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  • Mayor: ‘New government offers chance to turbocharge our work’
  • Public housebuilding in partnership with government
  • Bus franchising complete by 2027 and plans for three new railway stations
  • Mersey Tidal Power business case by 2028 as city region targets net-zero by 2035
  • AI to be embraced in public services
  • Growth through innovation and building on economic strengths to raise productivity

Mayor Steve Rotheram has unveiled his four-year roadmap to making the Liverpool City Region the best place to grow up, grow a family and grow a business.

Building on his election manifesto, the Corporate Plan sets out how the Combined Authority will continue its work to increase productivity and drive growth through investment in major infrastructure projects, improvements to public transport and by building on the region’s world-leading strengths in health and life sciences, digital and creative and advanced manufacturing.

The Mayor said the new government showed signs of being “the most pro-devolution Britain had ever seen” and that would offer “the chance to turbocharge our work” – with local and national growth ambitions aligned and mayors acting as the delivery arm of national government.

More than 120,000 adults will be trained with the skills needed to secure tens of thousands of new well-paid jobs and work will continue to end the postcode lottery that denies local people the opportunities to fulfil their full potential.

The plan also details how public transport and AI will be developed and harnessed and how the world-famous city region will be promoted as a science, innovation and creative powerhouse to attract foreign investment.

Delivering new well-designed, energy-efficient, affordable homes – including a return to public housing at scale – to tackle the housing crisis is a major priority and the plan is underpinned by a drive for deeper devolution and strengthening worker’s rights, sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion.

Introducing the Corporate Plan, Mayor Rotheram says:

“Tackling inequality, driving inclusive growth and ensuring that we leave the next generation and the planet with a better inheritance than we received are at the core of my politics and my administration.

“I want to make the Liverpool City Region the best place to grow up, grow a family, and grow a business.

“Since I was elected, we have helped tens of thousands of people into jobs; rolled out world-class publicly owned trains; helped to build 30,000 homes for families to put down roots; given hundreds of thousands of our residents get new qualifications and begun the process of bringing our buses back into public control.

“The Liverpool City Region is a place steeped in history, a place full of pioneers and talent. While we are proud of our history, we are ready to look forward to an even brighter and more prosperous future. This is our blueprint for getting there.

“Working alongside our new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, and his cabinet, I will ensure that the next chapter in our illustrious history will not be written for us in Westminster or Whitehall – but by us here in the Liverpool City Region.”

The Liverpool City Region’s economy has grown by £3bn since the Mayor was first elected in 2017 and 60,000 more residents are in employment – double the national rate of employment growth.

The Corporate Plan highlights the authority’s track record of delivery in presenting the case for deeper devolution, with a single pot of money, that will give local people greater power to realise the Mayor’s vision.

Central to the Plan is growing the city region’s economy by investing in its people, place, transport and digital infrastructure – building on its strengths while addressing underlying challenges.

It details a series of initiatives to grow the economy by ensuring the city region remains at the forefront of innovation, including supporting the creation of materials innovation and infection control superclusters.

It highlights the potential of the LCR Freeport and Life Sciences Innovation Zone to attract new businesses, boost international trade and create more than 20,000 jobs as the city region targets a 25% increase in direct foreign investment by 2030.

To help achieve this, the city region will expand its relationships with the USA, Germany and east Asia and the Combined Authority will establish a Business Location Taskforce by the end of 2024 to promote the city region to a domestic and international audience as a place to set up and scale up a business. Other plans include supporting more than 100 businesses to scale up by 2026.

The Plan also commits to promoting better working standards through the Fair Employment Charter and to a procurement approach in which the Combined Authority does not contract with companies that use fire and rehire tactics.

The city region’s economy is powered by its diverse, innovative, creative and hard-working people. The document presents a raft of plans to unlock the potential within communities, increase productivity and ensure residents have the skills needed to benefit from new well-paid and sustainable jobs that will be created.

The Plan commits to giving young people the best start in life by increasing training for early years and childcare workers, launching a childcare commission and expanding the successful Cradle to Career programme to more areas, doubling the number of children supported to 36,000 each year by 2030.

By 2028, the Combined Authority will enable 120,000 adults to upskill, re-train or access employment and it will prioritise its devolved skills funding of more than £50m a year to support people facing the greatest barriers. The Authority will continue to push for devolution of 16-19-year-old education and of the Apprenticeship Levy.

A Long-Term Skills Plan will be published in the Autumn and the authority will work towards developing a Liverpool City Region Screen Academy by 2028.

An AI-powered piloted in schools from September and the authority’s digital inclusion programme will be expanded to support 10,000 residents by 2028.

Already world famous for culture, music and sport, the Liverpool City Region is also a place of pioneers and is set to be positioned as a science, innovation and creative powerhouse by the end of 2024.

The city region will have its own crest and flag by the end of 2024 and, through the LCR Visitor Economy Partnership, cultural, heritage and tourist attractions will be supported and grown. A new strategy will be developed to ensure the region’s continued success in securing major events and Borough of Culture spending will be doubled to 2% to expand its reach and impact.

Six new urban parks with 100,000 trees will be created by 2030 and £10m will be spent on installing electric vehicle charging points by 2028, while digital innovation will be harnessed to improve air quality.

A full business case for Mersey Tidal Power will be produced by 2028 as the city region builds on its position as Britain’s Renewable Energy Coast and strives to become net-zero by 2035, the most ambitious target of any city region.

Housebuilding is one of the new government’s top priorities, and delivering well-designed and energy-efficient homes is also high on the Combined Authority’s agenda, with schemes ready to be delivered.

More than 1,000 homes and public buildings will be decarbonised each year through retrofit and heat networks and the authority will enable construction of 200 new homes each year on previously developed land.

The Combined Authority will explore a return to council house building and a Good Landlord Charter and homelessness task force will also be established.

Transport for Liverpool City Region (TFLCR) will replace Merseytravel and will continue to roll out the Metro brand.

The bus network will be fully franchised by the end of 2027 and a new Merseyrail operating model will be designed giving greater public control of train services.

By 2027, the new Baltic station will open and plans and funding will be in place to redevelop Liverpool Central station. Plans will also be developed for three new stations at Carr Mill in St Helens, Daresbury in Halton and Woodchurch on the Wirral. All Merseyrail stations will be fully accessible by the end of the decade.

A new Bus Rapid Transit will serve John Lennon Airport, Anfield and Bramley Moore stadia by 2028 and a new Mersey Ferry will launch by summer 2026. St Helens will have a new public transport interchange by the end of 2026 and high-speed connections to Manchester will be explored.

The city region will become a leader in responsible AI, harnessing its power to address social, economic and environmental challenges, and the Combined Authority will build on the opportunities presented by the new 214km LCR Connect ultra-fast, full fibre network, signing up 3,000 businesses by the end of the decade.

An AI Task Force will be created by 2025, chaired by a newly appointed Chief Digital Officer.

Approved at July’s Combined Authority meeting, the Plan also includes a pledge by the Mayor to hold public question times and stage Combined Authority meetings across the city region.

To read the Corporate Plan please click here