Liverpool City Region to benefit from further EU funding

Posted 10th July 2015
6 minutes read
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ATLANTIS project will see further infrastructure investment in the City Region

The EU Commission has today (Friday 10 July) approved a joint bid between the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the port of Brest, France and Leixoes in Portugal for maritime infrastructure investment.

The ATLANTIS project is a transnational funding project that was submitted to the European Commission’s £1+billion Motorways of the Sea initiative. Motorways of the Sea is designed to streamline and promote new intermodal maritime-based logistics chains across Europe.

The City Region will see approximately £370,000 to fund a range of feasibility and development activities, namely for a number of transformational capital projects integral to the delivery of Superport such as the proposed Parkside Strategic Rail Freight interchange in St Helens.

Monies secured will also enable a major maritime event as part of IFB 2016.

Welcoming the announcement from the EU Commission, Robert Hough, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “This is fantastic news for our City Region and showcases transnational partnership working at its best.

“The City Region is going through an exciting period with £1billion worth of transformational projects underway and it is vitally important that our transport system in the region supports this development and seeks to encourage further investment to grow the regional economy. We will now work with our partners including Peel Ports, Merseytravel and the City Region local authorities in driving this project forward.”

Meriadec Le Mouilloir, the Director of Brest Chamber of Commerce, which is the lead ATLANTIS project partner: “We are delighted that the European Commission has agreed to take forward our partnership project ATLANTIS (as an integral part of its Motorways of the Sea programme). This innovative initiative is intended to facilitate the establishment of an Atlantic maritime corridor to inter-connect peripheral regions in the west of Europe. We are grateful to the Commission for its support, and indeed to all the various partner bodies and individuals who have been involved in the initial development activities that have gotten us to this stage. We will now set to work straight away with delivering the project in practice in line with the project timetable.”

Bernard Molloy, Superport Chair, said: “Securing this funding once again highlights the important of the Superport initiative. With our cluster of multi-modal assets from Peel Ports’ £300 million investment in Liverpool2 – a new deep water container terminal, to the new Mersey Crossing in Halton and potential intermodal rail freight interchange on the former Parkside Colliery in St. Helens, the City Region is not only transforming UK freight capability but will transform the local economy for years to come.”

Said Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel: “We have been championing the importance of freight and logistics infrastructure as a means to support and grow the Liverpool City Region economy, and that of the north as a whole. This will help cement the City Region’s position as a key maritime gateway and adds further credibility to our task in leading the development of a freight and logistics strategy, on behalf of Transport for the North, to help create the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.”

Cllr. Grunwald, St Helens Council said: “The approval of the ATLANTIS project is great news for St.Helens, the whole of the Liverpool City Region, and beyond. This is in part because of its potential to support the development of the proposed, nationally significant, Parkside intermodal rail freight interchange, at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse transport corridor. St.Helens Council has been instrumental in this success, having directly committed staff resource to developing the project, and will continue to be directly involved in its delivery.”