Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram has told a gathering of some of the region’s leading property professionals, that the area must raise its level of ambition to create the long-term prosperity necessary to support a vibrant property market. Speaking at the Business Insider Regional property Awards at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel last night, he told his audience:
“The most important single message that I want to deliver tonight, is that our City Region must upscale its level of ambition and we must define our future economic vision as a place that creates and sustains more high value employment, builds more successful businesses and attracts greater levels of UK and international investment.”
“The property and development industry are driven by demand for space and fuelled by economic growth. Our agendas are perfectly aligned.”
Setting out a compelling and confident prospectus for the future, the Metro Mayor set out six key objectives that will underpin his approach to drive economic growth and attract additional investment into the region. These were:
- A Strategic Economic Review and Industrial Strategy to provide a robust evidence base and clear priorities for future economic growth.
- A review of the roles of the City Region’s different marketing, investment and economic agencies to create a single organisation aiming to make the area one of the UK’s top three international investment destinations.
- A new joined-up approach, where the region’s boroughs would no longer compete for investment but pool their assets and strengths for mutual benefit, with closer integration of planning, housing, skills and economic development policies across the City Region.
- A more targeted and sophisticated approach to pursuing investment leads, directly targeting key investment decision-makers and focusing on areas where the City Region had a specific competitive edge or USP.
- A much stronger partnership with private business and the property sector, utilising the influence and relationships of key business leaders as ambassadors for the City Region.
- A closer and more collaborative relationship with our neighbouring City Region, Greater Manchester, recognising common interests and our increased economic interdependence.
Steve Rotheram also identified the need for the City Region to ensure that it was providing the right kind of development to meet the needs of its future economy and residents.
“To be genuinely competitive we need to be delivering a competitive and appropriate product. We need a pipeline of high quality Grade A offices as well flexible and innovative work-space configured to the requirements of a new kind of urban entrepreneurialism. We need to be building homes that are attractive, affordable and in the right place – close to transport, connected to work and in well designed and sustainable neighbourhoods.”
Promising a new era of ambition, realism and joined-up thinking, the Metro Mayor suggested that in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable world, the less able the City Region was to control events beyond its boundaries, the more it needed to create certainty, stability and consistency within them:
“Strong relationships, mutual trust, shared goals, policy and political consistency, a long-term perspective and the right institutional architecture are the foundations for future prosperity. They are powerful signals to the outside world, that we are open for business”