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    Changing Leadership in Peripheral City Region Development: The Case of Liverpool's High Technology Sectors

    Anderton, DK (2017) Changing Leadership in Peripheral City Region Development: The Case of Liverpool's High Technology Sectors. Local Economy, 32 (4). pp. 352-373. ISSN 0269-0942


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    This article examines the effects of changing place leadership when developing knowledge-intensive industries in a peripheral city region. This study examined the video games and life sciences industries in Liverpool City Region. Both have an established presence in the city region and are key to the city region’s knowledge economy strategy. Few studies have examined why different types of regions experience diverse path-dependent development. By tracing the two high technology sectors back to their conception it has become apparent that the most significant developments have been between 2005 and 2015. During this period, the city region saw increased public intervention and underwent institutional change. The analysis highlights that the public and institutional leadership in the city region prior to 2010 managed to reinvigorate the industrial base and increase R&D capacity in the high technology sectors and develop institutional assets to sustain growth in the region. The change in leadership post-2010 highlighted the life science industries dependence on public leadership and support, compared with the video games industry. There are still issues within the city region’s labour market and concerns around the underdevelopment of soft infrastructures post-2010. If these sectors are to be resilient, policymakers need to improve the transition between leaders in regional development so that best practices and soft infrastructures are inherited, maintained or improved. Additionally, policymakers should also plan for the long-term engagement required when developing high technology sectors such as life sciences in peripheral city regions, where pathways to market carry uncertainty and demand for a highly qualified labour market is increased. The evidence is derived from 58 primary qualitative interviews with firms’ owner-managers and supporting institutions at a local and national scale. Secondary data both qualitative and quantitative have also been used to supplement the analysis and inform the broader context.

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