The Maritime Knowledge Hub will be a high-level industrial and maritime facility, supporting the region’s £5bn maritime ecosystem where research and innovation will focus on making the most of the incredible opportunities that decarbonisation of the global $3trillion maritime sector brings. The Hub will also include business accelerator space and conference facilities for both the marine sector and the local business community.
The Maritime Knowledge Hub, won through an international design competition, will be an architectural landmark and is set to be one of the most important parts of the entire Wirral Waters regeneration project, which will drive economic growth and job creation to the Liverpool City Region and beyond.
Set within the existing 19th century Hydraulic Tower building and Engine House, originally designed by Jesse Hartley’s son, John Bernard Hartley, as a copy of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the Maritime Knowledge Hub project will breathe new life into the building.
Our design team has worked to maximise the sustainability of the project whilst retaining as much of the building’s original character as possible, complementing the iconic tower with the creation of a new 4 storey extension to accommodate some of the country’s most famous and innovative maritime organisations. The facility will be industry led and will drive research and innovation by bringing education, businesses and Government together within the maritime sector.
Support for the sector is critical to the economy – with a direct turnover of £55billion, and an overall economic impact of £116bn to the UK, the UK’s maritime sector contributes more than rail and aviation combined.
The world leading research and innovation within the Maritime Knowledge Hub will have a particular focus on the decarbonisation of the maritime industry as well as technology transfer from other industries. It will also bring education, employers and businesses together to drive innovation and research within the marine and maritime sectors.
Wirral Council granted planning permission on 14th March 2023 after the application was submitted in May 2022. Project partners include Peel L&P, Mersey Maritime, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Wirral Council, alongside a number of industry partners.