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A new drone technology “test and development area” is to be created in Liverpool in a bid to put the city at the forefront of the sector.

The initiative – dubbed Phoenix I – aims to address concerns around urban logistics, the environment, security, and the wider community, in order to create a clear pathway for the operation of drones throughout the city.

The project has been headed up by the Drone Major Group, a drone consultancy firm, in association with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Liverpool hopes the area will help accelerate the commercial viability of the drones in the city and will also help address other goals such as its decarbonising agenda.

Steve Rotheram, the metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said the area was a “digital powerhouse”.

“We have the world class infrastructure, expertise and ambition to be leaders of the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.

“This project will deliver new jobs and investment and will attract people to our area not just to work but to study too, knowing that we are working on cutting edge and exciting projects such as this, as well as ambitious plans in everything from digital infrastructure and tidal power.” 

Robert Garbett, founder of the Drone Major Group, said the technology represented an “unprecedented growth opportunity”.

“The potential for this unique collaborative initiative is vast. It enables cities, regions and industries to achieve their potential and will create an overwhelmingly positive impact on UK, and indeed world economic growth through enhanced commerce, employment, skills, education and decarbonisation,” he said.