guess I’m motivated by the genuine belief that what I do can make a change. Liverpool is such an easy place to live but still retains a certain edge and unpredictability. It’s my job to ensure we’re giving people what they want, when and where they want it. I hope the city itself continues to grow over the coming years and that more and more people can share in its success.” GERRY PROCTOR, CHAIR AT ENGAGE LIVERPOOL CIC When you think of Gerry Proctor, you’d be forgiven if you can’t quite pinpoint his exact day-to-day job role because it’s so varied. To begin with, Gerry sits as the Chair of three key organisations in the city: City Quay Management, the Michael Causer Foundation and Engage Liverpool CIC. His role in each of these is as important and varying as the last - we’ll focus on the latter. Born out of a real enthusiasm and determination to make a difference, Engage Liverpool CIC is a social enterprise that has been designed to make a real change to the lives of the apartment residents in Liverpool city centre and waterfront. So why Liverpool? Gerry explains “It’s my home. Although I’ve lived abroad and travelled widely, I’ve always felt that this city is the place that I want to give myself fully to. As well as this, it’s important to remember that Liverpool is always evolving.” As we chat with Gerry, we start to understand the importance he puts on collaboration. “Being a member of the BID has significantly affected the work we do in that the BID is concerned not only with the interests of the business community, but also recognises the importance of place making and wants to involve residents in the process. We want residents in the city to have a combined voice so collectively we can bring about change on the issues that matter” We quiz Gerry further on this – just how does he think Engage has positively affected changes for the business community and residents of the Commercial District area?

“I’d like to see Engage Liverpool develop a business model that can be shared widely with other cities around the country. In Liverpool I’d like see a wider acceptance, especially among policy makers, of the critical importance of the quality of life agenda for city centre living. Until then, we keep pushing forward!”” JENNY STEWART, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT LIVERPOOL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE From early memories of standing on a beer crate pulling a pint of Guinness aged 3 to racing to Number 10 Downing Street at 6:58am so as not to miss her 7:00am call time for Margaret Thatcher, you could say that Jenny Stewart has led a varied career. However, sitting with us now is a composed, professional Jenny, now the Chief Executive at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. “I’ve worked everywhere from B2B and B2C sales to direct marketing and retail. One highlight that springs to mind was opening a retail shop in the newly built Stansted Airport and finding myself curtseying to HM the Queen when she formally opened the airport.” “Be determined is what my mother always said! It was a great saying she always had and it’s become a bit of a mantra that I stick to. I was born in Wirral and live there today. The city of Liverpool is the life blood of the region and its where I absolutely saw myself working. I am privileged to work at the most prestigious address in the Commercial District, Number One Old Hall Street – one of the founding streets of Liverpool.” So at the heart of Liverpool’s Commercial District, how has the BID helped Jenny and the Chamber? “The BID has helped develop a sense of business and community in the area and helped us promote a great business brand for Liverpool. As a whole, we’re more business-focussed and less insular and we’re looking beyond the present into the future to grow our city’s businesses more than ever before.” Now we’ve understood the changes in Jenny’s own career, we pry a little deeper and understand the actions she’s made as a Changemaker within the Chamber. To begin with, Jenny is at the helm of an organisation which is responsible for supporting the development, growth and sustained economic viability of its members and the wider business community of Liverpool City Region. Jenny knows the importance of change in order to simply survive and has has worked hard to make sure the Chamber is as relevant as ever. “We now allow our members to hot-desk, meet and do business in the Chamber; connecting them to the right support which helps them meet their objectives. We’ve changed to meet the evolving needs of our members and our new International Trade Facilities absolutely echo the direction we are heading in - always on the lookout towards the future. Providing the right business gateway for so many members to further themselves, both professionally and economically is no mean feat – especially when we have 1,500 + companies. That said, we’re one of the oldest organisations in the city and we certainly mean business.”

“Engage Liverpool has recently delivered an amazing seminar series on Liverpool Waters; bringing both national and international figures to debate the opportunities presented by the Peel proposals. We’ve created a space for serious conversation, dialogue and respectful listening where city centre residents can reflect with experts about the future direction of the city and most importantly, have their say. With over 120 people at the second seminar we are clearly meeting a need – our residents definitely want and need to be heard” We can certainly see the change that Gerry and Engage Liverpool is pushing forward but we want to know what else is on the cards.


