Mersey Dee Alliance

The Story So Far

Growing the Mersey Dee Economy

The Mersey Dee area is an important strategic and dynamic region. It already contributes significantly to the UK economy and still has significant economic growth potential across the region.

Key Highlights and Achievements

Transport Connectivity

Halton Curve

The reopened Halton Curve rail line and new services between Liverpool and North Wales is a recent example of successful cross border collaboration, with around half a million passenger journeys undertaken on this line in the first 6 months of reopening. With continued investment this unique region can open the door to increased economic activity and enhance its contribution to the Northern Powerhouse and UK Plc.

Growth Track 360 / West and Wales Rail Investment Campaign

Great progress has been made over the last 18 months by the North Wales and Mersey Dee Rail Task Force. This campaign is a true reflection of cross border collaboration. We have seen progress against Halton Curve, Chester Station capacity improvements, Wrexham Bidston line and service improvements, North Wales Coast Line speed improvements. The Task Force continues to lobby for investment to improve rail connectivity within and around the Mersey Dee area. Please click here to view documents.

North Wales Metro

The MDA has supported the North Wales Metro working group. Progress continues on Wrexham General Station improvements, Wrexham Transport Hub, Deeside and Shotton Interchange stations, Wrexham to Merseyside to date.

Chester Broughton Growth Corridor

The MDA has supported the working group in the first phase of the Chester Broughton Growth Corridor project – formerly known as the Chester Western Relief Road.

Transport for North (TfN)

The MDA worked closely with North Wales and Mersey Dee Rail Task Force to promote the transport priorities for the Mersey Dee area to be included in the TfN Strategic Transport Plan. We are pleased to see that Chester Station capacity improvements and Wrexham Bidston service and line improvements have been included. It is important that we lobby TfN further to include our cross border road investment priorities.

Skills and Employment

Skills and Innovation Symposium

In September 2018, the Mersey Dee Alliance and the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership sponsored the North Wales and Mersey Dee Skills and Innovation Symposium in collaboration with Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Bangor University and the University of Chester. Over 70 delegates from the private and public sectors attended.

The speakers included: a video message from Ken Skates AM; Sasha Davies, Chair of the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership; Iwan Trefor Jones, North Wales Growth Deal/Economic Ambition Board; Christine Gaskell, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership; Ian Lucas, Labour MP for Wrexham; Professor Maria Hinfelaar, Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University.

The discussions reflected on their experience working in our cross-border region and the skills challenges we face including how we can retain and attract skilled graduates and how universities and industry can work together to make our region even stronger. An Industry Panel comprising Horizon Nuclear Power, Airbus, Unilever, North Wales and West Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, Institute of Directors and Denis Ferranti Group.

Low carbon and clean growth

Energy Summit

In April 2018, the MDA, in partnership with the North Wales Economic Ambition Board and the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, held the North Wales and Mersey Dee Energy and Clean Growth Summit. The overwhelming outcome of the Summit was the recognition of the need and the clear will to work together on either side of the border to support the growth of the energy sector.

Energy Prospectus

One of the main outcomes of the cross border Energy Summit was to work collaboratively with the energy sector to produce an energy prospectus for North Wales and the Mersey Dee area. The North Wales and Mersey Dee Energy and Clean Growth Prospectus was published in March 2020. Please click here to view documents.

Partnership

Liverpool City Region

A priority for 2018/19 was to strengthen the relationship with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. We were pleased to welcome the Combined Authority as Board members in March 2018, alongside our longstanding member from Wirral Council. Wirral Council continues to maintain the strong role it plays within the MDA and is the lead representative for the City Region. This will allow the partnership to better consider the work of Liverpool City Region and the wider benefit that can be achieved by collaborating further.

North Wales Growth Deal

We are pleased to see that colleagues in North Wales have secured Growth Deal funding of £120m form UK Government which has been matched by a further £120m from Welsh Government. The MDA has long supported the need for a Growth Deal for North Wales and that support will continue into the future. We look forward to working with colleagues in North Wales to support the cross border elements of the Growth Deal priorities. Please click here to view documents.

Mersey Dee Investment Programme

In order to deliver the priorities identified in the Growth Prospectus, the MDA has produced an Investment and Delivery programme which sets out the investment required in transport connectivity, skills development, digital connectivity and low carbon and clean growth over the next 5 to 20 years to unlock the economic growth potential at strategic development sites and better link the Mersey Dee area to the wider economy of the Northern Powerhouse, Ireland and Europe. Please click here to view documents.

Business Support

MDA Innovation Network Business Breakfasts

The MDA continues to support businesses within the Mersey Dee region by holding cross border Business Breakfast networking events. During 2018/19 six events took place at various locations in England and Wales. All places are offered free of charge, on a first come first serve basis, with businesses invited to “get involved in one of the most innovative and effective networks across the North Wales/North West border area”. The average attendance for each event is over 153 (check) delegates. Each event provides free exhibition space and offers organisations and employers a 2 minute pitch to showcase their business, support and potential funding available.

Sponsorship packages are available for each event. For further details about how to sponsor a future Business Breakfast please email mda@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Click here to find out more about our Business Breakfast events.

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