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Important Travel Information: Aintree Festival

Sefton is preparing to welcome thousands of visitors to the borough as part of the three day Aintree Grand National Festival which starts on Thursday (April 12).

Sefton Council is one of the many agencies that will help thousands of festival goers get to and from Aintree Racecourse as smoothly as possible this week.

Working alongside Merseyside Police, Merseytravel and several other partners, the Council’s traffic management team helps coaches, cars, limousines and even horse boxes get to the right place at the right time.

They also help residents who aren’t attending the festival to go about their daily business with as little disruption as possible.

A number of diversions and traffic management measures will be in place throughout the festival’s three days (Thursday, April 12 – Saturday, April 14) including temporary closures.

Residents who are not attending the festival are advised to avoid the A59 Ormskirk Road from Switch Island through to the Black Bull junction.

Ormskirk Road, as well as Park Lane between Bridle Road and Ormskirk Road, will be closed between 4pm and 9pm on all three festival days.

Heavy traffic is expected on the A59 from 10am – 2pm.

During the closure, traffic will be diverted via Switch Island, Dunningsbridge Road, Netherton Way and Southport Road.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “The Aintree Festival brings thousands of racegoers, tourists and visitors to our beautiful borough and once again all eyes will be on Sefton as the home of impressive international events.

“We are working with partners to help keep the borough moving during the festival and to keep disruption to a minimum.

“People wishing to attend the race meeting itself are encouraged to use the Merseyrail network and alight at Aintree station.

“After racing finishes for the day buses will be operating from Park Lane into Liverpool City Centre and we would ask visitors who are in the region for a number of days to try and explore our wonderful borough even further.”

Southport Pier reopens

Southport Pier has fully reopened to the public following the completion of vital improvement works.

The landward end of Southport Pier had been temporarily closed while contractors carry out the second stage of £2.9m improvement works.

The project will create additional jobs, increase visitor numbers and secure Southport Pier as a valued asset for many years to come.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “We’d like to thank residents and visitors for their patience while the majority of the works were carried out.

“Southport Pier is a marvellous asset and millions of pounds have already been spent on redevelopment work to ensure this fantastic structure continues to be a top tourist attraction

“As part of the Royal Birkdale Open Golf legacy fund, £40K will now go towards improving ‘green’ tourism and connectivity on Southport Pier for more people to enjoy.”

 The additional works 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 to the pier will also be constructed.

Ainsdale Beach is one of the best in Britain

It would be foolish to celebrate English Tourism Week and not honour one of the best beaches in our fair isle. 

Ainsdale beach has it all, from a fascinating nature reserve, miles of sculpted dunes and golden sands, it’s a haven for all.

Tourists, horse riders, even kite surfers are often seen during the scorching hot summer months on Ainsdale beach, when sunshine brings with it a hive of activity and relaxation.

The nearby Ainsdale Discovery Centre, situated adjacent to the beach and Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve, provides local information, a classroom facility, venue for events and free cycle hire.

The beach itself has zones set aside for kite buggy and landboard use while kitesurfing takes place in the sea.

Taking place in spring each year, English Tourism Week campaigns to raise the profile of the industry and celebrate the value and quality of tourism in England.

Sefton is booming with business say local firms

Representatives from Sefton Council visited two local businesses to hear all about their thriving ventures and future growth.

Success stories and plans for expansion were discussed when Sefton Council visited two borough-based businesses.

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, was joined by officers from Invest Sefton on guided tours of Churchill Sheds based in Netherton and Jack Hodson Limited – a family-owned business established in 1966 now trading in Aintree.

Churchill Sheds began trading as a partnership in February 2016, and employs 4 staff and casual labour at peak periods. They manufacture purpose-built sheds, industrial barns, office units and workshops for businesses, the hospitality sector and rural producers.

Under the Business Growth Programme InvestSefton has supported with locating and bidding for public contracts, registration on The Chest and Contracts Finder portals, and using the Planning Portal to source work. The business is also being supported with developing a Social Value and Sustainability policy to help with bidding for contracts.

Jack Hodson Ltd is the ‘go to’ national supplier of security-related electronics for police vehicles, and participates in frameworks for the fitting of cameras, lightbars and security measures to marked and unmarked police vehicles. The business works for a number of police regions in the UK in England and Wales, and has won market share from its competitors. The business employs 25 staff, and turnover is £1.5million, which is expected to increase in the coming year creating more jobs, due to contracts won.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “I really enjoy getting out and seeing at first hand how local businesses are thriving and moving forward.

“Churchill Sheds is an excellent example of how a business can expand by constantly looking to develop new products and to consistent high standards. I am delighted that that InvestSefton has been able to assist them with their sales and marketing and their plans to grow the business further.

“The same goes for Jack Hodson Ltd who has recently relocated to Aintree Business Park, Ormskirk Road following more than 30 years in Berry St, Bootle, due to increased workload. The business has been supported by InvestSefton and Sefton@Work for a number of years, and is currently being assisted under the Sefton Business Growth Programme.

“Success stories like these show how Sefton really is open for business.”

Jack Hodson Ltd’s Financial Director, Peter Edward-Hodson and Technical Director, John Hodson, said: “Our recent relocation to larger, bespoke premises has required a major capital investment. However, the benefits achieved will allow us to streamline our operations, and grow our business.”

Ian Williams, Churchill Sheds managing Director, added: ”Our business is going from strength-to-strength, and we have a lot of interest in our workshops and barns. The help provided by InvestSefton has been invaluable.”

King’s Gardens launch tac-maps to help people with sight issues

Special maps, which help blind and partially sighted people find their way around King’s Gardens, Southport are now available for hire.

Free of charge, the portable ‘pack’ consists of an interactive audio guide, an A4 tactile map, a walking wallet and an A4 tactile walking guide full of information about King’s Gardens.

The maps were designed and produced by visual impairment accessibility firm TacMap, who create and produce innovative maps for blind and partially sighted people across the UK.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “The portable tactile maps are a fantastic addition to King’s Gardens.

“We already have two static maps for the visually impaired on site but to have such high tech portable packs on offer will benefit our visually impaired visitors even more.

“We have worked closely with the Friends of King’s Gardens on this project and they will be overseeing the distribution and collection of the maps.”

The tactile maps can be requested by emailing fokgsouthport@gmail.com or dlt391@sky.com.

For more information contact the Friends of King’s Gardens or visit www.kingsgardenssouthport.co.uk.

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