Liverpool seeks government funding for post-coronavirus recovery plan

Leaders in Liverpool say a "profound crisis" in the city could be prevented if the Government provide £467 million towards a post-coronavirus recovery plan.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram have written to the Prime Minister to set out the £1.4 billion plan, which they say will create 25,600 jobs, provide 12,000 construction jobs and lead to more than 9,700 apprenticeships.

It comes as the BBC reported at least five English councils have warned they are effectively bankrupt, with Birmingham City Council saying emergency spending controls "would not rectify" its situation.

Liverpool has seen the third highest rate of coronavirus deaths among local authorities and the number of people claiming Universal Credit has risen from 32,000 to 45,000, while 48,600 jobs in the city have been furloughed.

Steve Rotheram Credit: PA

The recovery strategy needs £200 million of central government funding for construction and £267 million for apprenticeship and skills training programmes.

Mr Anderson said: "This recovery plan is a blueprint for a new Liverpool. Forged by ambition and confidence to be innovative in how we create new skills, new homes and new jobs, and it has the weight of the entire city behind it.

"Liverpool has undergone a renaissance over the past two decades and we are not about to let the momentum slip."

The report said: "Liverpool, like many other cities, is in a moment of profound crisis.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has put individuals' lives and livelihoods at risk, and threatens to derail the city's economic resurgence.

"This requires a response: we have come together as a range of public and private sector partners across the city and city region to develop an ambitious and extensive programme that will help Liverpool regain its economic standing, respond to structural economic shifts and grow."

Liverpool FC chief executive Peter Moore and vice chancellor of the University of Liverpool Professor Dame Janet Beer are among 72 figures from the city's commercial, legal, financial and cultural sectors who have given their backing to the plan.

Mr Moore said:

The report, which Liverpool City Council believes is the first fully-costed post-coronavirus recovery strategy, proposes addressing the risk of "mass unemployment" by introducing programmes including a grant towards wage costs and a job subsidy scheme.

Work already being done in the city on infectious disease research and public health would be built on, with office and technology developments included in the plans, and vulnerable neighbourhoods would see housing redeveloped in order to create jobs and new homes.

The plan also focuses on the creative and visitor sectors of the city's economy, with a visitor attraction including an "immersive digital experience" and a pop-up film studio among the proposals.

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