Government has approved the creation of a statutory combined authority for the Liverpool city region, set to be in place from 1 April 2014.
The combined authority will not replace the six existing local authorities but serve as a collective body to bid for extra funds and devolved powers in certain policy areas including transport and housing. The first combined authority in the country was created in Greater Manchester in March 2011.
The Government is supporting the Merseyside proposal by starting the legislative process of laying Orders in Parliament. This follows on from a meeting with the City Region's MPs in Parliament this week.
It will provide clear leadership and greater transparency, while creating a legal entity which would be in a position to attract funding and devolved powers from Government.
George Howarth, MP for Knowsley, said: "This is an opportunity that must be seized if we are to secure jobs for our residents and growth for our businesses. The Combined Authority for the Liverpool City Region will provide the platform for councils and businesses to work together for the good of the City Region as a whole."
The member authorities will be the councils for Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral, Sefton and Liverpool.