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  • Combined Authority achievements during 2023-24 documented in Annual Review
  • Report highlights major public transport improvements including a new rail station, new battery-powered trains, new ferry and decision to franchise buses
  • Completion of new 214km LCR Connect ultrafast digital network
  • Creation of Life Sciences Innovation Zone, business boards and partnership to steer city region’s booming visitor economy to new heights
  • Highlights also include job creation, training, skills, apprenticeships, cost-of-living support and progress towards net zero by 2035

Mayor Steve Rotheram today described the last 12 months as a ‘year of transformation’ for the Liverpool City Region but has said that deeper and wider devolution was needed to truly unleash its potential.

Introducing the Combined Authority’s Annual Review, the Mayor pointed to the thousands of jobs, training and skills opportunities created over the last year and vital investments made to transform people’s lives.

The report highlights the opening of the £80m Headbolt Lane station, serviced by new first-of-their-kind battery powered trains, completion of the 214km LCR Connect ultra-fast digital network, a landmark decision to take back control of the region’s bus network and the ordering of a new Mersey Ferry.

It details the formation of new private sector-led boards to harness the expertise of business leaders in policy making and a new partnership to take the city region’s world-famous visitor economy to the next level.

The review also highlights progress towards becoming a net zero city region by 2035 and the important work of the new £2.3m Race Equality Hub, the city region’s four equality panels, the Youth Combined Authority and the impact of the Mayor’s Fair Employment Charter.

Introducing the Annual Review, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“While we recognise there is much more we want to achieve alongside a new government, this past year has been one of transformation for the city region.

“From the thousands of jobs, training and skills opportunities we’ve created, to the vital investments we’ve made to support our residents through the cost-of-living crisis, I’m incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made to transform people’s lives for the better.

“We’ve put an end to four decades of decline in our bus network by taking back control, opened a brand-new train station served by first-of-their-kind battery-powered trains, and we saw the completion of LCR Connect, our publicly owned joint venture, offering local businesses unrivalled digital connectivity.

“Looking to the future, I want to take advantage of our strengths – and potential – and turn them into profitable businesses, creating better, greener jobs and bringing greater prosperity to local people.

“With further devolution of powers and funding, we can go even further to truly unleash our potential. We are home to the fastest growing city economy, have the country’s most ambitious net zero plans, massive housebuilding aspirations and a plan to tackle the productivity crisis that holds our region back.

“Make no mistake: this is a place on the rise. As its Mayor, I want to build the most vibrant, growing and inclusive Liverpool City Region possible for the 1.6m people who live and work in our area to succeed.”

A joint statement on behalf of the Combined Authority cabinet members who are also leaders of the city region’s six local authorities, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, says:

“We are all extremely proud of the places that we lead and that our work together in partnership is enabling our region to create a prosperous future for our residents.

“Prioritising growing our economy, jobs, skills, improving transport, housing, equality, delivering social value and dealing with the climate emergency are important to all of us.

“This Annual Review once again demonstrates what we can achieve by coming together at the regional level, making the most of devolved powers and funding, and the difference it can make for our residents.”

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Chief Executive Katherine Fairclough says:

“This annual review captures the highlights of 2023-2024, the third and final year of the 2021/24 corporate plan.

“Devolved powers and funding play their part in these successes, but the magic ingredients are the strength of partnership, collaboration and good humour that play out in our relationships across Liverpool City Region, which result in a stronger economy and thriving communities, where no one is left behind.”

To view the full Annual Report please click here.