£15 million Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund – Closing 30th November 2017 (11 LEP Regions of the North of England)

Towns and cities across Northern England are able to bid for a share of a new fund that aims to boost the region’s technology, creative and cultural industries.

The UK Government’s Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund aims to help build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North planned for Summer 2018. Grants of up to £4 million in each of three financial years (2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21) will be available to eligible Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the 11 Northern Regions of England i.e:

  • Cheshire and Warrington
  • Cumbria
  • Greater Manchester
  • Humber
  • Lancashire
  • Leeds City Region
  • Liverpool City Region
  • North East
  • Sheffield City Region
  • Tees Valley
  • York
  • North Yorkshire
  • East Riding.

The funding will support capital expenditure on major culture and tech projects like, for example, opening a new tech start-up centre or renovating live music venues. LEPs are each invited to submit one bid for up to £4million to the Fund. Applications should be for a single capital project that fits within the overall priorities for the Fund and evidences the need for the project and the rationale for intervention in the local area. All projects supported will be expected to increase opportunities for people to experience, benefit from and contribute to culture and creativity.

The deadline for LEP bids is 30th November 2017.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/15-million-northern-cultural-regeneration-fund-to-boost-regions-tech-creative-and-cultural-industries

New road safety strategy for the Liverpool City Region given the green light

The Liverpool City Region’s Road Safety Strategy 2017-2020 was approved at today’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting.  This three year strategy aims to reduce the number of those killed and seriously injured on Merseyside’s roads.

The plan outlines the methods and measures that will be used by partners who make up the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership – Merseyside District Councils, Merseytravel, Merseyside Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service, Highways England, and the health sector.  This has also been shared with the Cheshire Road Safety Partnership covering the Halton borough, who will be adopting a similar approach.

The measures and methods used to help achieve safer roads include education (promoting road safety messages through targeted campaigns and training), enforcement (ensuring road users adhere to safety measures that have been implemented, particularly driving at a safe speed) and engineering (identifying and introducing remedial measures to improve road safety and ensuring new highway projects operate safely).

Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport portfolio lead for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said “We all have a role to play to ensure our roads are safer and the number of accidents and injuries on our roads are reduced.  We can play our part, but we also need our residents and road users to play their part too by listening to and taking on board the information around road safety awareness and adhering to road safety law, particularly around speed limits and to not be distracted whilst driving, for example, by using your mobile phone.”

The strategy also includes targeted action plans to keep cyclists, motorcycle users, senior road users and pedestrians safe on and around Merseyside’s roads.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added “I want the Liverpool City Region to be safe for all road users, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians alike and through collaborative working, we can achieve more by pooling our resources and expertise.  Through this strategy, all agencies and road users have shared goals to work towards reducing the number of casualties and fatalities on our roads.”

Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, said “Every death or serious injury on the roads of Merseyside is one too many. By working together to manage education, enforcement and engineering, we hope that Merseyside’s roads will be safer.

“From an enforcement perspective, Merseyside Police will play its part by ensuring those disregarding road safety are robustly dealt with through the appropriate penalties, but we can reduce the need for enforcement action through better education, awareness and understanding the consequences if people continue to flout the law.”

Take a look at the full strategy here.

New Combined Authority website packed with the latest City Region news

You can now keep up-to-date with the latest investments, news and proposals for the Liverpool City Region on a new website launched last week.

The website – www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk – contains everything you need to know about the work the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is doing on your behalf.

Established in April 2014, but re-constituted as a Mayoral Combined Authority in May of this year, the Combined Authority is chaired by the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.  It includes representatives from all six local authority areas making up the Liverpool City Region – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral – as well as the Local Enterprise Partnership, Merseytravel and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Since coming into post on 8 May 2017, the Metro Mayor has assigned a range of portfolios that will drive forward the City Region’s Devolution Agreement (and allocate over £900m of funding over the next 30 years), accelerate economic growth and improve the local area for residents, businesses, investors and visitors alike.

