Liverpool has announced the launch of a new £30m partnership, to make the Liverpool City Region the most digitally connected area of the country.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said the move will generate an initial £105m for the local economy, leading to an eventual “£1 billion boost.”
“Our region was at the heart of the first industrial revolution, and I believe that this project can help us be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, creating thousands of jobs and ultimately generating £1bn for the local economy,” he said.
“It will make us leaders in the industries of tomorrow and will help us attract talent and investment from around the world as others look to take advantage of our skills, infrastructure and expertise.
“Local people and businesses will feel the benefits too – in the form of significantly faster speeds as well as the jobs and training opportunities, although the Government still needs to tackle the problem of digital exclusion.
“And, best of all, it will all be 50% owned by us so we can continue to reap the benefits for years to come.”
The city is creating a 212km full fibre, gigabit-capable network infrastructure, which will be half owned by the city region’s Combined Authority and ITS Technology Group, which is leading the project.
In the initial phase, the consortium will create a resilient fibre ‘backhaul network’, connecting three transatlantic cables and major economic clusters in each of the Liverpool City Region’s six local authority areas.
Digital infrastructure will be installed in carriageways, footpaths and cycle ways across the city region over the next two years, using “innovative deployment techniques” to minimise the impact on road and public transport users.
“ITS is delighted to be awarded this contract and be part of the team rolling out full fibre across the Liverpool City Region. This programme will have a transformational effect for everyone in the region and we are excited to be playing a central role in its delivery,” said Daren Baythorpe, CEO of ITS Technology Group.
“As shareholder partners in the Joint Venture we are proud to be contributing significantly to the tremendous growth in the digital economy of the region, and supporting national targets for full fibre access by 2033.
“The awarding of the contract further confirms ITS’s place as a leading next generation network provider in the UK focused on helping businesses develop in the digital age. ITS with its expert team has a track record in deploying and managing gigabit capable full fibre networks, that help to drive innovation and productivity.”