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POOR AREAS GIVEN pounds 22m; GRANT WILL CREATE 1,500 JOBS.

Byline: By NICK COLIGAN Political Reporter

SOME of Merseyside's poorest areas are getting a multi-million pound grant aimed at creating up to 1,500 newjobs.

Kirkdale, Everton, Anfield, Walton and Bootle will have pounds 22m shared between them over the next decade, to kickstart new businesses and support existing ones.

The government grant is aimed at ensuring the deprived communities do not miss out on the city's current boom.

Council officials say the area faces the biggest regeneration challenge in the country if it is to catch up with neighbouring communities.

Between now and 2017, they will use the money to create 1,500 jobs, at least double the number of self-employed women, and improve survival rates fornew businesses.

They plan to do this by introducing:

Enterprise managers to make sure all secondary and primary schools teach pupils about enterprise.

Confidence-building and motivational activities for 16- 25-year-olds so they are aware of opportunities in their area.

Start-up advisors giving one-to-one business guidance. Liverpool council leader Warren Bradley said: "This provides us with a unique opportunity to transform this area once and for all.

"The vision for the next 10 years is that the area will turn into a base for a new generation of entrepreneurs and successful, outward-looking businesses where young people see a future for themselves."

The money was allocated by the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI), set up by the government last year to improve enterprise in very deprivedareas. About 85,000 people live in the six council wards affected by Liverpool and Sefton's bid, which are among the 1% most deprived in the country.

But only a quarter as many new businesses are launched in the area compared with other parts of the city, and over the past six years, the number of firms actually declined, despite Merseyside's overall success.

Liverpool and Sefton will start receiving money next month.

A bid by St Helens council for pounds 13.4m from the same scheme was approved in February.

nick.coligan@liverpool.com
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 7, 2006
Words:334
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