In April 2017 an Economy Board was established to help drive economic growth in the borough. Chaired by Eamonn McManus, the board helped to set up a successful business awards ceremony, secure support for Glass Futures, and led the creation of the Ambassadors programme, which with over 150 members and in addition to being a networking opportunity for businesses, has promoted apprenticeships, carried out work with schools to raise aspiration, and provided much needed support for vulnerable children and care leavers.
Post-Covid St Helens Borough Council needs a broader forum, working with partners from the private, public and third sector to not just drive economic growth but to consider issues such as tackling economic and social inequalities, community cohesion and the climate emergency.
To help make this happen, our Labour Cabinet has approved plans to replace the Economy Board with a Place Board, mirroring the model and hopefully success of the existing People’s Board in bringing stakeholders together and working to a set of common goals.
Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “The Economy Board has been a great success and I want to thank all those who took part, and particularly Eamonn McManus who did a superb job as Chair. We are now seeing many of the projects they championed coming to fruition, and we thank them all for their dedication to our borough.
“Now the challenges we face are greater and more diverse than ever, but so are the opportunities. We’ve got a successful Town Deal Board which has won £25m funding, a game-changing 20-year partnership with English Cities Fund to deliver major regeneration schemes, a determination locally and regionally to tacking the climate emergency, and exciting projects such as Glass Futures, Parkside, Omega West, Moss Nook, Cowley Hill and more well on the way to delivery.
“We need to make sure that St Helens residents get the most benefit from these opportunities and the Place Board will support our efforts to drive Inclusive Growth, driving local investment and delivering for local residents and our communities.”
The new board will focus on six key areas: economic development, business engagement, employment and skills, town centre regeneration, housing development and green growth.
A range of business, public and private sector leaders will make up the Place Board and it will act in an advisory role to the council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Region Enterprise Partnership.
The Place Board will also have a direct link to the People’s Board with the recognition that growth and development should actively look at ways to improve and benefit people’s health and wellbeing.
For more information see the Cabinet report here.