Mr Rotherham has submitted his, Building Back Better, strategy to government focused on cranking up economic recovery across the region which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Mayor has highlighted a number of projects across Merseyside which he say will act as drivers for growth over the next few years. The projects, he says can all begin in the next 12 months and include:
The Manufacturing Technology Centre, which bridges the gap between academia and industry and its fundamental innovation of modern methods of construction. This is a £155 million programme aimed at revolutionising how homes are built, focusing on new methods of modular construction i.e. “building homes like building cars”.
The £54m project in St Helens, Glass Futures, the historic home of glassmaking in the UK, which will create the world’s first open access, multi-disciplinary glass melting facility, including research and development trials to de-carbonise the glass industry.
The Liverpool City Region (LCR) Hydrogen Economy Programme, a £600m project which looks to develop the potential of hydrogen as a pathway toward a zero-carbon economy. The first phase of which will see the ordering of a hydrogen refuelling station in Halton, plus 40 hydrogen buses which could be provided for £27.8m, and be operational by late 2021.
NPIC (National Packaging Innovation Centre) a £60m Wirral project in partnership with Unilever, would see the establishment of an open-access innovation centre concentrated on the commercialisation of sustainable packaging.
Shakespeare North Playhouse a £3m scheme in Prescot, currently under construction, with plans to open in 2022, plus a £70m alternative for Southport’s existing theatre and conference centre.
Altogether, the plan has recognised almost 40 fully-costed, shovel-ready projects, which could create more than 120,000 jobs, with 94,000 of those roles permanent roles. The plan also details medium and long-term interventions that might play a crucial role in the region’s recovery, including the Mersey Tidal Power project.
Mr Rotheram said: “This pandemic has rocked us all and we still face tough times ahead, but my ambition to build a globally competitive, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive economy for the whole of our region remains undimmed. Before COVID-19, the city region’s growth rate of 3.5% was much higher than national levels, with well-above average productivity growth based on 10 years of strong economic progress. We will build on these solid foundations. Alongside our strengths, we know that we still face hugely significant underlying challenges in health, education and skills and economic inactivity in our communities. Our recovery plan is focused on tackling these challenges and supporting the people of our city region – tackling inequality, creating jobs, supporting businesses, driving innovation, building new homes, and giving people the skills, they need to fulfil their ambitions.”
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