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Local Projects to benefit from £100k following the 146th Open

Local community projects and initiatives in Sefton are set to benefit from legacy funding following the successful staging of The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.

L-R: Aspiring Instructor Steph Todd, Cllrs Marion Atkinson and Ian Moncur, along with Philip Russell, Assistant Director – Sustainability for the R&A at Birkdale Common

Record crowds flocked to the famous Southport links last year to watch the world’s greatest golfers and The R&A has agreed to provide a six-figure sum from the proceeds of the Championship to Sefton Council in order to support three major projects.

The legacy projects include:

  • £40K towards improving ‘green’ tourism and connectivity on Southport Pier for more people to enjoy. This will include new RSPB telescopes on the oldest cast iron constructed pier in the country to view wildlife and terrestrial and underwater webcams and television screens to view other marine life. A new access point on the pier will also be constructed.
  • £40K to the Aspiring Instructors training pathway scheme – this provides customised training opportunities in the leisure and sports sector for residents not in work. The Aspiring Instructors scheme is run in partnership with Sefton@Work and the Council’s Leisure team creating training and potential job opportunities within the sector. It is hoped the new programme funded by The R&A would help 25 new starters on the scheme.

The remaining £20K will go towards improvements on Birkdale Common which was integral to hosting The 146th Open. Money will go towards a new noticeboard, an accessible boardwalk ramp, new signage and boundary improvements.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“While the superb Championship may seem like a distant memory, this money kindly donated by The R&A will go a long way to preserving the legacy of one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

“The funding clearly aligns with our 2030 Vision and our objectives of building resilient communities across the borough. It links with improving our tourism offer, employment opportunities and ensuring those communities impacted by the Open will benefit.

“All three schemes will play their part in remembering what was truly a great sporting spectacle here in Sefton and we look forward to the Championship returning soon.

“After the Championship, The R&A revealed crowds at Royal Birkdale reached 235,000, which is the highest figure ever for an Open held outside of St Andrews, Scotland.

“Hopefully every single one of them will have amazing lasting memories of the event and further memories will be created through the legacy funding as well.”

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, added:

“We are committed to ensuring that the communities in which The Open is staged benefit from the success of the Championship.

“We are pleased to be supporting Sefton Council’s plans to invest in initiatives which benefit the surrounding environment and people living in the local community. We look forward to hearing about the positive progress of each initiative.”