A panel of business and political leaders will come together to maximise the impact of economic recovery funding across the Liverpool city region following the coronavirus crisis. Tony McDonough reports
Business and political leaders and Government officials are to form an ‘economic recovery panel’ to kick-start the Liverpool city region as it emerges from the coronavirus crisis.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will chair the panel which will comprise business leaders, representatives of central government and national bodies, council leaders and members of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP board.
It will aim to maximise the impact of economic recovery funding to help individuals, businesses, third sector, public and community organisations to “build back better” in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Mr Rotheram said: “I am doing all I can to help local businesses to survive in the here and now, but it’s important to begin planning for how we best rebuild and grow after the coronavirus.
“I am launching the Liverpool City Region Economic Recovery Panel to bring together experts from a range of sectors to help our region’s business and voluntary maximise their share of the funding they need. It will also give our region a single, united voice to lobby Government for the funding and programmes that we need.
“Before this pandemic struck, the Liverpool City Region had the fastest gross value added (GVA) growth in the whole of England, at 3.5%, and well above average productivity growth.
“We can make a huge contribution to national economic recovery but we know that the scale of the challenge is such that we will need major support from Government.
“This panel will enable us to gain a clear understanding of national funding so we can maximise its impact across the city region, while making sure that national funding programmes understand and reflect our local needs.”
LEP chair Asif Hamid will establish a challenge group to engage with the city region’s recovery plan. The group will assure that it is sufficiently directed towards becoming a globally competitive economy and that its overall ambition is sufficiently high.
It is expected that the panel will meet regularly, initially monthly, for the next 12 to18 months. Combined Authority officers shall staff the Panel. Their work shall link closely with member local authorities.
A proportionate number of senior officers from both the combined authority and its local authorities may participate in the meetings as appropriate.