Speaking at a major conference, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, today announced a new £5 million Town Centre Fund to support the long-term success of the city region’s town centres.
In a speech highlighting the progress made since the city region formed a Combined Authority, signed a devolution agreement and elected a metro mayor, Steve Rotheram said:
“Liverpool city centre is the economic engine of our city region and we will continue to support its development with strategic investments, like those we are making to support the knowledge quarter and the new cruise liner terminal. But just as we must help our city to succeed, we must also ensure that every part of our region thrives as well. Across our region so many of our towns have untapped potential. Our high streets face new challenges, with new technologies and changing customer habits, and must change in order to survive.
“That is why I am announcing the formation of a new City Region Town Centre Commission. The Commission will work with our local authorities to produce long-term investment plans for how each area’s towns can thrive over the next 20 years. I can also announce that I am pre-allocating £5m of funding – up to £1m for each borough with a town centre – to the first round of a Metro Mayor’s Town Centre Fund. This is a clear signal that I will ensure that the benefits of devolution really are passed on to every part of our city region.”
The new commission will work closely with teams at the constituent local authorities of the Combined Authority, and with the CA’s Investment Team, to agree which towns to focus the fund on, produce plans (if needed) for how each area’s towns can thrive over the next 20 years, and explore how best to use the CA funding.
The process will also provide local people with the opportunity to comment on and shape investment plans for their local areas.
The announcement will be made at a major conference called by University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer and the Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, to take stock of what has happened in the Metro Mayor’s first year in role, highlight the CA’s £460m investment programme and include announcements on planned next steps.
The conference, hosted by the University’s Heseltine Institute, will also benefit from a government view on devolution and hear experiences from beyond the Liverpool City Region. Speakers will include: Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram; Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham; and Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson OBE, as well as senior speakers from government, business and universities.