Agenda item

Liverpool City Region Growth Platform


The Board received a presentation from Mark Basnett, the Managing Director of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Growth Platform, informing of the role and work of his organisation.


It was reported that the LCR Growth Platform was established jointly by the Liverpool City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership and Combined Authority to help strengthen, simplify and coordinate the business landscape for the City Region to make it easier for businesses to start, grow and invest in the area. 


The mission of the Growth Platform was described as being able to deliver growth across the City Region through business support, attracting investment and developing talent to create a fairer, greener and more inclusive economy for all who lived and worked here.


Mr Basnett outlined to Members the positive relationships that existed between the Growth Platform and the Council and discussed the following areas using a presentation:


·         Sector Insights – were a range of City Region based sector Boards that provided insight on key opportunities and challenges facing businesses in each sector;

·         Cluster Developments – these were growing in numbers; Daresbury Sci-Tech had been included in the LCR cluster development;

·         LCR Growth Hub – any businesses could access services offered by the Growth Hub;

·         The scale up of business support – the LCR overall had a business survival and growth problem so it was recognised that there was a need to nurture and support new businesses; it was commented however that Halton performed well in this area;

·         Data on business survival rates and growth comparisons were made with the rest of England;

·         LCR Careers Hub – an LCR wide programme of support for students and schools to better understand and experience local careers and future employment opportunities; and

·         Inward Investment and Performance Analysis – the Council sits on the Investment Board.


Further to Members questions following the presentation, the following further information was provided:


·         The Growth Platform was not as well known as it should be and it was a challenge to attract people in.  Funding was cut this year, which had affected the amount of outreach planned.  The amount of funding for next year was unknown;

·         The success of the two schools in Halton that had reached all eight Gatsby benchmarks was discussed.  Success was usually driven by the passion of the staff at the school who encouraged leadership and entrepreneurialship amongst their students.  What could be learnt from these schools – this would be looked into outside the meeting and reported back;

·         There was an almost 50/50 split of Halton residents versus out of Borough employees who worked in local businesses in Halton.  A summary taken from an economic profile of Halton would be prepared and sent to Members following the meeting;

·         The Growth Hub did not include business support for young people at the moment as this was not funded as part of the offer.   The Council has provided start up programs in the past for young people but funding was also a challenge now in Halton;

·         There was a need to get into secondary schools in Halton to offer careers advice services; and

·         Leaving the EU had shown a 10%-15% decline in trade and exports.  This has had a particularly negative effect on small businesses who were unable to meet the additional requirements to do business in Europe.


RESOLVED: That the Board notes the considerations given to how the Liverpool City Region Growth Platform contributes to supporting businesses in Halton.


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