Rotheram unveils £150m COVID recovery funding 

Steve Rotheram and Joanne Anderson were sworn in as Metro Mayor and Liverpool Mayor respectively on Monday and Mr Rotheram unveiled a £150m pandemic recovery boost. Tony McDonough reports

Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram. Picture by Tony McDonough


Newly-re-elected Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram says he has secured a £150m cash injection from the Government to help with recovery from the pandemic.

On Saturday, Mr Rotheram Steve Rotheram secured a convincing victory in the election for the role, securing 132,000 votes in the first round of voting from voters in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens.

On the day before, his Labour colleague Joanne Anderson also won her election to become Liverpool’s first black female elected Mayor. On Monday she pledged to pick a cabinet that will include people from inside an outside politics.

READ MORE: ‘Work with us,’ business leaders tell New Liverpool Mayor

Speaking on his first Monday back in his office Mr Rotheram said that the next tranche of the Combined Authority’s devolved gainshare funding would “form the bedrock of our COVID recovery fund”.

In his election manifesto, Mayor Rotheram promised that he would secure £150m in funding from government and use this to create a city region COVID recovery fund to create jobs and support businesses as the region emerges from the pandemic. This new investment is expected to formally be confirmed by Government in the coming days.

However, his biggest funding challenge will be in persuading the Government to provide the £1.4bn he believes is needed to support his Building Back Better economic recovery plan. He claims the cash would leverage a further £9bn in investment.

“I promised people that if they put their trust in me again, that I’d get to work straight away on rebuilding and improving our region after COVID,” said Mr Rotheram. “I’m delighted say that after talks with Government we are set to receive this new funding for the city region.

“This is new money that will help us get a jump start on our recovery ahead of the rest of the country, investing in projects that will power our economy and creating and safeguarding jobs, and delivering much-needed hope to people and businesses across the region.

“But this is just the start of my ambitions. This money will underpin hundreds of millions of pounds in investments from other funds from transport, to skills, to housing.

“I’ve just received an overwhelming mandate from the people of the Liverpool city region and I’ll be using it to press the Government to invest in our Economic Recovery Plan, which would deliver nearly £9bn of benefit to our region and create over 120,000 jobs.”

Joanne Anderson
Joanne Anderson on her first day as Mayor of Liverpool. Picture Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council


Ms Anderson also took office on Monday as she was sworn in as Mayor of Liverpool in a ceremony at Liverpool town hall. She is hoping to draw a line under the turmoil of the last few months that has engulfed the city. This included high-profile arrests as part of the police’s ongoing Operation Aloft investigation and the damning Max Caller report into the running of the council.

She told the the Liverpool Echo: “ Regardless of the investigation I would be picking my own team. I want to give people a chance and I will be asking councillors if they have particular interest or experience that might make them right for a role – but yes I’m going to pick my own team, that’s always been my goal.”

She added: “I think the hospitality sector, the visitor economy and how we recover over the next year is really important and I might consider some external expertise in a short-term role, I think that could be really important for us. Audit and governance is something else I would consider in terms of external voices, although I’m still considering this.”

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