Steve Rotheram has invited Lord Jim O’Neill to review the region’s growth strategies as the first stage of work on a Strategic Economic Review. The former Conservative Minister and Goldman Sachs economist, who chaired the City Growth Commission, has been one of the key architects of devolution, and formerly advocated a stronger economic and political compact between Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester.
The Metro Mayor explained:
“Jim has an incredible CV and has agreed to conduct an initial review of our existing growth strategies to see how we can add value and impetus moving forward. This is not a blank sheet review. The City Region has made great progress, but an evidences-based longer-term perspective similar, to those in place in Manchester and London, could help us to focus our energies and resources more efficiently. I have been very clear that my priority is to see a step-change in ambition and delivery for the City Region in terms of economic growth. It makes perfect sense to bring in experts with the experience and reputation of Lord O’Neill to help us achieve that.”
Following a round table with Liverpool City Region business leaders, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Combined Authority economic portfolio holder, Cllr Phil Davies, Lord O'Neill commented:
"This was a very positive and energetic meeting, and it’s clear that the Metro Mayor and Liverpool City Region are determined to grasp the opportunity of devolution to accelerate growth and realise the potential of some outstanding economic assets. I look forward to reviewing some of the region’s key strategies and documents and helping them to focus on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
The initiative was also welcomed by Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP, Asif Hamid, who was a key participant in the round table session, who added:
“The City Region Growth Strategy: Building our Future, has provided a great foundation that unified the City Region’s public and private sector leaders around the key strengths and opportunities for growth over the coming years. We welcome the opportunity to work with Lord O’Neill and others to build on this foundation, in light of the dynamic global business landscape, to ensure that we can realise our City Region’s remarkable economic potential”