First light for the Liverpool Telescope was in 2003. The telescope is now in the mature phase of its life cycle, with a strong record of high-impact papers in leading scientific journals and a stable instrument suite. It is expected that the telescope will remain scientifically competitive until at least 2020. However, the next generation of time domain survey facilities, such as the 8-metre LSST (science first light in 2021), will push the transient discovery space to fainter magnitudes. Now is therefore the right time to begin planning for the Liverpool Telescope successor facility.
In 2012 LJMU committed £200,000 to a two-year feasibility study for LT2. The development of the science case began in September 2012, along with internal discussion of design concepts, potential partners and funding avenues. The LT2 science case and white paper was published in 2015, and in 2016 a formal Memorandum of Understanding was signed between LJMU and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the two initial project partners; to begin the second phase of the project: the detailed design which will lead to the start of construction in approximately 2018. We anticipate first light for Liverpool Telescope 2 around 2021-22, to coincide with the commencement of science operations for the next generation of facilities such as LSST and SKA.