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Issue:- 16 December 2010

Capital of Culture year boosted economy

NEW government figures show Liverpool’s economy was given a boost by developments in its year as European Capital of Culture.

The Gross Value Added data is a measure of the economic performance of the city. The latest data for 2008 shows that the Liverpool economy grew by 4.6% between 2007 and 2008, increasing by nearly £400m from £8.2bn to £8.6bn, the highest rate of any major city. 

Gross value per head - economic performance taking into account the population level-in Liverpool in 2008 was £19,647 compared with the 2007 figure of £18,727 – a 4.9% increase. This is above the city region level (£14,698) level but below the UK level, which rose by 2.8% ,to £21,103.

The city’s GVA now stands at 95.6% of the UK average compared with 93.4% in 2007 and 86.6% in 1995 showing how much Liverpool is closing the gap with national levels of economic growth.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration, said:- “These figures show the impact both of the Capital of Culture and major developments such as Liverpool One and ACC Liverpool.  Our growth was higher than all other major cities and in terms of GVA per head we are now moving towards the UK average, having overtaken Sheffield and Tyneside and being close to Birmingham.

However, we have to be realistic and acknowledge that we are starting from a much lower base than virtually any other area and only Nottingham of the major cities has a lower GVA than Liverpool even though we are closing the gap with our competitors.”

Councillor Joe Anderson. City Council Leader, said:- “Our challenge is to maintain this rate of growth in extremely challenging economic times. Like all other areas we have lost jobs during the recession and nobody is underestimating the task ahead. While we now have a far more robust economy than a decade or so ago, Liverpool’s renaissance is being put at risk by the spending cuts and we would hope that the Government would treat northern cities like Liverpool fairly so we can continue to build on the progress we have made.”

The government has also released a new set of jobs figures for the city for 2009 (the Business Register Employment Survey). Like all cities, Liverpool lost jobs between 2008-9 with it having 225,700 jobs in 2009 compared with 228,700 in 2008, a 1.3% loss compared with 4% in other cities

Initial estimates suggest that the major job losses have been in construction, finance and insurance and information and communications. However, there has been strong growth in arts and entertainment with an increase of 700 jobs in those areas with the health and social care sector also growing.


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Budget Cuts Hits Merseyside Hard

MERSEYTRAVEL'S block funding grant from the Department for Transport has been slashed by two thirds, with the Chairman of the transport authority Councillor Mark Dowd warning of severe repercussions on future transport projects. Councillor Dowd said:- “Never in our most pessimistic forecasts did we anticipate such a crippling and savage cut. Having already dealt with a 25% cut of our £17million allocation during this financial year, we had made realistic budget predictions of receiving just over £13million next year. We now know we are going to get only £5.74million and this is going to have a severe impact on our future plans. Currently we are reviewing all projects for next year, but my immediate reaction is that it will be difficult enough to maintain and operate what we have let alone think about improvements. During my 28 years as a councillor I have never experienced such a financial savagery, these cuts are vicious.”

Liverpool’s One Derful Futurey

BUSINESS, cultural, regeneration, education and health leaders are signing up to a new vision to sell the city nationally and internationally.

‘One Plan’
for Liverpool is to be unveiled on Wednesday, 15 December 2011. The first partnership of its kind in the city, it will draw on the strengths, resources and expertise of all the city’s major institutions to make sure Liverpool is well placed to build on the renaissance it has undergone in recent years.

Led by Liverpool Vision – which from April 2011 will incorporate Culture Liverpool - One Plan will bring together partners across the private and public sector. Speaking with one voice for the city, they will work together to deliver a joint action plan aimed at selling Liverpool as one of the UK’s most important cities to invest in, to visit, to work in, to study in and to live in.

The partnership will focus on the key events, milestones and opportunities for Liverpool in 2011 and 2012 – including the opening of a Liverpool Embassy in London; the Liverpool Boat Show; the opening of the new Museum of Liverpool, the 100th Anniversary of the Liver Building; a new Mersey River Festival in 2011; and the London 2012 Olympics – and make sure the city is well placed to gain maximum benefit from them.

The unique approach also aims to use effective joined-up working to help the city overcome tough economic times. Partners, from the city council and the universities to the museums and chamber of commerce will maximise resources by sharing skills, staff, ideas and innovation.

And stakeholders will work together to develop, fund and implement a collaborative events programme for Liverpool for the coming years, complemented by a comprehensive research project.

One Plan for Liverpool will be officially announced at Liverpool Town Hall tomorrow, when city council leader, Councillor Joe Anderson and Liverpool Vision Chief Executive Max Steinberg will reveal their ambitions.

Councillor Joe Anderson, said:- “Liverpool has been transformed beyond recognition in recent years. We are riding high on recent achievements, from building on the foundations of 08 and the success of Shanghai Expo, to the continued growth of business and enterprise and our schools achieving their best ever exam results. But this transformation did not come about by accident, and at a time when the national, regional and local political landscape has changed and access to resources has become more competitive, we cannot rest on our laurels if we are serious in our ambitions for the city. One Plan for Liverpool will take us to the next stage of our journey by building on our fantastic achievements and opening the doors to new ideas. It’s not about the city council telling everyone what to do, it is about providing leadership and a platform for our top-class institutions to fulfil their ambitions. Only by working together, and building strong partnerships right across the city and across all sectors, will we be able to develop, grow and prosper as a truly enterprising and leading European city. By combining our efforts and speaking with one voice for Liverpool, we can showcase to the world all that is great about our city.”

One Plan will highlight ‘transformational’ events, projects and programmes that help showcase Liverpool as a world class city. A ‘One Plan Task Force’ will be created from the private and public sector to lead the process, while a ‘Marketing Steering Group’ (made up of marketing directors of the key stakeholders) will orchestrate the marketing efforts among partners.

Events will fall into two categories - those that are funded and which offer opportunities for collaboration; and those that require funding. The private sector will play a critical role in securing funding and providing sponsorship for projects. They will have significant participation on the Liverpool Vision advisory board and will also be approached to assist with ‘in-kind’ and staffing contributions.

The ‘One Plan’ will be an evolving and comprehensive action plan representing the collective efforts of all partners, which will change according to new opportunities and changing circumstances.  Liverpool Vision Chief Executive, Max Steinberg, said:- “This is a pivotal moment for Liverpool and we have to ask ourselves: where do we want the city to be in 10 years time? It’s a time for big ideas and creating the environment to deliver them. Merging Liverpool Vision and Culture Liverpool is about creating a stronger, more outward-facing and more ambitious organisation - and One Plan for Liverpool epitomises everything we are trying to achieve. It gives us the opportunity to redefine what partnership means and bring together the public and private sector in a way that hasn’t been done before, so that we can really make things happen. Through the plan, we can all work together, with a shared goal, to build a brighter future for our city. It’s a fantastic vehicle for us to embrace projects and programmes which have the potential to transform our city, to capitalise on the things which make Liverpool such a unique city and to find the resources we need to sell the city nationally and internationally.”

David Wade Smith, Board Member at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, said:- “Throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the public and private sectors didn’t speak to each other in Liverpool. The 90s saw partnerships developing and links beginning to strengthen. One Plan takes us beyond partnership, and puts us on the same team. In difficult economic times for everyone it’s more important than ever that we work together very closely, and this plan is the start of that vital process.”  Consultation on the plan is now underway and will continue over the next several months, culminating in its official launch in April 2011.

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