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Liverpool City Region to extend digital creative and tech scheme

A Liverpool scheme which has helped 400 businesses increase their combined turnover by £19.5m is to be extended.

The Gather programme was established in the Liverpool City Region in 2020, initially aimed at the creative, digital and tech sectors. However, during Covid-19 funding was also given to businesses requiring support during the pandemic.

In total 178 digital, creative and tech firms received support, with 217 from other sectors getting Covid-19 related help.

As a result it created or protected around 500 jobs.

Today Mayor Steve Rotheram said that it would be extended by 2 more years, after the combined authority agreed to provide funding of £895,000. A further £380,000 is expected to be raised via corporate sponsorship and contributions from participants. 

“Our area is fortunate to be home to a thriving digital and creative sector that supports tens of thousands of local jobs and delivers an abundance of training opportunities. I want to put those businesses in the best possible position to succeed. Through our investment in Gather, we have helped hundreds of local employers to strengthen their workforce and create quality, secure, and well-paid jobs for local people. That looks like money wisely spent to me,” stated Rotheram.

“Given the success of the scheme so far, we’re extending its funding so that more businesses and local people can benefit. Despite a tough couple of years through the pandemic, we are ensuring that our economy is in the strongest possible position to take advantage of all the opportunities that will come our way in an increasingly digital world.” 

The 2-year extension is expected to support a further 119 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and create a further 85 jobs. 

“Gather has been a really successful initiative that has supported hundreds of our small and medium sized businesses through a very difficult period, enabling them not just to survive but to prosper.  The proposed two-year extension to the programme offers the opportunity support even more businesses and create dozens more jobs,” added Councillor Mike Wharton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Business.

Business support has included on-line programmes, workshops and bespoke one-to-one support.

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