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Liverpool City Region

Overview

Liverpool City Region (LCR) is an overwhelmingly urban area; it covers an area of 724 km² and has a population of 1,492,181, giving a population density of 2,061 inhabitants per km².

It has 38,000 enterprises, including many international businesses; these contribute €32bn to the UK economy. Key business sectors include advanced manufacturing, life sciences, financial and professional services, maritime and logistics, the visitor economy and renewable energy. LCR has a major maritime tradition that continues today and possesses excellent national and international connectivity. It is world-famous for its cultural and sporting excellence and has the largest collection of galleries and museums in the UK outside London. Its three universities also play a major role in local life and the local economy.

LCR comprises the six municipalities of Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral and Halton. They are supported by the LCR Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which formally brings together local political and business leaders to help to drive the city region’s economy. On 1 April 2014, the six municipalities, the LEP and Merseytravel (which oversees passenger transport locally) further joined forces to create the LCR Combined Authority. Combined Authorities are new governance arrangements for English city regions, under which municipalities may choose to pool certain functions; in return they receive extra powers and resources from central government.

Examples of LCR EU engagement

Liverpool City Region has a long history of Structural Funds management. From 1994-2006, Merseyside, as it was then known, was an Objective 1 region and as such benefited from major levels of investment – in 2000-2006 alone, the amount received exceeded €1bn. During this period, Merseyside had its own Operational Programmes and was responsible for programme management.

In 2007-2013, thanks to growth in its GDP relative to the EU average, Merseyside became a Phasing-In Region; as such it had its own ringfence (dedicated allocation), though this was much reduced compared to amounts under Objective 1.

For 2014-2020, Liverpool City Region is a Transition Region, a newly created category of regions whose GDP per head is between 75 and 90% of the EU average. This will see LCR receive a ringfence of €221bn. Though there is a single Operational Programme for the whole of England for ERDF, and a single English Operational Programme also for ESF, within this there is considerable delegation to local level in terms of setting priorities and programme delivery.

Liverpool was also European Capital of Culture in 2008. Our year is widely considered one of the most successful and we are still involved with the Capitals of Culture in an advisory and analytical capacity.

More recently, in 2014 Liverpool hosted a two-month International Festival for Business (IFB), which had a dedicated European week and extensive EU involvement. IFB will take place again in 2016.

LCR also has a long history of engagement with EU trans-national funds. These are mostly sectoral funds that have to be bid for in EU-wide competitions; bids are submitted in partnership with other parts of the EU. Funds successfully drawn down by LCR include: various Interreg (inter-regional cooperation) programmes; the major EU Framework Programmes for research, demonstration and innovation; funding for completion of the Trans-European Network; various programmes for justice and home affairs, lifelong learning, social inclusion, clean energy, the environment and transport.