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The city of Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary.
Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpoolians but are also known as "Scousers", in reference to the local meal known as 'scouse', a form of stew. In 2007 the city celebrated its 800th anniversary, and in 2008 it holds the European Capital of Culture title together with Stavanger, Norway.
Built across a ridge of sandstone hills rising up to a height of around 230 feet (70 metres) above sea-level at Everton Hill, these represent the southern boundary of the West Lancashire Coastal Plain.
Like the rest of the United Kingdom the city has seen a large growth in the service sector, both public and private. Government offices include parts of the National Health Service, Revenue and Customs and Home Office agencies such as the Criminal Records Bureau and the Identity and Passport Service, formerly the UK Passport Agency. Private sector service industries have invested in Liverpool too with major call centres opening in recent years. The activities of the port have left the site with a communications infrastructure that had for a long time exceeded requirements.
Growth in the areas of New Media has been helped by the existence of a relatively large computer game development community. Sony based one of only a handful of European PlayStation research and development centres in Wavertree. The first professional quality PlayStation software developer's kits were largely programmed by Sony's Liverpool 'studio' – the console has since become one of the World's most successful consumer products ever.
Tourism is a major factor in the economy and will be of increasing importance in the run up to the Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture. This has led to a great increase in the provision of high quality services such as hotels, restaurants and clubs. The buildings of Liverpool not only attract tourists but also film makers, who regularly use Liverpool to double for cities around the world and making it the second most filmed city in the UK.
Car-manufacturing also takes place in the city at the Halewood plant where the Jaguar X-Type and Land Rover Freelander models are assembled.
Liverpool's main shopping area is Church Street, lying between Bold Street to the East and Lord Street to the West.
The docks are central to Liverpool's history, with the best-known being Albert Dock: the first enclosed, non-combustible dock warehouse system in the world and is built in cast iron, brick and stone.
The area around William Brown Street has been labelled the city's 'Cultural Quarter', owing to the presence of the William Brown Library, Walker Art Gallery and World Museum Liverpool, just three of Liverpool's neo-classical buildings. Nearby is St George's Hall, perhaps the most impressive of these neo-classical buildings. Also in this area are Wellington's Column and the Steble Fountain.
Liverpool is internationally known as a cultural centre, with a particularly rich history in popular music (most notably The Beatles), performing and visual arts. In 2003, Liverpool was named a European Capital of Culture for 2008, the other site being Stavanger, Norway.
Liverpool has a strong history of performing arts which is reflected in its annual theatrical highlight The Liverpool Shakespeare Festival which takes place inside Liverpool Cathedral and in the adjacent historic St James' Gardens every summer, and in the number of theatres in the city.
Liverpool has three universities: the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University. Edge Hill University, originally founded as a teacher-training college in the Edge Hill district of Liverpool, is now located in Ormskirk in south-west Lancashire.
Liverpool is associated with a variety of sports, most notably football, but also a number of others, such as basketball, county cricket, speedway, boxing, swimming, rugby, lacrosse, parkour or freerunning.
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