Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool, c Jorge Percival on Unsplash

LCR Connect will provide high speed connection Liverpool City Region. Credit: Jorge Percival on Unsplash

LCR Connect to boost Liverpool economy by up to £1bn

Liverpool City Region’s much-awaited 214km gigabit-capable full-fibre network is now fully operational, and set to transform broadband connectivity.

LCR Connect is a joint venture between Liverpool City Region, project lead ITS Technology Group, and construction company NGE.

The £30m joint venture set to boost economy by up to £1bn.

It is designed to significantly improve connectivity for businesses, providing faster, more resilient, and competitive broadband solutions and will support internet access for schools and other organisations, making the city region among the best-connected areas of the UK.

More than 350 LCR firms have connected, with another 400 already signed up. More than 28,000 businesses and organisations have access to the network.

The network is now fully live and already making a huge difference to local businesses, such as the M&S Bank Arena, where it played a key role in delivering the Eurovision Song Contest.

Mayor Steve Rotheram has heralded a new digital era for LCR businesses as he celebrated completion of the area’s flagship project.

He sees it is a huge part of his ambition to make the city the most digitally connected region in the country.

Rotheram said: “Since I was elected, I’ve been on a mission to transform our region into the most digitally connected area anywhere in the country. Today that vision is one step closer to becoming a reality.

“The hallmark of any modern, 21st century city region like ours is how it connects people with opportunity.”

He added: “LCR Connect will help us to create thousands of high quality, secure jobs and training opportunities for local people, attract inward investment and ensure that our businesses can keep pace in an increasingly digital world. Best of all it is half owned by us, the public, so we can reap the rewards of this investment for years to come.

“Our infrastructure has already been put to the test with global cultural events like Eurovision – but this is just the tip of the iceberg of what LCR Connect is capable of. Thanks to devolution, we’re creating a better-connected, more digitally inclusive future for our 1.6m residents.”

Experts estimate LCR Connect will deliver an initial £105m boost to the local economy and that, with 100% full fibre coverage across the city region, the economic boost could be worth up to £1bn, creating thousands of local job and training opportunities.

The network has been built and rolled out by construction partner NGE, and will provide more than 28,000 local businesses and organisations with access to switch from copper lines.

LCR Connect completion event Feb , LCR CA, P LCR CA

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram (third from left) pictured with colleagues from the LCR Connect joint venture between the Combined Authority, ITS and NGE, celebrating the project becoming fully operational. Credit: via LCR CA.

Scott Bicknell, managing director of NGE, said: “It’s a monumental achievement to see the LCR Connect network fully operational, a true testament to the power of collaboration and forward-thinking.

“This isn’t just about technological advancement; it’s about knitting our communities closer together, enabling social connectivity on an unprecedented scale, and laying the groundwork for substantial economic growth across the region.

“The impact of this project will resonate for generations, driving innovation, attracting investment, and enhancing the quality of life for all. NGE are ecstatic to have played a pivotal role in this transformative journey, marking a new era of connectivity and opportunity.”

Cllr Paul Stuart, Leader of Wirral Council, also Liverpool City Region’s combined authority portfolio holder for digital and innovation, said: “It is brilliant to see so many businesses and schools already benefitting from connection to this fantastic network.

“Now the network is 100 per cent live I am very confident that, as word gets around about the benefits of this amazing asset, which we own 50% of, we’ll see more and more businesses and educational establishments signing up to take advantage.”

LCR Connect doubled Sci-Tech Daresbury’s internet capacity and future-proofed connectivity for more than 150 science and technology businesses based on the campus.

A 10-gigabit connection for Baltic Creative is providing ultrafast broadband for more than 100 companies based at the Liverpool hub for digital and creatives.

The network supports the Mayor’s target to invest 5% of regional GVA on R&D by 2030 – nearly double the government’s national target.

Your Comments

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“Thanks to devolution, we’re creating a better-connected, more digitally inclusive future for our 1.6m residents.”

Steve, don’t be shy. Why don’t you call those 1.6m residents what they are – Liverpolitans! Give us a proper identity and stop beating around the bush. Someone had to say Merseysider for the first time. That’s just how it works. The buck stops at you right now to do this!

By LiverpolitansUtd

Re. LiverpolitansUtd: GMCA never refers to its residents as Mancunians, or Greater Mancunians, and there would probably be a massive row between the 10 councils if it tried. Not wasting time thinking up names for people who neither want nor need them has not stopped GM powering ahead as the engine of devolution. In fact, its probably helped…
In terms of the original article, it’s good to see the LCR thinking outside arbitrary boundaries and making sure Daresbury is fully connected.

By Naming Rights

He talks the talk , but he`s still no nearer telling us when he can sort out e-ticketting on Merseyrail, people want updates not just on this but other issues as well.
When will we get a planning application in for the Baltic Station, also how are you going to spend the £700m from the government for transport improvements? Tell us.

By Anonymous

1.7m residents.

By Jeff

Until the Liverpool city region develops a proper world renowned identity and has an adjective and a noun that be used in practice, it will continue to be castrated. If you don’t wish to use a name then don’t use it. Others may want to. The LCR has an opportunity to outdo GMCA on that front. GM have also had 50 years of Manchester in their county title. Liverpool has to catch up – and fast. Grab it with both hands.

By LiverpolitansUtd

Fabulous news

By Anonymous

It’s alright with these headlines but families are living in poverty. Sort the poverty out. It’s a disgrace.

By A.moore

Is there any background/detail as to how or where the £1 billion boost to the economy comes from? It would be good to understand the facts behind this.

By Bill

@Feb 26 , 11.29pm, the regional mayors, nor the city councils, can’t resolve all the issues relating to poverty. Poverty can be addressed by job creation and the city region needs to attract jobs as well as encourage their creation, however when you get the likes of Castore leaving the area due to lack of talent , or whatever,then you get dispirited. Improving broadband connectivity has to be a step in the right direction, and the more people who are attracted to live in Liverpool means more council tax, more spending in shops and bars, more wealth, and a more confident outlook.

By Anonymous

@A.More this is the whole point of investment to create jobs to bring down poverty like all cities .

By Realist

Approaching the end of the first financial quarter and no news of big projects breaking ground still in Liverpool.

By Anonymous

@Feb 27 1.49pm, yes little happening development-wise, ok Littlewoods Studios remediation underway but much more to do yet. Meanwhile nothing on Pall Mall, the Cruise Terminal, Transport projects like more Merseyrail stations or reopening the Wapping Tunnel……it’s all silence.

By Anonymous

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