Funding for city’s first business support hub for black-led ventures

Michelle Charters

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is funding the city’s first business support hub for black-led businesses, as part of the recently launched Race Equality Programme.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced a total of £214,000 for pre-development funding towards three projects that will help tackle racial inequality in the city region.

The funding will enable the three projects to get started on important work that will contribute towards identifying and tackling the barriers that negatively impact on the economic position of BAME communities.

The three projects approved for funding are:

  • Nia Black Business Hub Pilot: £93,573 for the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre to run a pilot to develop the concept and delivery plan for a project which aims to create the city region’s first business incubation and support hub specifically for black-led businesses.
  • Positive Action & Employment Support Programme: £65,000 for the design of an LCR-wide positive action infrastructure and employment support programme, to deliver significant benefits both to individuals and to business and economic performance across Liverpool City Region.
  • International Slavery Museum: £55,000 to take forward the first stage of pre-development funding for the International Slavery Museum, including enhanced virtual classroom resources, making the existing transatlantic slavery programme more accessible and providing a new legacies programme, and a pop-up exhibition exploring ways of using the Martin Luther King Jnr Building – the former Dock Traffic Office – in connection with the International Slavery Museum.

Steve Rotheram said: “Events over the past year have bought into sharp focus the deep-seated and structural inequalities that exist in our society and, as Mayor, I have committed our city region to taking meaningful action to address this.

“In October we launched our Race Equality Programme and pledged to listen honestly to the issues facing the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in our city region and work together to drive change.

“This funding marks an important first step and I’m delighted we’ve been able to help projects that support BAME businesses, address inequalities and under representation in our economy, and face up to the legacy of slavery in our city region.”

Michelle Charters, Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre chief executive, said: “We are delighted with this financial support and commitment from Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the combined authority.

“It will allow us to work in collaboration with The Women’s Organisation and build on the work of L8 A Better Place in order to pilot and develop the Nia Black Business Hub, which will offer support to people of African, Caribbean, Asian and Arab descent in order to develop new ideas, initiatives and businesses in the LCR region.”