Will a £365,000 loan to refurbish the Pacific Road Arts Centre be enough?
Yesterday I was reading a story headlined Liverpool Council chiefs to invest £8m in private developments to kick-start stalled schemes which had a sub headline of “Mayor Anderson backs plans to allocate £8.2m to nine projects in Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley and Wirral”. I wondered what the project in Wirral was that was getting this funding as the article didn’t mention it.
So I went on Liverpool City Council’s website and found an item with the rather dull agenda item title of Growing Places Fund Round 2 (M/13) had been decided at Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet meeting on Friday morning. This is a link to the report for that agenda item. Liverpool City Council is the accountable body for loans to be made by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. A table of the loans agreed (subject to due diligence) from that report is below.
|LOCAL AUTHORITY||PROJECT||LEP LOAN RANK||LOAN REQUEST|
|Halton||G Park Logistics Warehouse – Former Bayer site remediation||1||1,000,000|
|Knowsley||Hornhouse Lane – Warehouse/Production facilities||2||1,500,000|
|Halton||Johnsons Lane – Spine Road to unlock land||3||500,000|
|Knowsley||Rail Freight Terminal||4||800,000|
|Liverpool||Stonebridge Cross – Mixed Use||5||1,000,000|
|Halton||Venture Fields – Mixed Use||6||510,000|
|Liverpool||Martins Bank – Hotel||7||1,500,000|
|Wirral||Ocean Plaza – managed workspace||8||365,000|
|Knowsley||Tratos – manufacturing premises||9||1,000,000|
I was born on the Wirral and have lived on the Wirral all my life. I’ve never heard of an Ocean Plaza on the Wirral, although a reader thinks that Ocean Plaza could refer to the renovation of the Pacific Road Arts Centre. The only Ocean Plaza I know of currently on Merseyside is a retail park just outside Southport town centre.
At the last meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority a number of the projects in the table above were referred to during presentations. Mayor Joe Anderson chairs the Liverpool City Council Cabinet, who decided last Friday where the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership loans would go (subject of course to due diligence). The projects bidding for the money have to be linked to new jobs, economic growth and/or new houses. So when will Wirral get its fair share of this £8 million in loans to be spent on encouraging economic growth and creating jobs?
*Edit 28/4/14 A person leaving a comment suggests that Ocean Plaza could be the project name for what’s happening to the Pacific Road Arts Centre. This appendix to a Cabinet report suggests that the £365,000 loan referred to above is going towards that, even though the cashflow forecast shows that a loan of £485,000 is needed.
Sixteen projects were invited to give presentations to the Local Enterprise Partnership but only nine were chosen, were there any Wirral ones in the seven that weren’t picked and if so why didn’t any other Wirral ones make the top nine?
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