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Issue:- Saturday Night, 12 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 7.

Mayor's 'Invest to Earn' creates jobs and protects services

INVESTMENTS made by the Mayor have delivered 1,600 new jobs, attracted £150 million of additional funding and are generating £3 million per year to support essential services.

A report to the Cabinet outlines the benefits of Mayor Joe Anderson's 'Invest to Earn' strategy since 2012, which has seen the City Council put money into schemes which help protect and create jobs, generate new economic growth, increase business rate income and deliver commercial returns of up to 15% as well as rental income.

Examples of success include the Council's £15 million purchase and refurbishment of the Cunard Building, as part of its accommodation strategy. An independent valuation of the building has shown that it is currently worth £27.8 million; almost double the amount the Council spent on its purchase and refurbishment.

It has brought a net financial benefit to the Council of £1.3 million in the 1st year and has the potential to bring in an additional £2 million per year in rent.

The move has not just secured the future of the building, but has also given it a whole new lease of life; next year the ground floor will become the British Music Experience, 2 new restaurants will open on the 1st floor and advanced discussions are underway with more potential tenants.

The deal also saw the Council vacate the former Millennium House, which has been converted into the Bill Shankly hotel by Signature Living creating up to 100 jobs.

Other investments include:-

► Bringing the long neglected historic Stanley Dock back into use as a mixed-use development including a hotel with the aid of a two year £5.5 million commercial loan attracting £30 million of private sector investment, the creation of 200 jobs and generating £800,000 in interest for the Council

► £61 million of Council investment in the new Exhibition Centre Liverpool and 4 star Pullman hotel which it's estimated will support 1,300 jobs in the wider economy and deliver a major economic boost to the City and an additional £600,000 of business rates

► £2.3 million of repayable grants for new manufacturing and IT businesses to create new, unique products creating 340 jobs over three years, including the relocation of the Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) to Liverpool

► £2 million commercial loan for pharmaceutical research, generating in excess of £500,000 in interest and levering in £6 million of additional investment with the potential to create over 200 new jobs

► £7.6 million use of Regional Growth Fund for highway infrastructure around the Project Jennifer site in Everton to deliver projects including a new supermarket, generating a potential 700 jobs and £800,000 in business rates

► £6.5 million to refurbish cultural listed buildings - £4.5 million for the Royal Philharmonic Hall and £2 million for the Royal Court, generating an additional £14 million of public and private sector cash to improve the building, protecting 200 jobs and creating 80 new positions

► Acquisition of Finch Farm Training Ground for £14 million, which brings in £200k per year in rent which will rise annually with inflation

Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "Invest to Earn is about using the Council's ability to borrow and investing the cash in projects which deliver a real benefit for the City, whether it's infrastructure improvements, jobs or generating income. No other City in the country is taking such an innovative approach to investment. We are now in a position where we are bringing in millions of pounds every year which we wouldn't otherwise have had as a result of our investments, and we are able to plough that back into essential services. At a time when we are facing immense financial pressures, this is vital money which is proving to be a lifeline to help us offset the worst of the cuts from Central Government. The whole aim of Invest to Earn is being smart about where we make our investments and make sure they deliver a decent return for Council Tax payers. Right now this money is helping protect much loved and valued Council services such as children's centres and adult social care. These one off investments are delivering a return for us year after year and making sure that the Council's money is working hard for Council Tax payers, generating significant returns."

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