LETTER : Making of a world city

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The Independent Online
From Mr Chris Farrow

Sir: As the former London Docklands director and presently the chief executive of Merseyside Development Corporation (MDC) - erstwhile owners of the Albert Dock in Liverpool - most of Paul Barker's points in his article "London calling: help!", 3 January) seem to me to be wide of the mark.

Much of MDC's investment is actually devoted to mainstream industrial development. Only 2,000 of the 15,000 new jobs we have generated in our area, are tourism and leisure-related. Liverpool and Merseyside's revival is due to its strong mixture of commercial, industrial and leisure sectors.

I have no doubt that Southwark's National Lottery win of a new Tate Gallery at Bankside will produce the same positive outputs that the Albert Dock's Tate Gallery in Liverpool produced. Nevertheless, we should not lose sight of the fact that Henry Tate was able to endow this great institution with its seedcorn not from a lottery win but from the proceeds of his enterprise and industry trading and refining sugar from Liverpool. In order to buy these lottery tickets, most people will have to continue making things to make money. My advice is that London should actually pay more attention to the lessons successfully learned by Britain's many hard-pressed northern cities which have not been as well supported by Government or the lottery as London. Reinvent industries and skills - don't throw them away.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Farrow

Chief Executive

Merseyside Development

Corporation

Liverpool

4 January

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