Capital of Culture year boosted economy

LIVERPOOL’s Capital of Culture year provided a boost to the local economy which helped it to grow more quickly than any other city, according to new government figures.

The city’s Gross Value Added (GVA) figure increased by 4.6% between 2007-2008 – up by £400m to £8.6bn.

However, this remains below the national average. GVA per head – measuring economic perfformance taking the poulation size into account – of £19,647 also remains below the UK average of £21,103. However, the city is closing the gap. Its 2008 GVA figure was 95.6% of the UK average compared with 93.4% in 2007 and 86.6% in 1995.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “These figures show the impact both of the Capital of Culture and major developments such as Liverpool One and ACC Liverpool.

“Our growth was higher than all other major cities and in terms of GVA per head we are now moving towards the UK average, having overtaken Sheffield and Tyneside and being close to Birmingham.

“However, we have to be realistic and acknowledge that we are starting from a much lower base than virtually any other area and only Nottingham of the major cities has a lower GVA than Liverpool.”

City Council Leader, Councillor Joe Anderson, said: “Our challenge is to maintain this rate of growth in extremely challenging economic times. Like all other areas we have lost jobs during the recession and nobody is underestimating the task ahead.

“While we now have a far more robust economy than a decade or so ago, Liverpool’s renaissance is being put at risk by the spending cuts and we would hope that the Government would treat northern cities like Liverpool fairly so we can continue to build on the progress we have made.”

The government has also released a new set of jobs figures for the city  for 2009 (the Business Register Employment Survey). Liverpool lost 225,700 jobs between 2008-9, which was a 1.3% drop. This compares with 4% in other cities.