Liverpool physical training college

History

From industrial revolution to the digital age

We can trace our roots back to the Industrial Revolution. In 1992, we became one of the UK’s new universities, taking our name from one of Liverpool’s great entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Sir John Moores. Our current incarnation as a modern civic university demonstrates that we haven’t lost the pioneering zeal of our founding fathers and like them, we still believe that ‘knowledge is power’.

The making of a modern university

The most remarkable feature of our history is the coming together of a wide collection of institutions and their associated academic subjects. Today, we are Educate North’s 2017 University of the Year and our strategic plan outlines our ambitious plans for the future.

Watch this animation and take a trip back through time to find out more about our fascinating story.

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Sir John Moores (1896-1993)

The University is named in honour of Sir John Moores, a true visionary and shrewd successful businessman, who founded in 1923, and headed until 1982, what was then the UK’s largest and most profitable privately owned company, Littlewoods, comprising retailing, mail order and the football pools.  

Based in Liverpool, the impact of the family business was immense, and in 1987 the Polytechnic recognised Sir John’s outstanding contribution to the region’s business and community life by making him its first Honorary Fellow.

His philanthropic and cultural legacy is reflected in the biennial John Moores Painting Prize, established in 1957 to recognise the best contemporary painting in the UK. The University now collaborates with the College of Fine Arts in Shanghai University on the biennial John Moores Painting Prize (China) competition, which allows Chinese artists to complete a month-long residency at our Liverpool School of Art and Design.

Sir John’s eldest son, John Moores Jr, served as the University’s second Chancellor from 1994 to 1999, succeeding Henry Cotton. His eldest daughter, Lady Grantchester, was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2015.