Thomas Rigby’s, 23-25 Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 2EZ

Lady of Mann, 19 Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 2EZ

There’s something special about Rigby’s that once you’ve been, you’d go back again and again and again. It’s an interesting place. It’s a welcoming place. It’s somewhere that if they were ever going to do a British version of Cheers, Rigby’s would be up there in strong contention. The place has character, and indeed it has characters. When we arrived, the first people to greet us weren’t the bar staff, it was Big Mick and Little Mick who, without sounding too clichéd, were absolute gentlemen.

The Lady of Mann is owned by the same brewery as Rigby’s, but thankfully that’s where a lot of the similarities begin and end. The food is different, the décor is different and whilst some of the bottles may be the same, thankfully the three casks they have on at any given time are unique to them.

We met the Manager, Fiona Hornsby at the bar and we were greeted with the magical words any ale lover wants to hear ‘what can I get you lads?’ We each went different ways – one ale and one lager - but both equally delicious. We got chatting with Fiona, and asked her; ‘why do people come to Rigby’s?’ “What we do is get the basics right and do them very well – do that and you’ve a fantastic pub. I’ve got great people serving great ale – from our cask to our bottles there’s always something new and interesting to try. There’s a great atmosphere and there’s a real mix of people. If you come in at lunch time, it’ll be a totally different group of people that would be in here of an evening. But the best thing I love about this place is you can make of it what you want – you can really make it your own’. We couldn’t have agreed more! They’ve never got any less than 4 cask ales and 40 bottled beers from around the world, a food menu that shouts ‘home cooking’ and from the second you walk in, you feel welcome. Whether you’re there for a working lunch, watching the footy or a quiet drink after work, you’ll always be glad you went to Thomas Rigby’s, where some people know your name (well they do now). Darren had a pint of Okell’s IPA. Ed has a pint of the Portabello Pilsner (cask).


Before we walked in, we both reminisced about first time we stepped foot in the Lady of Mann – which strangely we both remembered. It’s probably the same for many people because, you don’t find this pub – you discover it. You’re shown where this place is by someone who has also been shown to it. It’s part of the story, part of the charm and is something we both really like about ‘The Lady’. We got speaking to the Landlord, Matt Haycox and asked him what made the Lady of Mann so popular “We’ve got our own identity, which is hard these days when you’re a brewery pub. We get to choose a lot of what we sell, the way we manage the pub, that kind of thing. We’ve got a very stripped down menu (you’ve got to try their charcuterie!!! The Lady of Hamm menu is perfect with ale), we’ve got sports, great beer and great service – so the basics of a good pub are there. What makes us really different is the atmosphere – it was a conscious choice to be known for playing good music. The team bring stuff they’ve heard on their travels, our customers bring in CDs by bands we’ve never heard of, but what they think we’d like and the Friday and Saturday night Jazz bands are some of the best in the city.” If you’ve never been, do hunt it down on Dale Street - we urge you to go. Take someone new with you because we can’t think of any better place to wind down with a pint – feel free to bring your own soundtrack. Darren had a pint of Jaipur. Ed had a pint of Artamentus (Big Hand Brewing Company).

Strolling through the Commercial District BID on a cold Wednesday in November, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was almost that wonderful time of the year (no, not that one. We’re taking about Winter in general, of course). Your thoughts turn to getting warm, staying warm and hibernating somewhere warm. Now, for our two roving reporters, there are few things they enjoy more on a winter’s evening than embracing the cosy, atmospheric warmth to be found in a humble public house. For this, the first edition of BID Wiser, ale fans (we tried to call them connoisseurs, but they were having none of it) Ed McIver and Darren McLeod have sampled four of what we think are some of the best British pubs in Liverpool. Here’s what they had to say...

Lion Tavern, 67 Moorfields, Liverpool, L2 2BP

The Cornmarket, Old Ropery, Liverpool, L2 7NT

Just north of Moorfields station, bordering the Commercial District, you’ll find a very fine pub indeed; The Lion Tavern, a cosy pub that oozes charm and tradition. From its mosaic tiled floor, the rich mahogany and cut glass bar with its serving arch ways, to the roaring fireplaces it truly is a place from another time.

