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Issue:- 31 March 2010

City region welcomes Enterprise Zone

LIVERPOOL City Region is welcoming news that the government has chosen “Mersey Waters” as an Enterprise Zone.  The Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone will straddle both sides of the River Mersey and cover the area of 2 major regeneration projects focused on either side, Wirral Waters and Liverpool Waters. They are being developed by The Peel Group under the brand name Peel Waters.  Wirral Waters is centred on the left bank of the river at the Birkenhead Docks and Liverpool Waters is focused towards the north of Liverpool city centre into the derelict dock areas adjacent to Princes Dock.

Liverpool City Region Cabinet Chair and member of the shadow LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) Board, Councillor Joe Anderson, said:- “I am pleased that we have been chosen as one of the first Enterprise zones.  We are keen to work with government to make sure the benefits are shared across the whole of the city region, and help attract much needed investment and jobs to the entire area.  I am pleased that we have been able to respond extremely quickly to this emerging initiative. It places us in an extremely good position to influence government policy around this scheme.  The City Region has big ambitions and a clear strategy to grow the economy and increase private sector jobs and investment which have clearly caught the attention of the government. Just last week Business Minister Mark Prisk told me how impressed he is by what we have to offer.  I do not believe that any other area of the country has the quality of development opportunities that we have. We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to work with government to achieve our ambitions.”

Rod Holmes, Chair of The Mersey Partnership (TMP) and member of the LEP Board, added:- “It is now generally recognised, in the Liverpool City Region and beyond that the Mersey and Liverpool Port are grossly underutilised UK assets, with the potential to help resolve national infrastructure issues and also to contribute to the ongoing revival of the City Region economy.  Land on both sides of the mouth of the Estuary is available, with ownership and planning in hand for comprehensive redevelopment. The designation of this Enterprise Zone will accelerate delivery of these developments and make a great contribution to the Liverpool Superport and wider economic growth in the North.”

Lindsey Ashworth from Peel said:- “These projects essentially take advantage of the areas two best assets – its river and its people. The Peel Waters projects are opportunities for the Liverpool Region to compete better with the likes of London and the South East as well as cities overseas. Enterprise Zone status will genuinely help us to do that."

Commenting on the new zones, Keith Gallagher, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), North West Regional Director, said:- “This is obviously excellent news for Manchester and Liverpool, both of which have seen a marked decrease in new business start-ups in recent years. The REC has consistently challenged the Government, most recently through an open letter to the Chancellor, to provide a raft of measures in the Budget which will deliver tangible incentives to businesses and generate job creation.  If the North West Region was ever going to stimulate the private sector to absorb the ever-growing public sector job cuts, bold ambitious action was required sooner rather than later. So with this announcement, the North West now has reason to double celebrate the Government’s pro-enterprise, pro-growth agenda.”

'Don't abandon the North'

THE North of England has the most deprived areas in the country and nothing will change without urgent action according to the National Housing Federation. Their stark warning comes as the Department for Communities and Local Government release the English Indices of Deprivation 2010.

The report reveals that the top five areas in the country with the highest concentrations of deprivation are all in the North of England.   They are:- Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Knowsley and Kingston Upon Hull.

The North West has 52% of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country and 81% of the most deprived areas are in the North of England.   There are around 600,000 households in the North stuck on social housing waiting lists. Rising unemployment and repossessions have further fuelled demand for affordable housing during the economic downturn. Providing more affordable housing is key to helping hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and boosting the Northern economy, according to the Federation.

The Federation, which represents not for profit housing associations, has called for a long term commitment to investment in the North. They warn that any cut in housing investment in these areas will mean that things will get much worse for people living in these areas. The Federation highlight that the housing market renewal project had started to change the economic profile of some of the most deprived areas across the North. However funding for the initiative is no longer guaranteed and the future of the initiative is uncertain.

Derek Long, National Housing Federation Head of the North said:- "The data leaves no room for doubt. Communities in the North of England are over - three times more deprived than the rest of the country. Housing associations have often taken the lead in providing jobs and community services. But make no mistake, the government must restore major funding to finish the regeneration of cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough and Hull."

In Speke, one of the most deprived areas in the country, the South Liverpool Housing Group commissioned a strategic overview of the area. Working with residents and partners they formulated a long term plan called Speke Vision that will improve the area. This sets out several measures such as what improvements can be made to open spaces, where new housing should go and suggests projects that will improve the overall infrastructure. The plan is the starting block to attempt to change the image and profile of Speke and tackle the problem of low demand. It highlights the key role housing associations play in delivering change and the need to view such initiatives in the long term.   So do you agree?  Email your views to our newsroom via:- and let us know what you think.


WESTFIELD Primary School, Runcorn, will receive a grant of £900 to develop a sustainable Willow Dome outdoor classroom and coppice area, from the Recyclebank Green Schools Programme. Residents in the surrounding area helped the students to earn the £900 grant by donating the points they earned for recycling their paper, plastic bottles, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, and metal cans in their individual blue wheelie bins. The Green Schools programme is part of the Recyclebank rewards scheme which Halton Borough Council introduced to the borough last year. The school submitted the grant application to Recyclebank in October 2010. The living Willow Dome will serve as an outdoor classroom for use by classes across the school and will extend, in a sustainable way, what the school can provide for the students outdoors. It will sit at the centre of a willow coppice plantation which will produce materials for use in the forest area, design, and arts. The Green Schools Programme enables residents who are using the Recyclebank scheme to donate their points to local schools to help them earn grants for the development of initiatives that empower young people (3-18 years old) in the areas of environmental awareness, education and action. Recyclebank will donate £5 for every 500 points donated to Westfield Primary School for a grant worth up to £900.

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