Merseyside Update 2019 (44)

Rotheram: £26m from Govt is only ‘tip of the iceberg’

Four projects across Liverpool City Region, including the redevelopment of Littlewood Studios and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, have received a combined total of £26m from Whitehall’s Getting Building Fund. 

Of the total, the two city centre schemes received a combined £13m – only a fraction of the £200m that Liverpool City Council requested in its bid for funding for “shove-ready” projects that could boost the economy post-Covid-19.

The other two projects to win funding from the £900m pot were the planned Halsnead Garden Village mixed-use community in Knowsley, and the Glass Futures research and development centre in St Helens. 

The city region bid for a total of £1.4bn last month to unlock £9bn worth of projects it said could create more than 120,000 jobs.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “These four projects will create thousands of jobs and play a key role in the first stages of our economic recovery after coronavirus.

“While today’s funding is welcome, it is only the tip of the iceberg of support we need from the Government.” 

The selected projects are:

Littlewoods Studios – £11m

Littlewoods Studio CGI 2

Capital & Centric wants to redevelop the Littlewoods building to create a TV hub

The Littlewoods Building on Edge Lane would be transformed into a hub for the film and television industry under plans from Manchester-based developer Capital & Centric.  

UK-based Twickenham Studios has already agreed to take 85,000 sq ft of the scheme, and Capital & Centric is in talks with an unnamed education provider that would take the scheme to around 60-70% pre-let.

The project will cost £54m in total and the £11m provided by Government is the first tranche of a larger £17m contribution to be made in the coming months, it said last week.  

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) Capacity Development – £2m 

This project will see the creation of a research and development network for infectious diseases. 

Phase one involves the refurbishment of existing facilities at the Pembroke Place building in the city centre.  

Glass Futures – £9m 

A 90,000 sq ft research and development centre for the glass industry is to be built on a site next to St Helens R.F.C.’s Totally Wicked Stadium. 

The facility will include multidisciplinary glass melting facility with provision for research and development trials within a safe environment, and space available for commercial lettings. 

Halsnead Garden Village – £4m 

The mixed-use scheme in Knowsley is set to become one of 14 garden villages nationally and the funding secured from the Government’s Getting Building Fund will go towards the development of 55 acres into a logistics and employment site adjacent to the proposed 1,600 homes. 

Rotheram added: “Devolution – and combined authorities like ours – should be central to the Government’s plans for recovery.

“By taking powers and money from Westminster and giving them to local people, we are able to shape a recovery that works for us, as we are in seeing with projects like these.” 

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