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Liverpool heralded for being 1 of the 'most forward thinking Cities' in the Northern Powerhouse

The Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram tour Wirral Waters; part of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone...

THE Northern Powerhouse Minister, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, has endorsed ambitious economic regenerations plans for Liverpool on his 1st official visit to the North, since his promotion to Cabinet.

On a tour of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone with Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram, the Minister saw 1st hand the Wirral Waters regeneration scheme which is transforming the 500 acre Birkenhead Docklands into a pioneering, mixed use Waterside City Extension.

Delivery of this masterplan is already well underway, with 1 major development, the Wirral Metropolitan College moving into their new ₤10.5m RIBA campus, thanks to ₤2.7m investment from the Government's Local Growth Fund.

Northern Powerhouse Minister, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said:- "As a proud Scouser born and bred on Merseyside, Liverpool is the obvious place to make the 1st visit in my new role, see how the Northern Powerhouse is already making a massive difference to people's lives and set out the Government's plan to level up our Regions. So far we have committed a game changing ₤1.3billion across the Liverpool City Region and established a powerful Metro Mayor with a war chest of responsibilities to drive jobs and growth. The Northern Powerhouse agenda is delivering for Liverpool, but there is so much more to do. Liverpool is 1 of the most forward thinking Cities within the UK, thanks to the Government's Devolution Agenda and major investments being made by companies, like the Peel Group. They embody the dynamism and character of the area and its people."

The Minister meets Northern Powerhouse Partner, the Peel Group, to discuss calls for a 'Free Port' for Liverpool and their plans for a Maritime Knowledge Hub...

The Minister also met senior executives from the Peel Group, a member of the Government's official Northern Powerhouse Partners Programme, who are researching the potential for a:- 'Free Port' for Liverpool.

Freeports are hubs for business and enterprise for both manufacturing and services trade. These could be free of unnecessary checks and paperwork, and include customs and tax benefits. These zones reduce costs and bureaucracy, encouraging manufacturing businesses to set up or re-shore. The most successful Freeports globally attract businesses and create jobs for local people through liberalised planning laws.

Before this visit the UK Government announced a new Freeports Advisory Panel to advise on establishing up to 10 Freeports after the UK leaves the European Union, on 31 October 2019.

Peel L&P, part of the Peel Group, are also drafting exciting plans for the development of a Maritime Knowledge Hub within the Wirral Waters priority regeneration area, creating a centre of excellence and a platform for maritime businesses to grow within the Liverpool City Region.

Deputy Chairman of the Peel Group, Neil Lees said:- "As part of our ambitious ₤50bn Ocean Gateway strategy, through its investments, Peel Group has already seen more than ₤750 million invested in facilities and infrastructure at the Port of Liverpool and along the Manchester Ship Canal including schemes such as Liverpool and Wirral Waters; which is 1 of the most significant regeneration projects in the UK. In addition to this, we believe the Ocean Gateway strategic corridor creates new global trading opportunities for the Northern Powerhouse and supports the re-balancing of the UK economy."

Grassroots youth projects scoop share of ₤140,000 pot to build stronger, safer communities

GRASSROOTS projects which work to prevent young people from getting involved in crime have scooped the lion's share of a ₤140,000 funding pot aimed at building stronger, safer communities. 11 projects which focus on raising the aspirations, skills and goals of young people were among the 14 successful initiatives to be awarded grants from the latest round of the Police Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund.

Jane Kennedy established the fund in 2014 and this is the 5th time the Commissioner has invited organisations to apply for a vital cash boost of between ₤5,000 and ₤25,000 for initiatives which aims to cut crime, protect neighbourhoods and prevent problems before they occur.

A total of 61 applications were received, with requests for funding totalling more than ₤840,000 and, following an independent assessment panel, the Commissioner can now announce the 14 successful organisations. They include 4 boxing clubs in Liverpool, Knowsley and the Wirral and a number of arts, media and sporting projects working with young people, as well as several well known youth centres.

Jane said:- "There was a fantastic response to my invitation to bid for funding. The number and quality of the bids I received demonstrates the passion and dedication among community groups across Merseyside who wish to prevent crime and keep their areas safe. Unfortunately, I can only support a small number of these fantastic initiatives, but I believe the projects which have been awarded funding will be able to use these small grants to make a big difference. Many of these projects focus on supporting, advising and guiding young people away from making poor life choices to make sure they have a brighter future. Not only does this potentially save a young person from a life of crime, it can have a huge benefit for their family, make the community a nicer place to live and reduce the demand on the Police and other public services. It is also important to recognise that many of these young people may be coerced, groomed or exploited into carrying out criminal activities on behalf of others and they need our support to take them away from danger and ensure they can enjoy their childhoods and look forward to the future. As always, I'm looking forward to watching the progress and achievements of these projects over the next 12 months."

Among the successful recipients are Kirkdale Neighbourhood Co. Ltd. who have been awarded ₤12,000 to develop new grassroots projects aimed at combating territorialism and gang culture, in North Liverpool. This work will focus on bringing young people from different areas together to build relationships and friendships, including through activities such as army boot camp courses:- 'Tough Mudder' events and knife crime awareness sessions.

well respected community centre in Knowsley, Centre 63 have received ₤9,000 of funding to reach out to young people involved with or at risk of getting involved with crime, by encouraging them to access services, while community interest company Conquer Life have been granted ₤8,000 to fund youth workers who will work in some of the Region's most deprived neighbourhoods to build relationships with potentially vulnerable young people. Working with Merseyside Police, they will target hotspot areas and encourage young people to get involved with their:- 'Vibe' youth project which aims to improve their lives by motivating and encouraging them, while teaching them new skills.

Also among the successful organisations were the Royal Court Liverpool Trust who were awarded ₤20,000 to continue to tour their 2 hard hitting dramas, Terriers and 'Eve's Story,' which deliver powerful performances to raise awareness among young people of serious issues include:- guns and gangs, knife crime and sexual and criminal exploitation. Anfield and North Liverpool Boxing Club, Golden Gloves, in Toxteth and Kirkby and Wallasey Amateur Boxing Clubs were also among the organisations awarded funding.

Organisations which applied for the funding needed to show how their project would work to tackle the objectives set out in the Commissioner's Police and Crime Plan. Applications also needed to demonstrate how the initiative would reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They were also assessed to see how well they would protect vulnerable communities.

The Crime Prevention Fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), an independent charity which assists grant making and charitable giving. CFM's Senior Programmes Manager James Proctor said:- "Once again we are proud to be working with Merseyside's Police Commissioner and administering the Crime Prevention Fund. This fund is very popular and the decision making panel had some extremely difficult choices to make with so many valuable projects presented. We feel the projects supported will make a huge impact in communities and wish them every success."

Successful projects:-

Anfield and North Liverpool Boxing Club = 16,000

Centre 63 = 9,000

Community Safe Limited (Social Enterprise) = ₤8,000

Conquer Life CIC = ₤8,000

D Street Media CIC = ₤8,000

Golden Gloves Boxing Club = ₤9,000

Kirkby Amateur Boxing Club = ₤12,000

Kirkdale Neighbourhood Co. Ltd. = ₤12,000

Migrant Workers Sefton Community  = ₤5,000

Royal Court Trust Ltd. = ₤20,000

Saints Community Development Foundation = ₤10,000

Speke Children's Environment Committee = ₤8,000

Wallasey Amateur Boxing Club = ₤5,000

Women's Enterprising Breakthrough = ₤10,000

Total = ₤140,000

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