Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced the creation of a Liverpool City Region Economic Recovery Panel, to help steer the city region through the economic recovery following the coronavirus crisis. Made up of local business leaders, representatives of central government and national bodies, council leaders and members of the Local Enterprise Partnership Board, and chaired by the Metro Mayor, the Recovery Panel will aim to maximise the impact of economic recovery funding to help individuals, businesses, third sector, public and community organisations to build back better in the aftermath of the pandemic. Speaking about the Economic Recovery Panel, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “I am doing all I can to help local businesses to survive in the here and now, but it’s important to begin planning for how we best rebuild and grow after the Coronavirus. “I am launching the Liverpool City Region Economic Recovery Panel to bring together experts from a range of sectors to help our region’s business and voluntary maximise their share of the funding they need. It will also give our region a single, united voice to lobby Government for the funding and programmes that we need. “Before this pandemic struck, the Liverpool City Region had the fastest gross value added (GVA) growth in the whole of England, at 3.5%, and well above average productivity growth. “We can make a huge contribution to national economic recovery but we know that the scale of the challenge is such that we will need major support from government. “This panel will enable us to gain a clear understanding of national funding so we can maximise its impact across the city region, while making sure that national funding programmes understand and reflect our local needs. “There can, however, be no return to business as usual. I want our region to Build Back Better; to show the rest of the country how we can build a thriving economy that is fairer, greener and more inclusive than what went before.” The key roles for the Recovery Panel will be: Understanding the context for recovery funding by assembling a clear picture of the national context and of local need Applying this context to the Liverpool City Region, for which the local industrial strategy is the key guide at the city region level, with important sub-regional plans also relevant Supporting the local Recovery Plans of constituent local authorities. Coordinating and aligning funding streams to maximise scale, delivery and impact, helping to fund the city region’s economic recovery plan Considering best practice, local opportunities and solutions, and innovating where beneficial Creating a feedback loop between national government and government agency programmes Secure buy in from across the City Region on the content and submission of the recovery plan LEP Chair Asif Hamid MBE will establish a challenge group to engage with the city region’s recovery plan. The Group will assure that it is sufficiently directed towards becoming a globally competitive economy and that its overall ambition is sufficiently high. It is expected that the Panel will meet regularly, initially monthly, for the next 12 – 18 months. Combined Authority officers shall staff the Panel. Their work shall link closely with member local authorities. A proportionate number of senior officers from both the combined authority and its local authorities may participate in the meetings as appropriate.