The Institute of Directors has welcomed the announcement of two new devolution deals for the West Midlands and the Liverpool City Region, announced today.
On the Liverpool City Deal, Pete Radcliffe, IoD Liverpool Chair, said:
“I am encouraged by the Liverpool City Region (LCR) devolution agreement announced today and look forward to the IoD supporting its successful delivery.
“There may be some ‘devil in the detail’ but it looks like the LCR covers what we were seeking across a range of decision making and funding areas, such as the provision of business support, inward investment and addressing local skills provision, in order to strongly influence and manage the development of our future economic growth.
“The IoD has engaged strongly with its members and businesses in the LCR and collaborated with the other principal local professional bodies to ensure that the private sector has been effectively represented in the devolution negotiation process and the embryonic development of the Northern Powerhouse.
“The current collaboration across the private sector and the LCR Combined Authority provides an important foundation for success, which has been recognised by Government in offering this devolution agreement.
“The business environment in our City Region is the most positive it’s been for as long as I can remember. Our conversations and consultations with the business community have highlighted a real and ambitious appetite to maximise the opportunities being presented. This will be achieved by working together in a joined up and effective manner, with local decision-making exploiting the unique combination of strengths that the local people and the culture of Liverpool possess.
“There are significant benefits for LCR businesses to consolidate and grow, and the opportunity for the successful development of thousands of new ones to contribute to the achievement of Liverpool's potential as a great city in which to live and do business.”
The IoD is one of the leading business organisations in the Liverpool City Region that have combined in a collective group of 12 (G12) to work with the Liverpool LEP in support of the devolution principles, as well as provide informed and specific comment on key areas. The others are the five local Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Downtown in Business Liverpool, the Social Enterprise Network, the Liverpool BID Company and Professional Liverpool.
On the devolution deal for the West Midlands, John Phillips, Regional Director of IoD West Midlands, said:
“A combined authority is long overdue. We all have to work together to appeal to a global market which has no interest in tiny geographic divisions.
“The future trend for the UK is very much set towards devolution, which is welcome but needs to be accelerated. It will be great to have a business-friendly Mayor to support wealth creation, allowing us to support all our people.
“We will contribute massively across the combined authority in terms of tax-take from business. It is only right that much more money is controlled here locally, particularly on education, transport and infrastructure – though it is important too that some of the further tax which will be generated should be directed back into business.
“The devolution deal is great news as we must make the most of the great depth of enterprise and diversity in the region, where we have so many talented young people, and maximise the benefits of HS2.”