The Liverpool City Region economy is set for a major boost, as the £150m COVID Recovery Fund announced by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram on his first day back in office has been approved by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
In his election manifesto, Mayor Rotheram promised that he would secure £150m in funding from government and use this to create a city region COVID recovery fund to create jobs and support businesses as the region emerges from the pandemic.
Speaking as the new £150m fund was formally approved, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “This is new money that will give us a head start on the rest of the country, investing in projects that will power our economic recovery and create and safeguard jobs. It also delivers much-needed hope to people and businesses across the region.
“Two years ago, I launched a £75m resilience programme to help local businesses deal with the impact of Brexit. It was the largest package of business support the city region had seen in decades. This fund is twice as big.
“It is a massive investment in our future and a huge show of confidence in our region’s ability to come back from the adversity of the past year. This is just the start of my ambitions. This money will underpin hundreds of millions of pounds in investments from other funds from transport to skills, to housing.
“I’ve just been given an overwhelming mandate from people in every part of the Liverpool City Region and I’ll be using it to press the Government to invest in our Economic Recovery Plan, which would deliver nearly £9bn of benefit to our region and create over 120,000 jobs.”
Today’s approval comes after central government formally approved the next £150m tranche of devolved funding for the Liverpool City Region.
The Combined Authority has already agreed to use the £150m Fund to invest £2.8m in the next phase of Knowsley Council’s redevelopment of Kirkby Town Centre, as well as £750,000 support for the Port City Accelerator, a two-year business accelerator programme for SMEs in the Maritime sector. Further approvals are expected in July.