Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram Calls for Government investment in “a people-focused recovery”


  • Metro Mayor calls for new £180m Sustainable Job Creation Programme and £53m extension for pioneering Ways to Work Programme

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has called for substantial Government investment to enable the city region’s economy to bounce back from damage inflicted by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

In July, the Combined Authority published Building Back Better: the city region’s economic recovery plan, which outlined how £1.4 billion of support could unlock £9 billion of investment, creating 122,000 jobs.

The plan showed how economic recovery could be delivered, across four strategic themes and with concrete, costed projects and programmes of work.  The four themes – the business ecosystem, people-focused recovery, place, and a green recovery – were all underpinned by a tangible commitment to Build Back Better.

The Combined Authority has now submitted a thorough and evidence-based response, based on Building Back Better and the Local Industrial Strategy, to the government’s Comprehensive Spending review, addressing the six key priorities identified by central government.

The Comprehensive Spending Review will set UK Government departments’ revenue budgets for the years 2021/22 to 2023/24 and capital budgets for the years 2021/22 until 2024/25.  The results of the review are expected in the Autumn.

Mayor Rotheram said:

“We know that we are in for the long-haul in dealing with the effects of Coronavirus; a crisis that is impacting every part of our lives.  We have identified what we need to kickstart our economic recovery through Building Back Better and have used that work to deliver a thorough and evidence-based submission to the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

“We have outlined funding for major infrastructure projects such as our tidal and hydrogen programmes, our plans for digital connectivity and projects such as the National Packaging Innovation Centre, which can contribute to achieving our undimmed ambition for a globally competitive, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive city region economy.

“Our recovery ultimately has to be about people and that is why I have called for investment for a number of innovative local schemes to help unemployed people access jobs quickly, including a new £180 million Sustainable Job Creation Programme, and a £53 million extension of our pioneering Ways to Work Programme.

“We also need to ensure people have the right skills, through a £25m increase in funding for our Adult Education Budget and £75m to address deprivation and to narrow employment and skills gaps for workers from BAME backgrounds; women and disabled workers.

“We have made the unarguable case for this investment, which is an opportunity for government to help make its stated desire to level-up economic opportunity a reality.”

The Comprehensive Spending Reviews six priorities are:

  • strengthening the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19 by prioritising jobs and skills

  • levelling up economic opportunity across all nations and regions of the country by investing in infrastructure, innovation and people – thus closing the gap with our competitors by spreading opportunity, maximising productivity and improving the value add of each hour worked

  • improving outcomes in public services, including supporting the NHS and taking steps to cut crime and ensure every young person receives a superb education

  • making the UK a scientific superpower, including leading in the development of technologies that will support the government’s ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050

  • strengthening the UK’s place in the world

  • improving the management and delivery of government commitments, ensuring that all departments have the appropriate structures and processes in place to deliver their outcomes and commitments on time and within budget



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