Our last stop on the BID Wiser tour was The Cornmarket. Tucked away on Old Ropery, it is a quiet corner of immense local importance. This is one of Liverpool’s oldest pubs, and is as much a part of Liverpool’s local history as the Three Graces, the Liverpool Post and a hearty bowl of Scouse. For this was a place where every man was an everyman – barristers rubbed shoulders with journalists who rubbed shoulders with the recently acquitted.

Dating back to the Victorian times and remodelled back in the early 20th Century, the Lion Tavern is a charming protected inventory pub boasting a fine selection of cask ales and a menu of up to 80 whiskies (Darren was particularly happy with the single malt selection). As soon as we entered we were welcomed and guided directly to the Lion’s heart, a grand carved timber bar. The bar staff instantly made us feel welcome and with an extensive knowledge of the products on offer directed us to try a pint brewed exclusively for them. As our pints were being poured we ordered two hand raised pork pies. These things were massive and we spent the first couple of minutes figuring out if we’d bitten off more than we could chew and then how on earth we were going to devour them. We took our time enjoying our speciality pints and pork pie chasers whilst talking to the patrons and soaking up the atmosphere. If you use Moorfields for your commute home or you’re passing and fancy getting out of cold into somewhere warm and welcoming, we strongly recommend the Lion for that ‘one for the road’. After all, it can be a jungle out there. Darren had a pint of Dizzy Blonde. Ed had a pint of The Lion (brewed exclusively for The Lion Pub).

Now, it is a pub that celebrates this heritage and wears it proudly upon its walls. There’s cladding that was taken from old spoils of war, there’s stories from ‘the old boys’ who have been frequenting the Cornmarket for 50+ years and there’s an atmosphere that has a warmth about it you get from a good country pub. Speaking with Dwayne Smith, you get a sense of how important the history is to the Cornmarket: “The Cornmarket has been here since the 1700s and in my view, it always will be here for people to enjoy. It has survived recessions, changing fashions and even aerial bombardment. This is a pub that has a quiet place in local history and it’s this heritage we want to bring to life. We want people to come here and discover something whilst having the best food and drink we can serve. It’s a personal thing, you know, because we’re a proper public house – this is my house and I want to welcome everyone that steps through the door.” The choice on the pumps caters for a variety of tastes – there’s familiarity with good quality lagers and bitters as well as 4 cask ales on at any time. The menu is designed by their new head chef, local food hero, Ben Hough; who has pioneering the best of local produce for years. Calling the Cornmarket ‘best of British’ doesn’t do it justice because, in our opinion, it is one of the very best of the best! Darren had a pint of the guest bitter. Ed had a pint of Deuchars IPA.


A Taste of Spain in the Commercial District



If Trip Advisor was anything to go by, and it was Spanish cuisine in Liverpool you were after, you would probably find yourself in La Viña. Luckily this time Trip Advisor got it right, La Viña if anything, actually warrants more than its impressive 4 star review. And so let’s embark on the tale of what was a truly fulfilling culinary experience. Nestled on North John Street lies a slice of Spanish decadence, a restaurant that wouldn’t go amiss in the Barri Gòtic of Barcelona or La Latina in Madrid; a restaurant which somehow encapsulates the splendour and simplicity of a Mediterranean dining experience in the middle of Liverpool. From the moment you approach La Viña, you are welcomed by the aroma of paella cooked in a traditional pan wafting into the street in a subtle bid to entice hungry passersby; much like the proverbial moth to the flame, we were hooked.

the marinated ribs to the succulence of the pork cheeks, each morsel was an utter joy to the taste buds. This explosion of flavour wasn’t limited to the meat options; there was also a diverse range of dishes on offer to the vegetarians amongst us. The Croquetas de Espinacas was a particular favourite combining goat’s cheese and spinach in breadcrumbs, whilst we also opted for the delectable Berenjenas, grilled aubergine with tomatoes and piquillo peppers.