At www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk, you’ll find out who the Combined Authority is, what it does, access to all of the previous meeting papers, as well as the forthcoming meeting dates, frequently asked questions, how to contact the Combined Authority and the latest job opportunities.  Plus, you can keep up-to-date on what’s happening across the Liverpool City Region with the Metro Mayor’s blog.

Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, said

“It’s great to launch our new website today, which is the ‘go to’ place for information about the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.  There is so much going on in the City Region as we progress our Devolution Agreement with Government meaning that funding and decisions are being made locally about a number of key priority issues including transport, employment and skills and economic development. It’s vitally important that we are as transparent and accessible as possible. We want to engage and include communities in every part of the City Region, so I want to encourage people to visit the site, find out what’s going on and save www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk in your favourites!”

You can keep updated on the latest news from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority by following @LiverpoolCRCA on Twitter.

All Liverpool City Region travellers advised to plan ahead of rail strikes

All travellers in the Liverpool City Region are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel ahead of strike action on both the Merseyrail network on and Northern services in early July.

Merseyrail services are affected on Saturday 8th and Monday 10th July,  Northern Services are affected on Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th and Monday 10th July.

While train users will be most directly impacted, the whole transport network is expected to be busier as people find other ways to travel.

Most Merseyrail services are planned to run every half hour from around 7am to 7pm and services will not stop at some stations. Passengers are strongly advised to check the Merseyrail website and Twitter feed before travelling  as it is possible that timetables will change prior to, as well as during, strike action.

Meanwhile, passengers who travel with Northern are also advised to check before they travel as Northern is planning on running more than 40 per cent of services on revised timetables between 7am and 7pm on Sat 8th July and Mon 10th July and between around 9am and 5pm on Sunday 9th July.

Services by other mainline train operators will continue to run as normal.

Key advice for everyone in the City Region needing to travel on these dates is:

  • Check before you travel: If you’re a rail user plan based on current information available, but be prepared to adapt your plans as timetables may change on these dates
  • Rail stations are likely to be busier as a result of reduced rail services. Don’t aim for the last scheduled train, get there early.
  • If you’re not a rail user, you’re still likely to be affected as people find alternative ways to travel. Leave longer for your journey and avoid travelling at peak times where possible.
  • Bus may be a good alternative, with an extensive network across the Liverpool City Region. Some services will be monitored and strengthened on key routes.
  • The Mersey Ferries will be a good alternative if you’re travelling cross river, free car-parking at Seacombe for 370 cars with frequent commuter services Monday to Friday.
  • Cyclists can use valid cross river tickets on the Mersey Ferries.
  • Stick to public transport wherever possible to reduce congestion on key routes such as the Mersey Tunnels and roads in and out of the City Centre.
  • If you have no option but to drive, consider car sharing.
  • Speak to your employer about whether there is any flexibility in working times or the possibility of working from home.

Further information and travel options are available:

For the latest on Merseyrail services visit the website  or follow @Merseyrail on Twitter. You can also call 0151 555 1111.

For the latest on Northern services visit the website follow @northernassist on Twitter or visit National Rail Enquiries.

Use Merseytravel’s journey planner to see your travel options and visit the travelling around section of the website for more details on routes and timetables.

If you need additional help in planning your journeys call Merseytravel on 0151 330 1000

Information about services for industrial action on Sunday 23rd July will be published nearer the time.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority encourages businesses to shape future job skills

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is seeking the views of businesses to drive skills improvements and accelerate business growth and success.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has today reaffirmed his ambitions to create the right conditions for business growth and success across the City Region.

The first step is to seek the views of business leaders from across the City Region.  Today, Mr Rotheram has launched the Combined Authority’s first (and biggest) business survey of its kind.  He wants to hear from businesses on how they can better access and develop a skilled workforce. Recruiting, retaining and retraining high quality staff is a critical driver to securing success and growing businesses, leading to a thriving City Region economy.

Businesses need high quality staff who are committed, reliable and conscientious and who have the right skills for the job and at the right time.  With an ageing workforce across the country as a whole as well as across the City Region, together with the continual challenges brought about by advances in technology and globalisation, the ability of businesses to recruit and retain the staff they need becomes ever more challenging.

