A £320m Investment Zone that could create up to 4,000 jobs in Liverpool city region to be kick-started by an £80m Government cash injection. Tony McDonough reports
England’s second Investment Zone has been given the green light in Liverpool city region with an £80m Government cash injection.
First announced in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget in March the Investment Zone will be focused on the life sciences and pharmaceutical sector. It could leverage £320m of private funding and create up to 4,000 job over the next five years.
Liverpool, Runcorn, St Helens, Maghull and Prescot will be the areas covered by the zone. US pharmaceutical manufacturer TriRx is making an initial £10m investment as part of the initiative.
This will go towards immunotherapy research at its Speke biotech facility, which it acquired in April 2022. It will enhance its capabilities to manufacture monoclonal antibodies.
This is a type of immunotherapy that works by blocking certain diseases from affecting healthy cells. It is used to treat diseases including cancers, arthritis and skin conditions.
Similar to the LCR Freeport, which was launched earlier this year with £25m of Government funding, the Investment Zone will benefit from a range of interventions. These include skills, infrastructure and tax reliefs, depending on local circumstances.
As part of the project the Government will work with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, University of Liverpool and other local partners to co-develop the plans for their Life Sciences Investment Zone.
This will include agreeing priority development sites and specific interventions to drive cluster growth, over the summer, ahead of final confirmation of plans.
Local Government Minister, Lee Rowley said: “Investment Zones will drive growth across the UK. For Liverpool city region that means over £300m of private investment and 4,000 new, well-paid jobs.”
As well as delivering jobs and driving economic growth, investment zones will be used to help provide new housing in areas of need.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added: “Our area is fortunate to play home to world-leading clusters in life science research and innovation, which support thousands of secure, well paid jobs and training opportunities for local people.
“I am incredibly proud of what our region has achieved in the sector – but this is just a down payment on my future ambitions. I want us to go even further and establish our region at the forefront of UK science and innovation.
“With a potential £310m worth of investment and thousands of local jobs on offer, it is clear that this is an opportunity worth exploring.”