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Issue:- 27 February 2014

£16 million jobs boost for City

MORE than 1,000 jobs are set to be created in Liverpool City Region through a £16 million support project to help businesses expand.  Liverpool City Council and Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has successfully bid for almost £8 million from the European Regional Development Fund, with it being matched funded with an additional £6 million from the private sector and £2 million of public funding.

The New Markets and Growth Business Programme, which runs until October 2015, is aimed at supporting small businesses to grow and access export markets.

The City council will be partnering with specialist business support agencies including the University of Liverpool Management School, the Women's Organisation and Smaller Earth which helps young entrepreneurs. They will provide advice and support to assist 1,190 businesses across Liverpool City Region, 714 of them in the City itself.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "At a time when public sector employment is reducing, it is absolutely vital that we do more to support businesses to expand and create jobs.  Growing startup businesses and encouraging entrepreneurs is crucial if we are to make sure there are opportunities for our residents. The International Festival for Business taking place later this year is a huge opportunity for Liverpool to market itself to the world, showcasing the City as a great place to invest. This scheme will help us support our own firms to take advantage of the profile and exposure that the event will create."

A recent report by the Centre for Cities found that Liverpool was the 5th best performing City for creating private sector employment with 12,800 new positions since 2010, but it still lags behind large conurbations in terms of business density.

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet member for employment, enterprise and skills, said:- "We've been very clear that Liverpool needs to create jobs by supporting businesses to grow, especially small and medium sized enterprises. These are the businesses that will be the drivers of economic growth and employment opportunities in the future. This successful award shows that we mean business."

As well as creating an estimated 1,080 positions, it will safeguard a further 276 jobs.  The council's Cabinet is being asked to accept the funding at its meeting on Friday, 28 February 2014.

The race is on as Port Sunlight hosts its third annual 10k – and this year the event is bigger and better!

FOLLOWING the success of last year's event, Port Sunlight Museum & Garden Village is pleased to announce that entries have opened for the third Port Sunlight Road Race. The race will take place in the historic village of Port Sunlight and is the second in partnership with experienced race organisers BTR, who also organise the popular BTR Liverpool Half Marathon, Santa Dash, and Mersey Tunnel 10k.

The 10k road race will take place on Sunday, 11 May 2014, and the event will also include a 5k race and 1k Fun Run.

This year's event will also see a unique series of cycle races on the closed streets of the village. The Port Sunlight Wheelers, one of the village's oldest groups (formed shortly after the 2nd World War), will officially race for the first time in the village that gave the club its name, and gives spectators a wonderful opportunity to see cycle racing at very close quarters.

Visitors on the day will also be able to enjoy the 'best bits' of Port Sunlight Museum & Garden Village's very popular annual Festival, including a live music stage, food, lifestyle and craft exhibitors, children's rides, and Pillbox Vintage Fairs.

Lionel Bolland, Chief Executive of Port Sunlight Museum & Garden Village, said:- "We are thrilled to be staging this event again in 2014 as part of our 125th Anniversary celebrations for the commencement of the building of Port Sunlight village. It's a great way to showcase the village and it attracts a lot of people from outside the North West region."

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell enthused:- "Port Sunlight is a great place to stage such an event. The wide roads and relatively flat course, combined with the beautiful architecture and formal landscapes, make it an ideal place for all types of runners, from experienced athletes to fun runners."

Katherine Lynch, Manager of Port Sunlight Museum, commented:- "These road races create a unique family atmosphere in the village and I would encourage as many people as possible to come and enjoy them, as a runner, cyclist or spectator."

The village is delighted to have Unilever's support through its Project Sunlight campaign, in what is another landmark year for Port Sunlight.

Unilever Port Sunlight Works Director, Andy Hinch, said:- "Port Sunlight is the historic home of Unilever and we are proud to support the Village Trust in sponsoring this year's event. We enjoyed celebrating the 125th anniversary of our factory with residents, employees and visitors last year, and I'm sure this will be another fantastic family occasion. Unilever's history is rooted in Port Sunlight and the village has inspired many people over the years, which makes it the ideal name of our Project Sunlight campaign to create a brighter future."

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