“Our future prosperity as a City Region is ultimately dependent on our ability to develop a well-qualified and highly skilled workforce.  This survey will help us to identify where our businesses need support, align investment in skills and training with skill deficits and the needs of our future economy”, commented Mr Rotheram.

Supporting this work and aligning the skills of residents with the needs of businesses is the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).  Asif Hamid, LEP Chair said:

“As a large and growing employer in the City Region I know firsthand some of the challenges in attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining talent. Through our partners in the Local Growth Hub we engage with thousands of local businesses to enable them to grow and skills are a key factor for them. This survey will give us a much greater understanding on precisely what skills interventions are needed by our businesses to realise their growth potential and create more jobs for local people.”

The results of the survey will be used to inform the future commissioning of skills provision.

Cllr Ian Maher, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Skills and Apprenticeships, said “This is the first time we have carried out such an extensive survey, seeking the views of our business which will be used to accurately commission skills provision based on the needs of local businesses.  Funding for skills is being devolved to the Combined Authority and I would encourage all businesses to complete the survey and help us to shape our commissioning priorities.”

Businesses from across the Liverpool City Region, of all sizes and from all sectors, will be asked for their views and experiences on recruiting and retaining a skills workforce, but meet their immediate needs as well as future plans.   Businesses can complete the survey online.

Importantly, the survey results and final report will be shared across the City Region so that young people, adults seeking employment, parents, teachers and careers advisers are aware of the skills and attributes that are being sought by employers.

 

The Future for Business is Digital following Hugh Baird College Event!

Future for Business is Digital

More than 100 business delegates from across Sefton descended on Hugh Baird College to learn more about exciting new developments in the field of digital technologies for small firms.

 

The theme for Sefton Economic Forum was ‘The Future for Business is Digital’, and was organised by Sefton Growth Hub, part of the Council’s InvestSefton enterprise and investment service

Subjects discussed at the event, included digital technologies as an enabler for small firms, future trends, and the many free applications available online to help businesses improve productivity, save time and reduce costs.

Speakers included Jo Wright, Executive Director of FACT, Digital Technologist Adrian McEwen, Andy Kent, CEO of Angel Solutions and Yana Williams, Principal of Hugh Baird College.

The Forum saw the return of the Sefton Growth Hub Business Marketplace, which provided the opportunity for attendees to browse and discuss the business support available from 21 providers across the Liverpool City Region.

The Sefton Economic Forum was chaired by Brendan Nel, a Sefton resident and Managing Director of Gemstone Software Ltd, who specialise in digital solutions for business.

Brendan said: “Digital technologies impact on all areas of business, and have an application for every type of business and sector.  We have a wealth of young talent coming through, and the Sefton Growth Hub can help you to plan your business digital strategy, and tap into support to take it forward.”

Kristina Swift, Sefton Business Growth Hub Business Development Manager, added: “We have had great feedback on the Forum, with businesses keen to try out the free online tools immediately.  The marketplace is a regular feature of the Forum, which is a key event in the Sefton business calendar.”

For more information on the support available to Sefton businesses, visit investsefton.com

All Aboard for Liverpool City Region Newest Bus Campaign

A new campaign has launched in Liverpool City Region with the intention of inspiring people to travel by bus to get them where they need to be.

For the first time, Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach have teamed up to be the driving force behind Liverpool City Region’s newest bus campaign. Better By Bus will be a catalyst to motivate people to change their travelling habits away from the car, and choose to use the bus for work, play and everything in between.

Many people have not got the bus for a long time and so are unaware that most vehicles now boast on board Wi-Fi, USB charging and e-leather seats – there has never been a better time to be a passenger. Better By Bus will highlight the benefits of stepping aboard, whether it is to have some me time, collect the day’s thoughts or enjoy a whole host of wonderful city region views – all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of a seat.

The campaign will be fronted by some of the region’s up and coming rising stars. After open auditions in Liverpool City Centre, 24 young people were selected from across the region to be the faces of Better By Bus with a promotional advert launching the campaign.

