Multimillion-pound investment to fund NW ‘green’ recovery from pandemic

The Government has approved £269m-worth of investment to deliver homes, infrastructure and jobs across the North West.

Twenty six shovel-ready projects across the region secured investment on £140.3m from a £900m fund, while there was also a £129m boost to deliver 8,500 new homes on brownfield land in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Combined Authority areas.

The move is part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to deliver upgrades to local infrastructure and boost skills to help fuel a green economic recovery.

Successful projects being funded in the North West include:

  • £23m for phase 1 of the development of commercial space at Mayfield Park in Greater Manchester, expected to deliver 3,200 jobs and attract more than one million visitors a year
  • £5.5m for Cumbria to develop a Vertical Farm, a significant integrated, carbon neutral, farming solution and to develop a worldwide centre of excellence offering research, teaching and visitor facilities and providing education programmes for schools on nutrition & health
  • £11m to redevelop the iconic Littlewoods Pools building in Liverpool into a key site for the creative industries sector
  • £3.6m to develop Burnley Pioneer Place, a retail and leisure development next to Burnley Knowledge Quarter
  • £5.05m to deliver The Alderley Park Validation Centre of Excellence, further strengthening Alderley Park’s position as one of the UK’s largest R&D campus.

Details of the new £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which will see the Government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of around 600,000 homes, have also been announced.

Tradespeople must register for TrustMark accreditation to take part in the scheme, which will cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal – measures that could help homeowners including landlords save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.

Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.

Housing Minister, Christopher Pincher, said: “Delivering quality, affordable homes is central to uniting and levelling-up every part of the country as we all work to bounce back from the challenges of coronavirus.

“This investment in the North West will provide an immediate lift to the local economy and a long-term legacy of around 11,000 environmentally-sustainable homes matched with the local infrastructure that will turn these homes into thriving communities.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke, said: “We want to kickstart a green economic recovery across the North West by investing in infrastructure and delivering the jobs and homes that people across the region need.

“That is why we are investing £140.3m in shovel-ready projects in the North West.

“This includes investment in a significant project at Mayfield Park in Greater Manchester, with our £23m investment in commercial space expected to deliver more than 3,000 jobs and provide a huge boost to the local economy.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, welcomed the investment, which also includes £9m for the Glass Futures scheme in St Helens and £2m for the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

He said: “This announcement is good news for our region. These projects will create thousands of jobs and play a key role in the first stages of our economic recovery after coronavirus.”

But he added: “While today’s funding is welcome, it is only the tip of the iceberg of the support we need from government.”

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