WIRRAL businesses will benefit from an extra £10 million over the next year thanks to a scheme ensuring more local money is spent locally.

The huge cash boost will come after public services in the borough signed up to a ‘community wealth building programme’ run by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES).

The new project will mean public sector services in the borough such as colleges, NHS bodies and the local chamber of commerce take steps to make sure more local public money is spent with local firms and employers, with all council spending set to be reviewed.

Cllr Janette Williamson, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “Everyone agrees – creating economic growth is good for an area. We all want to help create jobs, prosperity and local wealth in every area of our business.

“We’re having some real success. We’re seeing local employers grow and win new business, we’re seeing more businesses relocate or start up in Wirral. The developments through Wirral Growth Company will see many more new businesses, jobs and opportunities.

“Our job now is to make sure the surge in the local economy is enjoyed by our residents. These new jobs, these new opportunities, must be felt by the people who already live in Wirral. We’ve seen the success from places such as Preston where they’ve launched this kind of thing, and we believe we can do an even better job in Wirral.

“For us it is absolutely clear: economic growth is good – inclusive growth is great.”

According to the council, the total local boost is likely to be much more than the £10m target, with every public agency in Wirral now signed up to work on the programme, including NHS bodies, Wirral Metropolitan College and the local Chamber of Commerce.

It will focus initially on procurement to help invest more of the council’s current spend inside the local economy. It will also involve speaking to other local anchors such as colleges, housing associations and big local businesses.

The borough already performs “better than most other areas” for keeping spending local, with 34p out of every £1 spent being invested in local firms.

It is hoped this project will increase that figure through reviewing all council spending and finding ways of keeping more money in Wirral.

Neil McInroy, chief executive of CLES, said: “Wirral is a great place with rich traditions, fantastic assets, but one that needs a reset to address the problems it has.

“So we at the CLES are excited that Wirral is working with us to join dozens of localities in the Local Wealth Building Movement. In doing so, Wirral has not only the chance to unlock a different kind of economy; one that truly works for people and place, but also to act as a beacon for the rest of the Liverpool City Region to follow.”