DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Wirral will see the re-birth of its world-renowned manufacturing industry if it takes advantage of cutting edge sectors.
The Liberal Democrat leader addressed delegates at a manufacturing summit at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton this afternoon. Joining him was Business Secretary Vince Clegg.
During the visit, Mr Clegg announced the sixth round of Regional Growth funding was available, inviting business delegates to bid for a share.
Asked about Wirral's prospects of fluorishing in the manufacturing sector, Mr Clegg told the Globe: "I think if we can get it right, particularly in boosting sectors where you've got real natural excellence of expertise in Wirral, for instance, off-shore wind, then I see no reason why we can't see, overtime, a real re-birth of the manufacturing traditions for which Wirral is already world famous.
"The exciting thing that now beckons in Wirral and where I’m from in Sheffield, is that we've got the opportunity to rediscover old virtues of design, manufacturing and exporting things, but doing them in new cutting edge sectors, such as off-shore wind.
"If Wirral can play its part and be at the centre of that transformation, using the traditions of manufacturing that are well-known here, but putting them to new ends, the future can be bright."
So far the Regional Growth Fund has supported more than 400 projects and programmes which will create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs over the long-term and stimulate £16billion of private sector investment.
In his speech to delegates, Mr Clegg said: "Britain's manufacturers are helping our economy move in the right direction. Growth is up and unemployment is down.
"This Government has built the foundations for this growth by repairing and rebalancing the country's finances and helping to create more than 1.7 million jobs in the private sector.
"We will continue to work hard to build a stronger economy and the Regional Growth Fund is helping us to do this fairly by creating thousands of jobs that last and boosting the private sector across the country.
"I would encourage any businesses that can generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs to bid for a share of the £200 million available from the fund."
Business Secretary Dr Cable said: “Government and business have worked in partnership to develop an industrial strategy which will ensure that manufacturing – a key component in our economic recovery -continues to grow.
“There are signs of momentum - with production now at its highest level in five years - that we are determined to nurture.
“Our investment in research and development and skills training plus a tax break which incentivises companies to buy new plant and machinery, is giving business the confidence to invest, securing high skilled long term jobs and building a stronger economy.”