Westminster Social Policy Forum

The future for infrastructure in Liverpool: transport priorities, supporting local economic growth and linking development with the wider region

Morning, Friday, 28th June 2019

Central Liverpool


This conference will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the next steps for infrastructure and economic growth in Liverpool.

Key stakeholders and policymakers will discuss what is needed from national infrastructure policy to support the region, with the Government’s Infrastructure Strategy due to be released later this year.

They will also discuss local infrastructure priorities, following the development of a Spatial Development Strategy commissioned by the City Region to cover housing, transport and planning.

Delegates will discuss how new investment should be targeted, with the city region due to receive £172.5m from the Transforming Cities Fund and an extra £1.1bn announced in the Budget to be allocated to Mayoral Authorities on a per capita basis - and with the Mayor outlining a £500m Strategic Investment Fund to encourage inclusive growth and support infrastructure, growth, skills, culture and housing.

Sessions will assess the progress of ongoing rail infrastructure projects, including Network Rail’s multi-billion pound Great North Rail programme of improvements and progress on HS2, as the Government announces a one-year delay on the Phase 2b Hybrid-Bill.

There will also be an update on road improvement and upgrade projects, with discussion on the NIC’s ongoing partnership work with Liverpool to improve local transport and reduce congestion on the city’s roads - cited by the National Infrastructure Commission as the second most congested outside London.

Further sessions discuss early progress on the City Region’s move towards a low-carbon economy, following the announcement of a zero-carbon target by 2040.

As the Mayor re-emphasises his plans to take forward Mersey tidal power, attendees will also discuss the role that the River Mersey can play in a low-carbon future, as well as the potential for the Liverpool-Manchester Hydrogen Clusters project to decarbonise gas networks and deliver cleaner energy.

The agenda also looks at the future for the Port of Liverpool as a nationally important global trade hub, and priorities for multi-modal freight transportation. They will also discuss the role of the airport in providing Liverpool with an international gateway, as well as road and rail links to the airport.

The questions of how infrastructure can be utilised to support local economic growth underpins the seminar - with discussion expected on how stakeholders across housing, universities, businesses and the wider region can work effectively together to promote innovation.

Sessions will also consider housing priorities including housebuilding targets and best new sites following the Mayor’s Brownfield First approach and discussions planned with Homes England on establishing new sites for housing.

Keynote Speaker

John Irving

Chief Executive Officer, Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Keynote Speakers

Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive, Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

John Irving

Chief Executive Officer, Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Councillor Liam Robinson

Chair, Transport Committee, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; Member, Liverpool City Council and Chair, Merseytravel


Dame Louise Ellman MP

Member of Parliament for Liverpool Riverside and former Chair, Transport Select Committee.


Bronwen Rapley

Chief Executive, Onward Homes

Graham Botham

Strategy and Planning Director, North, Network Rail

Senior speaker confirmed from Peel Ports

Mark Power

Interim Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Liverpool John Moores University