Over the next 12 months, the Better By Bus team will be out and about working with local people by talking with businesses, going into the community and visiting schools to encourage them to think differently about how they travel. As part of the campaign, The Better By Bus Club will be heading into primary schools across the city region to inspire the next generation of bus passengers about how travelling on the bus can have a positive impact on the environment and their everyday lives.

Julie Linforth, campaign conductor for Better By Bus, said:

“We’re very excited to have officially launched Better By Bus. This is the first time Merseytravel, Stagecoach and Arriva have worked together, so we wanted to make sure that the campaign encapsulated the uniqueness of our local people and was something truly engaging.

“Choosing to travel on the bus has so many benefits that we know will be celebrated throughout the campaign. We want to make people aware that Liverpool City Region’s bus offering is constantly improving. We’re building a better bus network for the future.”

 Rob Jones, campaign conductor for Better By Bus, said:

“The Better By Bus campaign is designed to make bus travel an attractive choice for every person across Liverpool City Region. We have so many exciting things planned over the next 12 months that will inspire people to consider travelling by bus to get them where they need to go.

“It’s time to take the pressure off, let the bus driver do the hard work; use your bus journey to have some me time and do the things that you want to do.”

You can take a look at the brand new Better By Bus advert by heading to www.betterbybus.org

To keep up-to-date with the campaign, visit the website or follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Combined Liverpool City Region Authority delivering on Devolution Deal

Forty three projects which are expected to bring major economic benefits to the Liverpool City Region have been shortlisted to go through to the next phase of assessment for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Single Investment Fund (SIF).

In total, just over £458 million of SIF funding is being invested in the City Region over the next five years by the Combined Authority as part of the City Region’s Devolution Agreement with the Government. The SIF is the key funding tool for promoting economic growth for the Liverpool City Region, and will support the delivery of the City Region’s strategic priorities as well as unlock the economic potential and accelerate growth.

Applications for support from the Fund opened on 21 September 2016. Seventy eight applications with a total value of over £270m were received by the closing date of 9 December 2016. Applications focused on the themes of Business Growth & Sector Development, Research & Development, Transport, Housing, and Regeneration, Development & Culture.

At today’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, 32 projects were approved to go forward to the next step.  The projects will each submit business cases for further consideration by the Combined Authority in the coming months prior to being given the funding.  Another 11 projects will be supported to explore alternative funding sources. Taking into account additional funding available from other sources, it is anticipated that these 43 projects will result in more than £650m of investment in the City Region over the next three years.

Mayor Joe Anderson, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said “It’s great to announce that we are making significant progress following our Devolution Agreement with the Government. We made a strong case to attract this substantial investment in the City Region, and we have been working behind the scenes for some months now to invite and evaluate proposals. Today’s announcement is a culmination of that hard work. The Combined Authority has done a great job in bring these resources in and it’s now up to the various organisations who submitted successful bids to demonstrate to us that they can deliver.”

“The volume and quality of the applications we received clearly demonstrate that the Liverpool City Region is a very good place to live, work, visit and invest in. I’m looking forward to seeing these investments and developments being delivered for the benefit of our residents, businesses and visitors alike.  It’s a great achievement that we’ve made such big inroads in such a short space of time.”

Funding applications now open for £458m Single Investment Fund

Following approval of the Single Investment Fund (SIF) prospectus at last week’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, applications for round one funding are now invited.

The SIF is the key funding tool for the Liverpool City Region, and will address the City Region’s strategic priorities.  Just over £458 million is being invested in the City Region over the next five years as part of the City Region’s Devolution Agreement with the Government.

The Single Investment Fund prospectus will be used to commission and fund key growth projects in areas which include business growth and sector development, research and development, skills development and adult education budget, transport and other infrastructure, regeneration, town centre development and culture.

The application process for phase one of funding is now open.

Further information about the fund, the prospectus, the levels of funding, who is available to apply and the application process can be found on www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk

Remember you can keep up to date on the latest Liverpool City Region Combined Authority news by following @LiverpoolCRCA on Twitter.