Liverpool asks Govt for £200m project boost

The city council has asked Government to help fund developments, including a new cruise terminal and the next phase of the £1bn science and technology hub Paddington Village, as part of a £1.4bn Covid-19 economic recovery plan. 

Liverpool City Council said yesterday that its five-year roadmap to shore up the city’s economy, which took a battering during the pandemic, will help position it as a global gateway city in post-Brexit Britain.

As part of the 178-page strategy, the council is requesting £200m to fund pipeline construction projects and more than £267m for apprenticeship and skills training programmes. 

If delivered, the programme could create 25,600 jobs, 12,000 of which would be in the construction sector.

The report identified more than 25 “shovel-ready” projects that would benefit from Government support. These include plans for 1,500 homes at the Festival Gardens site, and Liverpool John Moores University’s plans for a Science and Technology Innovation Centre as part of its Copperas Hill expansion in the Knowledge Quarter.   

Plans to retrofit 4,000 homes, as part of a “community wealth building” programme, also feature in the roadmap. 

The report focuses on four themes – innovation, housing, employment and creativity and sets out a strategy for growth in each to help drive the Liverpool and wider UK economy in future decades.

The plan will go to the council’s cabinet for endorsement next Friday. 

The proposal, which Liverpool City Council hopes will “prevent a socio-economic crisis deeper than the 1980s recession”, was co-authored by economic consultancy Metro Dynamics. 

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has already slammed Whitehall’s financial support to Liverpool during the coronavirus pandemic as a “disgrace” and claimed the city region has a £137m funding black hole as a result.

The plan has the backing of key figures from Liverpool’s commercial, legal, financial and cultural sectors, including Liverpool FC chief executive Peter Moore, Dame Janet Beer, vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, and John Godfrey, corporate affairs director of fund manager Legal & General. 

Festival Gardens

Plans for Festival Gardens would see the construction of 1,500 homes

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The Covid-19 lockdown has left cities like Liverpool in a state of economic paralysis and the option of doing two things: wait for events to unfold or take action. Liverpool has acted.   

“Liverpool has undergone a renaissance over the past two decades and we are not about to let momentum slip.”   

He added: “The return on investment [from our proposals] is huge – a stimulus package that will not just benefit Liverpool, but also the region and the country.” 

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of KQ Liverpool, added in an emailed statement to Place North West: “Liverpool is a global brand. A city regenerated by culture, the creative industries and tourism and increasingly powered by its knowledge economy.  

“This plan focuses on our strengths and will position Liverpool at the forefront of UK’s economic recovery.” 

This week, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority also called for funding support from Government. The authority’s 10 councils claim to have a combined deficit of £368m as a result of additional expenditure and loss of regular income due to Covid-19. 

“Without urgent support, this funding crisis will engulf local government and endanger the vital services that councils provide to the people of Greater Manchester,” said Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. 


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