To accompany the food we opted for La Viña’s signature drink; Sangría. The traditional Sangría was everything you needed it to be; thirst quenching yet packed a punch. After finishing our first jug, we were urged to try something slightly different, Sangría with a twist if you will. The brainchild of head barman Joaquín Franco, (Quino for short) the Strawberry Cava Sangría was what could only be described as a fiendish treat; a We were welcomed by Assistant Manager treat because that’s exactly what it was, fiendish because it’s easy to lose count of Jed Hull, now very much a veteran of how much you’ve actually consumed. It’s his trade; Jed exudes passion for what safe to say the drinks flowed, healthily he does, more importantly this passion mind you. – often associated with Spaniards – is married with knowledge. With this in Having good quality, tasty food and an mind we were more than willing to take expertly created drinks menu is only half on Jed’s recommendations and they the battle if it’s not combined with great certainly did not disappoint. service and an amiable environment then it’s all for nothing. Luckily for us it was Now I am an individual who enjoys a in this arena that La Viña excelled even good portion of food; because of this further. Restaurant manager, Carolina, I am often unsure about Tapas dishes, however, come the end of the meal I was was as passionate about the environment pleasantly proven wrong. We opted for 10 she was creating as she was the quality different dishes, some from the set menu of the food she was serving. This was and some from the specials menu which made evident by the way she spoke about the wine tasting events she holds to the changes fortnightly - all of which were menu testing she puts on for her regular perfectly portioned. customers. Jed’s recommendation of Panceta All in all, our visit to La Viña was (pork belly on homemade crisps and genuinely a great experience, from the peppercorn sauce) was both tasty and moment we stepped through the doors innovative; the combination of crisps with the pork was a pleasant experience. to the moment we left. It may not be a late night dinner on the veranda of a villa His other recommendation of Montado Lomo (marinated pork loin with Catalana overlooking the Mediterranean, but it was sauce) also proved to be a popular choice definitely the closest we’ll get to that in Liverpool. amongst our party. Both dishes were from the specials board - the creation of head chef Jesús Guijarro López; a student of engineering and a lover of food made North John St evident from his talent of creating Liverpool unique dishes that are meticulously put Merseyside together. L2 5QY 0151 255 1401 Quality ran throughout the entire dining experience; from the tenderness of

In THIS Autumn we offered one lucky competition winner the chance to review the wonderful, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse. Here’s how Jacquie Gemmell of Keepoint enjoyed her prize… “On Saturday evening I was warmly welcomed into the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse based in Hotel Indigo, situated round the corner from Moorfields station. I’ve won a meal for two as part of a competition ran by The Commercial District BID in their THIS Autumn publication – delighted is an understatement.

10 Chapel St, Liverpool, L3 9AG 0151 559 0555

We were presented with 2 drinks of Candy Floss Martini?! Needless to say my guest and I were not too sure what to expect but as the waiter came over and poured the drinks in front of us they looked amazing! The Martini glass contained a ball of candy floss which the waiter poured the liquid over, leaving the candy floss to slowly dissolve in the glass. It was sweet but tasted great.

We were given a selected menu for that night, I did find it hard to choose something at first as I don’t tend to try new things, however for my starter I selected the Parsnip and Appleby Cheshire


Tell us about yourself: I am General Manager of the Thistle Liverpool City Centre, Atlantic Tower, and have been in the city for almost three years. I am also an active member of the Liverpool Hoteliers Association and a keen city networker, through BNI and numerous other organisations, including the Commercial District BID. I have fallen in love with this great city and am very proud to be a part of its growing visitor economy. Tell us about what your role at the Thistle Liverpool, Atlantic Tower entails: As well as overseeing the day-to-day running of the hotel, I have responsibility for setting the strategy for the business and delivering to our sales and revenue targets. I also lead and motivate the team to deliver exceptional guest service and ensure the physical property is developed and maintained. Liverpool is an interesting and dynamic market, and it’s my role to ensure we understand it and maximise the opportunities that exist within it. That is all well and good but at the end of the day it’s about consistently exceeding our guests’ expectations, delivered by a happy and engaged team. Without that there is no business. Tell us what makes Thistle Liverpool, Atlantic Tower so unique: The Thistle, or locally known as the Atlantic Tower has 40 years of history in the city, and we have embraced that whilst carrying out extensive refurbishment to the property. Our location is a real “Stand Out” for us, with spectacular views across the Liver Buildings and the Pier Head from our restaurants, bars and most of our bedrooms. Superfast free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel makes us a great location for business meetings. Most of all I believe it’s the team who really stand out. They are largely local, love their city and are proud to be a part of the hotel, and that reflects in our service levels.

