You asked us to engage with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in Merseyside andproduce a report that considers the opportunities available there for growth in the CityRegion over the next 10-20 years. We have had discussion with a wide range of stakeholders across the region to help us in our thinking and we are particularly gratefulfor the assistance of Liverpool City Council, the other local authorities in the city regionand from businesses and community groups who have helped us to prepare this report.Both of us, in our different ways, have known Liverpool and its city region over manydecades. This has given us a perspective against which to prepare this report.The first conclusion that emerges – and with growing strength - is that the opportunities,and the self confidence of those who seek to grasp them, are of a different andaltogether more encouraging nature than would have been reflected in a snapshot of such opinion in the 1970s and 1980s.A simple fact reflects the change. Liverpool is not the source of despair it once was:since 2000, Liverpool's economy has grown faster than that of the UK
. It was thisbackground that gave us the confidence to look for ways to build on existingachievements. We sought to identify the strengths underlying this widely felt sense of confidence.The analysis centres on three simple questions. Who? How? What?
Whois in charge and could be encouraged, incentivised or enabled?
Howcan change be brought about?
Whatshould or could happen as a consequence?
Take first the Who?
The economic area of the Liverpool region as defined by thenewly formed Local Enterprise Partnership is comprised of six local authorities(Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral, Sefton, as well as nearby Halton) each with itsown political leader.