More than 18,000 jobs will be created in Liverpool city region due to Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s £313m Local Growth fund which has leveraged more than £500m in investment. Tony McDonough reports
More than 18,000 jobs are expected to be created and more than £500m invested across Liverpool city region due to Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Local Growth Fund (LGF).
On Thursday, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) £313m had now been committed from the LGF to almost 200 projects in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton. This had leveraged an extra £225m investment.
Around £170m of private sector investment has been generated so far with 7,766 jobs already created, the CA said. Projects include the redevelopment of Kirkby Town Centre, Liverpool’s City Centre Connectivity scheme and the construction of a new train station at Maghull North – the first new station on the Merseyrail network in a generation.
Mr Rotheram said: “I’ve always said that devolution was about doing things differently and taking control of our own destiny. By taking power, money and decision making out of Westminster and putting it in the hands of local people, we can build the fairer, greener future we want for our region.
“The difference we’ve made through the Local Growth Fund is testament to that. In just a few years we’ve invested more than £300m in every part of our region, creating nearly 8,000 jobs and helping more than 11,000 people gain new skills. By 2025 we will have created 18,000 jobs and generated an additional £225m worth of investment in our economy.”
The Government awarded a total of £313m over three Growth Deals to the Liverpool city region between 2015 and 2021 for capital projects that will benefit the local area and economy. The funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and then invested through the CA’s Strategic Investment Fund.
Completed projects backed by the fund, included:
- Halton Curve – £13m for vital track and signalling upgrades allowing the curve to be brought back into full use.
- Maghull North –£10.7m delivered a new railway station including 156-space car park with blue badge and motorcycle parking facilities, as well as cycle storage.
- Silver Jubilee Bridge – more than £5m has enabled major upgrade works to Steelwork and decking as well as improved infrastructure and signage.
- Knowsley Industrial Park – more than £4m enabled highways works to improve accessibility to the Knowsley Industrial Park area. This included facilitating access to cycling and walking facilities, as well as public transport improvements.
- Wirral STEM Centre – £2m created a state-of-the-art health campus on the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone.
- Skills Capital Programme – £50m investment in 81 capital projects at 23 colleges and learning providers across the Liverpool city region.
Asif Hamid, chair of the LEP, added: “Developing the Growth Plan in 2014 was the first step in devolving resource and responsibility in return for local economic leadership – and I am pleased that the LEP was at the forefront of this opportunity.”
Ongoing projects supported by the LGF, include:
- Liverpool City Centre Connectivity – £37.8m (out of a total £40.2m CA investment) is supporting Liverpool City Council’s ongoing scheme for the city centre.
- Shakespeare Rail – £7.4m to deliver wayfinding and accessibility improvements between the Shakespeare North Playhouse site, Prescot Town Centre, Prescot Rail Station and Knowsley Safari Park.
- Kirkby Town Centre – A £13m investment supporting a redevelopment scheme for the town centre.
- Hythe – £3m invested in Hythe, previously called 1 Tower Road, a new, sustainable, office building in Four Bridges area of Wirral Waters.