City Editor David Bartlett looks ahead to 2013 and the key schemes vital to Merseyside
VITAL projects worth more than £1.3bn which could help kick-start Merseyside's economy are due to be started this year.
The £300m scheme to expand the Port of Liverpool starts next month at the latest, the £425m rebuild of the Royal Liverpool Hospital is expected to start in the summer or autumn, and the £600m-plus second Mersey crossing will begin by the end of the year.
Robert Hough, chairman of the Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “These are transformational projects, not just because of the construction jobs, but because they will have a very direct impact on the region’s economy.”
Steve Nicholson, project manager of the Mersey Gateway said the new bridge would give the region’s economy a boost of £500m over the next three to four years because of the construction.
“Longer term the reason why Mersey Gateway is so important is because it makes sure Liverpool City Region is connected effectively.”
A spokesman for the Port of Liverpool, which has named the expanded port Liverpool2, said it was a shining example of private sector investment.
“It’s not just gimmicky why we called it Liverpool2. The port is very aware that it is the biggest boost to the local economy since the Liverpool One shopping centre.
“The expansion will create 5,000 jobs either directly or indirectly in the supply chain, and work should start in the next month or two.”
Judith Greensmith, chairman of the Royal, said of the new hospital plans: “The new Royal Liverpool University Hospital is one of the biggest and most important infrastructure and regeneration projects that Liverpool has seen in recent decades.
“The new £425m hospital will provide world-class health facilities for the people of the city and beyond, it will create jobs and investment and will completely transform the gateway to Liverpool.
“It will also allow the creation of the Liverpool BioCampus, which will put the city on the global map when it comes to life sciences, creating up to 5,000 jobs.”