Sunday, January 16, 2022

£313M LOCAL GROWTH FUND INVESTED INTO CITY REGION JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

The Liverpool City Region will benefit from more than 18,000 new jobs and £225m of additional investment as a result of £313m worth of Local Growth Fund investments by the Combined Authority.

The fund was committed to nearly 200 projects before the March 2021 deadline, despite the pandemic. Investments in Local Growth Fund Projects have already delivered 7,766 jobs and £170m in private sector investment.

Projects in Halton backed by the Combined Authority include upgrading of the Silver Jubilee Bridge and the completion of the Halton Curve.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “I’ve always said that devolution was about doing things differently and taking control of our own destiny. By taking power, money and decision making out of Westminster and putting it in the hands of local people, we can build the fairer, greener future we want for our region.

“The difference we’ve made through the Local Growth Fund is testament to that. In just a few years we’ve invested more than £300m in every part of our region, creating nearly 8,000 jobs and helping more than 11,000 people gain new skills. By 2025 we will have created more than 15,000 jobs and generated an additional £250m worth of investment in our economy.”

The Government awarded a total of £313m over three Growth Deals to the Liverpool City Region between 2015 and 2021 for capital projects that will benefit the local area and economy.  The funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and then invested through the Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

The Combined Authority has used the funding to pay for a diverse range of projects that have benefitted the entire City Region. Split between transport, skills, and business growth, the Local Growth Fund has supported nearly 200 projects across all six of Liverpool City Region’s local authorities.

Just some of the projects supported through the Local Growth Fund include:

Completed:

Halton Curve -£13m LGF funds resulting in vital track and signalling upgrades allowing the curve to be brought back into full use.

The £14.5m Halton Curve project was predominantly funded through the Local Growth Fund.  The scheme saw the re-opening of a 1.5 mile stretch of track near Frodsham which links services from Chester onto the West Coast Mainline into Liverpool. Work to bring the track back into full use began in July 2017 was completed by Network Rail in May 2018.

The scheme made possible the first rail services to run direct from North Wales into Liverpool for over 40 years.  The scheme will generate around 250,000 new trips per year, unlocking leisure and business opportunities between the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and North Wales.

Speaking about the scheme, Cllr Mike Wharton, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “Reopening the Halton Curve was one of our key priorities for many years and seeing direct services from Wales restart two years ago was a historic moment.

“This was a major strategic project and has unlocked economic and leisure opportunities for many people across Halton, and the wider Liverpool City Region, right through to Cheshire, North Wales and beyond.”

Other completed schemes:

Silver Jubilee Bridge –Over £5m of LGF funds have enabled major upgrade works to Steelwork and decking as well as improved infrastructure and signage between the SJB and the Heath Business Park and Ineos Chlor, as included in the sustainable transport strategy

Maghull North –£10.7m LGF funded project delivered a new railway station including 156-space car park with blue badge and motorcycle parking facilities, as well as cycle storage.

A570 Linkway–The A570 Linkway Improvements scheme is a £5m project to improve capacity, reduce congestion and address safety issues along the A570 Linkway in St. Helens.

M58 Junction 1 -£6.9m LGF funded junction upgrade. Providing additional Westbound slip roads enabling “all movements” at this very busy motorway junction.

Knowsley Industrial Park–Over £4m of LGF funds have enabled highways works to improve accessibility to the Knowsley Industrial Park area. This included facilitating access to cycling and walking facilities, as well as public transport improvements.

A5300 –Over £4m of LGF funding contributed to improvements at the A5300 Knowsley Express Way intersection. This facilitated better traffic flow at the intersection which serves businesses such as JLR, Alstom and provides throughfare to the Mersey Gateway Bridge. Journey time reliability and less congestion reported as benefits of this scheme.

Wirral STEM Centre – £2m of LGF funding created a state-of-the-art health campus on the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone.

Skills Capital Programme – £50m investment in 81 capital projects at 23 colleges and learning providers across the Liverpool City Region.

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