Liverpool has been on a journey and undergone a dramatic transformation in the last decade, writes Claire Slinger of Liverpool City Council. The city has made significant progress coming out of the last recession but growth on its own is not enough, it must be sustainable for the years to come.
In March 2018, the Council launched its Inclusive Growth Plan to prioritise sustainable economic growth, meet the needs of the city of Liverpool and address challenges which are barriers to progress.
The Inclusive Growth Plan has a vision which is about making Liverpool one of the best cities in the world; a strong and growing city built on fairness.
Maintaining sustainable economic growth is about getting the balance right – and that is not just about delivery of regeneration and development projects, it is about creating and maintaining a balanced economy in Liverpool which will weather economic storms (cue Brexit) and tackle some of the hard-hitting problems which we experience daily in our city – homelessness, poverty, mental health illness and budget cuts.
Despite fiscal austerity, we have the tools and capacity to continue to deliver sustainable growth and the Council has a huge influence on the business environment. Growth needs to be harnessed with collaboration between the public and private sector and diversification across a wide range of sectors to underpin a resilient economy. Laying the right foundations for growth is paramount.
The Council’s Inclusive Growth Plan has six aims – investing in our children and young people; people who live well age well; quality homes in thriving neighbourhoods; a strong inclusive economy; a connected and accessible city and to make Liverpool the most exciting city in the UK.
Set in an economic environment with interconnecting challenges, each challenge impacts on others so they can’t be tackled in isolation. The public and private sector are the driving forces behind sustainable economic growth, but we will only transform the city by investing our time, energy and resources together on priorities, taking a commercially minded approach.
We must be bold, committed and focussed, increasing outputs by prioritising work on key sectors and transformational opportunities. By focussing on early interaction and outcomes, we can target commercial investment and economic opportunities which will promote Liverpool to investors and encourage partners to work collaboratively. If we harness the strength of collaboration and partnership with resilience, then we can continue to deliver our growth strategy with enterprising and commercial outcomes.
The Council has a vital role to play in working with partners to deliver economic growth and ensure Liverpool is the best place to do business and invest. Strengthening partnership working, investing in property and business growth will allow the Council to further invest in its services and balance its portfolio.
Liverpool has all the components to be a world class city. In 2019, with the right mix of development, regeneration, placemaking, institutional and inward investment we can deliver in breadth; a ‘whole city’ inclusive growth approach. For the Council, each project, priority, action and decision will have the aims and vision of the Inclusive Growth Plan at its core.
- Claire Slinger is assistant director of investment & development at Liverpool City Council