Liverpool picks projects for first SIF allocations

Forty three projects are to go on to the next stage of assessment in their bids to win funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Single Investment Fund.

Part of the city region’s devolution agreement with central government, the SIF is its key funding tool and could see more than £458m invested in projects over five years.

Seventy eight applications, with a total cost of £279m, were received in this first round of bids, variously categorised as:

  • Business Growth & Sector Development, £68m
  • R&D, Innovation, Skills, £22m
  • Regeneration, Development & Culture, £96m
  • Transport and Infrastructure, £57m
  • and Housing, £36m

Of the 43 to make it through, 32 projects will be asked to make a business case for further consideration on funding by the Combined Authority in the coming months. Eleven projects will be supported in seeking alternative funding sources.

The full list of 43 projects was not released. A sample was provided in a briefing note, as follows:

  • 3,000 new homes at Halsnead Park, Moss Nook and Knowsley Lane
  • £15m flexible business growth fund
  • High growth business programme
  • Support for International Festival for Business 2018
  • Research into digital computing, infection control and materials chemistry
  • Shakespeare North Playhouse and rail interchange
  • Cruise liner terminal
  • Cultural programme for 2018
  • Chancerygate’s Mersey Reach logistics park
  • Maritime Knowledge Hub
  • A580 Haydock improvements
  • Parkside Link Road
  • City centre connectivity phase two
  • Future proofing J23 M6

Joe Anderson, chairman of the Combined Authority, said: “It’s great to announce that we are making significant progress following our devolution agreement. We made a strong case to attract this substantial investment in the city region, and we have been working behind the scenes for some months now to invite and evaluate proposals.

“The Combined Authority has done a great job in bring these resources in and it’s now up to the various organisations who submitted successful bids to demonstrate to us that they can deliver.”

In the prospectus issued by the LCRCA in September 2016, it said the projects favoured in Investment Round One would be able to start by September 2017 and be completed within three years.

According to the indicative allocations outlined in that document, Regeneration, Development & Culture might expect to pick up 20% to 30% of total funding, and housing 1% to 10%.

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Surely they will pick the ones that are most important to moving the city on? Like the roads and terminal?

By Bob Dawson

A rail interchange near Shakespeare North in Prescot should be part of a plan to integrate City Line services with the rest of Merseyrail, and make sure cultural developments in the eastern part of the city are connected, spreading the benefits of Merseyrail’s fast reliable connections to the rest of the city region, particularly Knowsley, St. Helens, Widnes and Runcorn.

By Altmouth

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