Cheese soup and my guest chose the Ham Hock Terrine with Watercress and Raisin sec. The food came within 10 minutes and it was simply delicious! This definitely gave me more confidence to be more adventurous with my food choices in the future. For the mains I chose the pan-seared Pork Fillet with Pomme Anna and Spring Cabbage and my guest picked the 8oz Rump steak that came with Confit Tomato, Reap Chips and Sauce au Poivre. We were both very impressed with the presentation of both meals and it didn’t touch the sides! Delicious! The steak was cooked perfectly and my pork was well cooked and juicy. We had a small rest before deciding on pudding, both opting for the White Chocolate mousse and Red Berry Compote. It was perfect and just the right amount - the perfect way to finish off a fabulous meal. Overall the staff were brilliant all night; friendly and very attentive, the venue felt welcoming and I would definitely recommend this place for a meal out. A massive thanks to the team at MPW Steakhouse at Hotel Indigo for a night we’ll both remember.”

Alistair Risk Tell us about your involvement with the Night Time Economy Group: It’s been great to engage more with the local commercial district businesses and the development of the Night Time Economy Group has made a real difference. The Commercial District, by its very name, suggests it’s all about business, but there is so much more to offer in terms of entertainment and social activity, so I am pleased that the BID has increased the profile of these elements. Tell us about the advantages of being part of the Night Time Economy Group: I think the marketing that is being generated for the area and the opportunity to participate. The collective ‘clout’ that being a recognised group gives us when addressing issues with the city, and of course engaging much more with local businesses to progress our mutual opportunities. What does the future hold for Thistle Liverpool? There are many developments in the pipeline for the city for which Thistle Liverpool is well placed to capitalise on. Our focus though will remain on delivering a well-hosted, engaging service to our guests, whilst ensuring we embrace new technology to meet our ever changing guest needs. We have been at the heart of the Liverpool hotel community for 40 years, and intend to stay there for some time to come.



HardDaysNightHotel @HDNHLiverpool Just finished reading the @Lplcommdistrict magazine #greatread #itsliverpool #lovethedesign

Malcom Kennedy @CllrKennedy @Lplcommdistrict #THIS us. Get involved members! #itsliverpool well done @Agent_Marketing too

OliveLiverpool @OliveLiverpool Great evening @Lplcommdistrict Launch last night! #welldone #THIS

Amity Blue @AmityBlue_ Congrats to @Lplcommdistrict for last night’s great launch at @OhMeOhMy_Liv – Well done @Agent_Marketing Another fab campaign.

Rebecca Keegan @Rebecca_Keegan Great to see so many familiar faces both on screen & in person at the @Lplcommdistrict launch last night #welldone #THIScampaign.

Water Street @waterstreetmc Great to be at the #THIS @Lplcommdistrict event tonight, the desire to succeed as a community so much part of our reason to be on Water St

Geraldine Turner @geraldine445 @Agent_Marketing @Lplcommdistrict congrats on a fab event last night great turnout and atmosphere really good to catch up with everyone too x

Gary Millar @garymillar Well done to @Lplcommdistrict for launch of new look and message tonight. Glad I caught the end of the event

Trinity Mirror @helenafdavies Congrats to @Lplcommdistrict on launch of new look today @Agent_Marketing @OhMeOhMy_Liv #itsliverpool



Morecrofts Solicitors organised Liverpool’s first Independent Business Awards which took place at The Black-E. The event saw 300 guests enjoy a three course dinner before the 12 awards were presented by City Talk’s Mick Coyle. The awards were launched by BID member, Morecrofts, one of Merseyside’s oldest independent law firms, to mark its 200th anniversary year.


TO FEATURE YOUR BID EVENT IN OUT & ABOUT, PLEASE EMAIL HI RES IMAGES TO INFO@THECOMMERCIALDISTRICT.COM THE LILY CENTRE CHARITY BALL THE NEWZ BAR, THURSDAY 3RD OCTOBER 2013R 2013 The Newz Bar hosted The Lily Centre Charity Ball on 3rd of October. Hundreds of guests were treated to champagne on arrival & delicious canapés - one lucky winner even won a £895 Burberry bag. The entertainment was provided by X Factor stars Christopher Maloney & Marcus Collins who wowed the audience with fantastic live performances.



