Steve Rotheram’s Green Investment Fund is part of a larger £25m Urban Development Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund. Tony McDonough reports
Renewable energy projects in the Liverpool city region will soon have access to a new £10m fund.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram unveiled the fund on Wednesday as part of his drive to create a zero-carbon city region by 2040. His Green Investment Fund is part of a larger £25m Urban Development Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
The Low Carbon sector already contributes more than £2bn to the Liverpool city region’s economy, employing more than 22,000 people in 1,400 companies. It is also well set to become the UK’s renewable energy coast, with one of the largest concentrations of off-shore wind turbines in the world, in Liverpool Bay.
Speaking at the New Statesman Northern Powerhouse Conference in Leeds, Mr Rotheram said: “We are rightly planning for the long term and a zero carbon future, but we have to take urgent action now. Climate change is real, as are the health risks of poor air quality, particularly for the most vulnerable members of society.
“Across the world, innovative policies like a ‘Green New Deal’ are being discussed because progressives recognise the urgent need to act. In my manifesto I pledged to create a Green Investment Fund to help the City Region meet my ambition of becoming zero carbon by 2040.
“I can confirm today that proposals will go before the Combined Authority on March 8 to create a £10m fund to invest in renewable energy projects and support our shift towards a low carbon economy. This extra investment will help us capitalise on existing position as a leader in renewable energy and support more high skilled green jobs in our region.”
The Combined Authority has also established the Mersey Tidal Commission to look into ways of harnessing the power of the River Mersey as a source of clean, renewable, predictable energy for generations to come.