The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) has won £2.8 million from the UK Community Renewal Fund, to support five projects.
The government introduced the fund as it prepared for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022, which will replace EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
The intention of the fund is “to support people and communities in need across the UK. It will invest in skills, communities, businesses, and by supporting people into employment.”
The five successful projects are:
- ‘Bounce Back’ – Skills for Jobs – £306,000
- Clean, Green and Advanced Manufacturing Skills for the Future – £629,747
- Licence to Work Pathways- £622,482
- St Helens Pathways into Employment – £744,695
- The Innovation in Communities Project – £506,960
Three of the five bids are for projects based in St Helens, which was the only area of the Liverpool City Region identified as one of the government’s 100 “priority places” when the fund was launched.
Speaking about the city region’s success in securing money from the Community Renewal Fund, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“Putting local people in charge of the decisions that affect our area has a much bigger positive impact on our communities than Westminster’s ‘command and control’ approach. We have shown that time and time again.
“Because of the work we’ve done since our region first elected a Metro Mayor in 2017, the government has been forced to take areas like ours seriously. This is nearly £3m our region has wrestled away from government that we’ll use to help give local residents the skills they need to find well-paid, secure jobs.”
Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Council, said:
“I very much welcome this funding which will make a real difference to the prospects of people in St Helens. One of the best ways that we can tackle economic inequality is by ensuring equality of opportunity. Enabling people to develop the right skills for the modern workplace and making sure that they are ready for work is hugely important and gives people a fighting chance to fulfil their potential.”
Mayor Joanne Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Employment and Skills, and Mayor of Liverpool, said:
“This funding is welcome and will support really innovative projects that will enable people to develop skills in high-growth areas, including advanced manufacturing and fast-growing green sectors including housing retrofit. What we need now is this kind of support for similar schemes across our whole city region.”
Cllr Janette Williamson, Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economy and Third Sector, and Leader or Wirral Council, said:
“The Innovation in Communities project supported through this fund is really exciting and will help colleagues in Liverpool work with communities to co-design community-led projects that take into account the insights of local people. What we need now is the resource to be able to roll that approach out more widely across all communities in the Liverpool City Region.”
The invitation to bid to the Community Renewal Fund was extended to the whole of the Liverpool City Region, but applicants were made aware that, within the city region, St Helens was the only place identified amongst the government’s 100 “priority places” across the UK.
As a lead authority, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority was responsible for inviting, assessing and selecting bids sent to the government for consideration and will pay grants to the successful projects and manage their performance.
In selecting the bids forwarded to the government for consideration, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority prioritised those with the greatest potential to deliver against the following key local growth priorities:
- Investment in skills
- Investment in local business
- Investment in communities and place
- Supporting people into employment