Celebrate Christmas at Hotel Indigo with a festive meal from £25 per person. Fancy your Christmas day lunch with us? It’s £70 for adults and £35 for children for a 3 course meal. Or bring in 2014 in style with us in our Marco Pierre Steakhouse for £70 per person. Hotel Indigo 10 Chapel Street, Liverpool, L3 9AG 0151 559 0111

THE ATLANTIC TOWER BY THISTLE Fri -Sun Complimentary bottle of wine when 2 people dine from the restaurant menu. This is thistle Thursday. 25% off all beverages 4-7pm in the Vu Bar and Terrace Commercial District BID members can enjoy 25% off all Food & Beverages anytime. The Atlantic Tower by Thistle Chapel Street, Liverpool, L3 9RE 0871 376 9025I


Join us for lunch with our special offer of 2 courses for £11.95, available every Thursday and Friday in December and January. Etsu Restaurant 25 The Strand, Liverpool, L2 0XJ 0151 236 7530


Celebrate Christmas at La Vina from £19.95! Late bookings are still available but places going fast! Beat the January blues with La Vina, we are offering 50% off all food in the month of January. La Viña 11-15 North John Street, Liverpool, L2 5QV 0151 255 1401


Celebrate your Christmas party Brazilian Rodizio style at an award-winning Viva Brazil restaurant! Enjoy unlimited food including 15 different cuts of meat from a charcoal BBQ carved at your table! Prices start from £17.95pp. Viva Brazil 34 Castle Street, Liverpool, L2 0NR 0151 236 8080


It’s not just about food and drink at Slug. Our experienced party-planners are on hand to make your party one to remember. Choose from a range of entertainment options, such as a fun casino and magicians. If you’re feeling creative, learn how to mix a Bacardí mojito and shake an Absolut cosmo at the Slug cocktail school, with expert tuition from one of our bartenders. Slug and Lettuce Watson Prickard Building, North John Street, Liverpool L2 4SH 0151 236 8820


Celebrate the arrival of weekend at The Bank Bar and Brassiere with ‘Friday Fizz’. We are offering a 33% discount off Champagne and Prosecco and the chance to be entertained by our house musician, Louise Harper (as seen on X Factor and The Voice) The Bank Bar and Brassiere 5 Brunswick Street, Liverpool, L2 0UU 0151 236 5346



We are open 5 days a week, Monday-Thursday 7am-4pm, Friday 7am-7pm where you can purchase a Peroni and a Panini for just £5.50. Bean @ Exchange Station Exchange Station Tithebarn Street Liverpool L2 2QP


Do you fancy escaping from the cold and getting away from the crowded shops? Then look no further than the Hard Days Night Hotel, where you can enjoy Winter Warmer Afternoon Tea for £23.95 per person. 5 Brunswick Street, Liverpool, L2 0UU 0151 236 5346


Pre-order 4 bottles of wine with the Christmas menu and you will get the 5th free. Hosting an event? It’s free room hire on Saturdays and Sundays. City Wine Bar & Kitchen City Buildings, 21-23 Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9BS 0151 294 3344

FILINI, RADISSON BLU’S RESTAURANT Festive Afternoon Tea packages from £9.95. Put the Sparkle into Christmas - Christmas Parties Thursdays £35 per person, Fridays & Saturdays £39 per person. Filini, Radisson Blu 107 Old Hall Street, Liverpool. L3 9BD 0151 966 1500


Garlands Saturday: Bedlam Saturday. Every Saturday, enjoy superstar DJs, Avant Garde entertainers and flamboyance. Garlands Carlton Hall, 8-10 Eberle Street, Liverpool, L2 2AG 0151 236 3307


A fantastic Christmas Offer of a 3 Course meal with ½ bottle of wine or 2 beers for just £14.95 per head Tuesday to Thursday & £19.95 Friday & Saturday. Newz Bar 18 Water Street, Liverpool, L2 8TD 0151 236 2025


Christmas. It’s all about the kids, really, isn’t it? But the month before it isn’t! No, no! That’s about your Christmas night out! Laughterhouse has Christmas comedy and meal deal packages to suit every budget – starting at just £15 per person. The Slaughter House 13-15 Fenwick Street, Liverpool, L2 7LS 0151 227 5946


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Commercial District BID 0151 233 4733 Twitter: @Lplcommdistrict Facebook: /TheCommercialDistrictBID If you have any queries about the magazine or want to feature, please email

THIS Winter Commercial District BID publication  
THIS Winter Commercial District BID publication  

Liverpool's Commercial District BID publication.