Euro-cash helps airport and docks line to take off
Feb 16 2008 by Vicky Anderson, Liverpool Daily Post
EXPANSION of John Lennon Airport and further improvements to Liverpool’s Edge Lane are among projects set to benefit from £200m of European Union money.
A rail line to Birkenhead Docks is also likely to be planned
in a £20m effort to boost gateways into and out of Merseyside.
The exciting prospects emerged following the launch of the new Northwest European Regional Development Fund.
This will bring more than £1bn of investment to the region by 2013 which could generate more than 26,000 jobs. Up to £521m will go to the North West as a whole, of which £212m has been ringfenced for Merseyside alone
Some £20m of this is to be used improving the gateways to the area, which was said yesterday to include the airport, Edge Lane, and the docks line.
There will also be an environmental aspect as it is hoped that investment projects will reduce carbon emissions by a quarter.
The programme is being managed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency.
Agency chief executive Steve Broomhead said: “The key is to spend on projects that are sustainable and going to make a big difference and have an economic impact and an impact on the quality of life of people in the region.
“Improving the road and rail infrastructure are things that can be done. Other examples include the second crossing of the Mersey, and improving access to John Lennon Airport. Without good access, it is a barrier to economic sustainability.
“Things have improved considerably over the last five years and the Mersey economy is at a point now where it needs that additional focus through this ringfenced money to take it to the next stage of sustainability.
“It is still lagging behind slightly.
“A lot of money has gone to new EU countries, such as Lithuania.
“So our projects will really have to make a difference.”
Lorraine Rogers, chief executive of The Mersey Partnership, which will be working in partnership with the agency, said: “Some £212m has been ringfenced for Liverpool City region, 40% of the total for the North West. This is a unique opportunity to further stimulate our growing economy.
“Key priorities include developing enterprise and inward investment and driving our knowledge economy. There will also be a continued focus on economic gateways, including the port and airport.”