Growth plan for north-west

The Regional Economic Strategy was today launched at the House of Commons and will have a direct bearing on £45 billion-worth of spending in the northwest and Merseyside itself. According to the Liverpool Echo, the three-year action plan includes: creation of 150,000 new jobs; raising new business formation to 21,000 a year; increasing the number of workforce graduates by 120,000 and raising the wealth per head of the population above the average for England. Specific pledges of support included the Liverpool Science Park, the National Biomanufacturing Centre and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Support will also be given to key schemes such as the 2008 Capital of Culture, the new cruise liner facility in the docks and the Kings Dock arena. "We want an internationally competitive economy that is driven forward by enterprise, innovation and high-level skills," said Steven Broomhead, North West Development Agency chief executive. On Merseyside the strategy will be delivered by The Mersey Partnership. Chief Executive Robert Crawford said: "Our aim is to ensure Merseyside plays an active part in contributing to the development of a competitive and sustainable regional economy."

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