A new plan to grow the value of Liverpool city region’s exports to £11.8bn by 2030 is launched by economic development agency Growth Platform with the US a major target. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool city region’s new Freeport could help push the value of exports to £11.8bn a year by 2030, according to economic development agency Growth Platform.
It has launched the city region’s Export Plan as part of International Trade Week. Liverpool city region businesses currently export goods and services to more than 100 countries every year. And the US is one of the countries identified as having big potential.
Growth Platform is joining forces with local chambers of commerce, the Department of International Trade, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the city region’s six local authorities to push this figure even higher. And the new Freeport will be central to the strategy.
Shortly to go live with £25m from the Government, LCR Freeport is one of eight new English Freeport zones set up by previous Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Freeports are designated zones where many normal tax and customs rules do not apply.
LCR Freeport will operate across multiple locations. Its primary customs sites are the Port of Liverpool in Seaforth and at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. It stretches to Port Salford at the other end of the Manchester ship canal.
There will also be three tax and customs sites – Wirral Waters, the £100m Parkside scheme in St Helens and the 3MG multi-modal terminal at Widnes. It will also encompass other industrial and logistics sites.
LBN understands the first Freeport site is likely to be at Liverpool Airport. And, speaking earlier this year, LCR Freeport director John Lucy said investors across the world are already showing ‘phenomenal interest’.
As an Atlantic-facing port city, the US is by far the Liverpool city region’s largest trading partner, accounting for £1.1bn worth of exports. With the next largest market Germany at £468m, and China at £351m.
The city region has a strong exporting profile within the automotive, manufacturing and chemical industries. There are also significant future opportunities within the advanced manufacturing and health and life sciences sectors.
Janice Mears, head of business growth at Growth Platform, said: “While there are businesses in the region already taking advantage of exporting, we want to work with companies in the area to help them expand further.
“The region’s Export Plan can help organisations with starting to trade internationally, help existing exporters reach new markets, mitigate risks, and reduce costs. We’re really excited to work with local businesses to help them make the most of the area’s potential, and make ‘Made in Liverpool city region, sold to the world’ a reality.”