Shaun and Tillie’s work in responding to the consultation on a new paragraph 197 in the NPPF, relating to equalities, heritage and the legacy of the slave trade has prompted a desire to find out more. An overdue team get-together provided the ideal opportunity to head to Liverpool for an afternoon out to do just that, superbly organised by Becky, guided by Callum and Cal – both former students in the city. Team RJP was joined for the afternoon by Ted, who recently completed two weeks’ work experience with us, and Chris Hargreaves (Start Advisory) who runs our Instagram feed.

We began with lunch at the Albert dock to sustain us for a busy afternoon as we headed towards the International Slavery Museum. Whilst making our way to the museum, we discussed Liverpool’s expansion and how the economy was driven by the port’s role in the slave trade. The story told by the museum is an illuminating and sobering experience.  Across the city centre, there are numerous reminders of the impact the trade had on the fortunes of many in the city from ship owners to merchant suppliers. There are streets named after the most notable (increasingly notorious) individuals who profited as well as engravings of slave ships on iconic buildings – powerful reminders of how, prior to the abolition of the trade in 1807, much successful commerce in the UK came at the expense of lives elsewhere.

To round up the trip, we made our way to Albert Schenke on Hanover Street for some refreshments and a well needed catch up. Here we were joined by Martin Clarke for an exploration of all things infrastructure planning. It was so good to see everyone together and we’re looking forward to more of this as the year unfolds.