We have sponsored the first of our events in partnership with the Institute of Directors (IoD) in the Liverpool City Region. In July, we welcomed an audience at ACC Liverpool for a question-and-answer session with Metro Mayors Steve Rotherham and Andy Burnham.

Since 2014, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester have entered into a number of expanding deals on devolution. The UK Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, due to be published later this year, is set to further expand these deals, and set out “bold new policy interventions to improve livelihoods and opportunities in all parts of the UK.” Mr Rotherham and Mr Burnham discussed the value of the relationship between central and local government.

Of course, ‘levelling up’ was discussed thoroughly, with the pair acknowledging the need for collaboration across the two cities without ignoring their differences. Building Back Better, Mr Rotherham’s ambitious recovery plan for the city, makes the case for a £1.4 billion investment from central government to unlock £8.8 billion of projects to begin in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, Powering Recovery, the economic plan set out by Manchester City Council, focuses on private sector partnerships and a new place-based partnership arrangement at national, subregional and local levels.

Across the North West, particularly in Liverpool and Manchester, achieving zero carbon status is high on the agenda. Both regions are targeting net zero well ahead of the government’s 2050 deadline. If Liverpool and Manchester can reach their targets, in 2040 and 2038 respectively, the North West will be on its way to becoming the UK’s first net zero region.

The session with the Metro Mayors was incredibly positive, and there was a real sense of optimism from both leaders. At DSG, we are incredibly proud of our Liverpool and North West roots, and through our partnership with the IoD over the next 12 months, we hope to showcase and champion the very best of the Liverpool business community.