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City reeling as NWDA pulls the plug

But do the 100 cuts really mean death for all? Larry Neild isn't so sure...

Published on July 27th 2010.


City reeling as NWDA pulls the plug

SHOULD we put a sign on Thelwall Viaduct telling visitors heading our way from the well-to-do South East .... “North West closed for business. Thank You for your Support and Custom in the Past”.

Many will manage to survive. So why did those schemes go cap in hand in the first place to the NWDA for money? Did they perhaps see it as a convenient piggy-bank for their pet projects?

The spend thrift Coalition is closing its own Consultate in Liverpool, known as Government Office North West.

And now the terminally-ill North West Regional Development Agency has pulled the plug on funding for over 100 projects.

The publication of the hit-list late on Monday send shock-waves a cross the area as the details were absorbed. It must have been like on of those wartime casualty lists, people looking to see if they are affected.

Yet what struck me as the dust began to settle was the comments from disappointed participants saying they would find other ways to plug the gaps created by the sudden removal of funding.

Isn’t his a time to display true northern grit and show Ebenezer Cameron and Tiny Nick as well as Wilfred Pickles what we are made of? We don’t need their stinking money.

The new Everyman was expected a lottery-sized check from the NWDA for over £2m to pay for the rebuilding of the much loved theatre of dreams up on Hope Street.

This is what Deborah Aydon, executive director of the Everyman and Playhouse, had to say “The loss of £2.4m is a substantial sum, around 10%. We are working very positively with partners to keep momentum going to make sure it is not a show stopper.”

Liverpool City Council had ben expecting £2m to help pay for improvements to pavements and outdoor spaces in Old Hall Street, Dale Street, Mount Pleasant, and Castle Street. The council is looking at getting developers to stump up the money or scale down bits of the schemes.

The Mersey Partnership and Liverpool Vision will lose around £1m between them, money used to help their running costs. Both agencies have a host of private sector partners who may have to dig a little deeper into their corporate pockets.

Liverpool Science Park will lose £1.5m towards an £8m expansion to create a third building on the site off Brownlow Hill. The City Council, the University of Liverpool, and John Moores University hope to borrow the money to make up the difference.

The speed of the NWDA’s £52m axe has been swift, with funding withdrawn from all projects still on the wrong side of winning that final sealed signature.

And there will be numerous schemes abandoned because of the withdrawal of this cashline.

Yet many will manage to survive. So why did those schemes go cap in hand in the first place to the NWDA for money? Did they perhaps see it as a convenient piggy-bank for their pet projects?

We’ve heard so many times we will suffer because of over over-reliance on public sector jobs and public sector money.

In the days of Objective One funding, some critics said Merseyside’s reliance on its poverty-status to collect Euro money was a bigger impediment to our growth, our image and our reputation than standing on our own two feet.

Let’s assume the attack on our finances and funding is an economic civil war. The North West, back by the Merseyside Irregulars are surely up for the battles ahead.

Schemes affected on Merseyside- Kingston House, Liverpool - Planning Fees, Langtree
- CBC Aintree
- Getrag Training Project, Halewood
- Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, Liverpool
- Liverpool Science Park Innovation Centre 3, Neptune Developments
- West Float Land Remediation - Wirral
- Riverside Park 2b - Wirral
- The Liverpool Institute of Vaccine Research
- Jaguar Land Rover Training Project
- Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Arts Project
- Mersey Tidal Test Centre, Peel
- Wirral HE Campus
- Smart Grid Centre of Excellence
- The Mersey Partnership (includes Mersey Waterfront project management but excludes Inward Investment funding)
- Liverpool Vision
- Northwest Automotive Alliance
- BioNow
- Envirolink Northwest
- Food Northwest
- Liverpool City Council - City Centre Movement Strategy
- Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council - The Southport Partnership

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