Liverpool – the UK’s 2nd City?

I paid a visit to Liverpool this week. It's a city I don't know well, but I came away even more convinced it is clearly the second most interesting, exciting and impressive city in the UK (after London which is of course the greatest city on the world by any objective measure), and ranks highly by pan-European standards. That's one of the signs of a procurement "anorak" by the way - you immediately start thinking about the evaluation criteria, weightings etc. for choosing your "best" city!

Liverpool has amazing buildings, the sea, great social life, and a spirit that is pretty unique.  It's not often a taxi driver stops the clock having delivered you back to your hotel at midnight and engages in a 20 minute discussion about his meeting with Nils Logfren's wife and daughter, Springsteen, the Beatles industry... all because I mentioned I liked music!


Here's one of those great buildings - the Liver Building - home to what was Buying Solutions, now the Government Procurement Service.  They are of course the UK government’s central buying agency, and I paid them a visit to see how they are coping with the changes in role and operating model following the new centralized procurement strategy in central government.

I'll be writing more shortly, but for the moment let’s just say they are going through one of the most challenging procurement change programmes I think I have ever seen. I came away with a lot of admiration for what they're doing and how they’re approaching it - and a couple of concerns (on their behalf) about what they’re taking on. But stay tuned for more detail to follow.


And here are the marble Victorian urinals in the Philharmonic public house, perhaps the most beautiful pub I've ever seen. (It was this or the picture of my friend George at the bar – but then you might have got the idea we'd had a beer or two..)  I should say we had earlier been in one of the strangest pubs I’ve ever frequented as well… even if it was where the very young Beatles used to chill out between sets at the Cavern Club.

If you haven't spent time in Liverpool, I can strongly recommend a city break. And a few pubs.

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