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Record crowds flock to Southport Food & Drink festival

A record 36,000 visitors enjoying all of the delights of the 12th Annual Southport Food & Drink festival last weekend.

Food such as Persian lamb dishes, award winning oriental food, wild boar burgers, vegan food, waffles and chicken to name a few, were on offer from over 80 street traders.

Local producers were joined by businesses from over the North West and sold food such as cheese, pies, scones, brownies and fudge with many selling out each day and leaving with smiles on their faces.

As a family event the little ones enjoyed the children’s entertainment where there were regular magic shows, grass sports, face painting, slime making and crafts. Inflatables and water walking also provided plenty of entertainment.

Families and groups of friends attended the event and thoroughly enjoyed their visit with many setting up a picnic area on the grass and enjoying the entire day and beautiful surroundings of Victoria Park.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Record numbers of both visitors and traders enjoyed this year’s Southport Food and Drink Festival, which continues to be bigger and better each year.

“We had really good weather this, combined with an array of delicious food and mouthwatering drinks, led to a fantastic three days at Victoria Park.

“This is just the start of an exciting events programme organised by Sefton Council, with the Air Show taking place in July followed by the British Musical Fireworks Championship at the end of September – there really is going to be something for everyone.

“The excellent events programme coupled with other tourism activity demonstrates Sefton’s commitment to the visitor economy, with the determination to facilitate its growth across the borough.”

Sefton welcomes over 8.7 million visitors a year contributing over £518 million to the local economy.

Family fun day in Southport to celebrate World Environment Day

The Eco Centre, Southport will be hosting a family fun day to support World Environment Day on Saturday June 9.

The event has been put together in partnership with the centre’s award winning education service and the popular on-site cycle hire to celebrate its 10th season.

It is also supported by United Utilities who have funded the Eco Garden transformation and one of the centre’s education topics.

With loads to do for both children and adults, the event will feature:

  • The chance to contribute to the design of a legacy sculpture made from reclaimed bike wheels
  • A large wooden cycle ramp course to test your cycling skills!
  • Explore the Eco Garden and take part in our activities to win prizes!
  • The computrainer – a virtual cycle race where you can compete with your parents/friends
  • Does your bike need a bit of TLC? If so, bring it along for a free health check by Dr. Bike!
  • Prize draws, free eco-friendly gifts, special offers on cycle hire

Merseyside Police’s Safer Roads Problem Solving Team will also be in attendance to promote safe passing distances and will bring with them a HGV for children to sit in.

Visitors also have the opportunity to check out Community and partner stalls which will highlight the good work taking place in Sefton.

For more information, or if you would like to showcase your community project, please contact 0151 934 2728 or teachers@southportecocentre.com

Bliss to revitalise Southport Theatre in major investment project

Sefton Council has successfully engaged Bliss, a leading Hotel and Leisure company, to revitalise the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre (STCC) as part of a major investment in the town.

Bliss is already well established in Southport, owning and operating the Waterfront complex, which includes the Ramada Hotel, winner of the Hotel of the Year 2017.

The Council owned STCC, which adjoins the Bliss complex, is a crucial part of Sefton’s visitor economy as the primary conference venue. It is also the biggest theatre in the borough with a seated capacity of over 1,600.

The new plans for the STCC put it at the heart of the Bliss strategy to develop the Waterfront as one of the best and most vibrant coastal destinations in the UK attracting new investment, new visitors and providing a significant boost to the local economy.

This will include new facades and landscaping to create improved flow and visibility around the Waterfront and encourage 360’ usage of the complex and promenades.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are totally committed to ensuring that the STCC has an ambitious future and are delighted that Bliss are confirmed as the new operator.

“Bliss are as ambitious as the Council for the waterfront area and we look forward to seeing great improvements in the overall quality of productions and increased conference numbers at the important STCC as well as wider enhancement to the whole waterfront.

“We strongly believe the STCC is a great asset for Sefton and a building that benefits visitors and residents in a key location in Southport.”

Robert Agsteribbe, Co-founder of Bliss Hotels and Bliss Investment Partners, said: “Together with Sefton Council, we will create a lively, world renowned Waterfront by stimulating growth and economic activity with everyone enjoying the next generation of elevated theatre entertainment with amazing new performance experiences.

“It is our shared ambition that this partnership will lead to Southport being a new leader in Leisure and Entertainment.”

Consider becoming a School Governor during Year of the Volunteer

Sefton Council is encouraging residents across the borough to consider becoming a School Governor as part of National Volunteers Week.

Serving as a school governor is a significant way of making a difference to your local community through what is both a challenging and rewarding role.

Now, as part of Sefton’s Year of the Volunteer campaign and National Volunteers Week (June 1-7) the Local Authority is encouraging a new generation of governors to take up the distinguished role.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “Becoming a school governor is a great thing to do, especially during the Year of the Volunteer.

“An ideal govenor has a committed interest in our children’s education, a desire to make a difference to their communities and the ability to work as part of a team.

“As well as attending meetings of the full governing body and committees with special duties, such as staffing, governors are encouraged to visit their school to see at first hand the different activities under discussion.

“There is no requirement to become directly involved day to day but many governors choose to visit their school to gain a greater understanding, perhaps by taking an interest in a specific subject or non-academic aspect such as safety.”

For more information or to apply to become a school governor visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beagovernor.

Avoid driving penalty heartache this World Cup campaign!

As the World Cup approaches, Liverpool Football Club’s Academy has teamed up with the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership to highlight the dangers of driving the morning after drinking alcohol.

The campaign was launched with players from the Reds U18 side who took part in an interactive session aimed at highlighting the effect that alcohol can have on people’s reactions.

Many people will enjoy a few drinks as they watch the football and most wouldn’t even consider getting into their car and driving afterwards.

However, there is a real risk that people who would never deliberately drink and drive may still be over the limit, or unfit to drive, the ‘morning after’.

This is because it takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the body. On average it takes around one hour per unit of alcohol, though this can vary depending on a number of factors.

Merseyside Road Safety Partnership features local authority members, including Sefton Council, as well as additional partners including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseytravel and Highways England.

Station Manager Steve Pang, Spokesperson for Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said: “The decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle the morning after drinking can have very serious consequences, not only for the driver but also potentially for other road users around them.

“We would encourage people to enjoy watching the tournament but to remember that your safety and the safety of others is vital. If you have been drinking the previous evening and are thinking about driving the next morning don’t take that risk.”

Paul Mountford, Merseyside Police Lead for drink and drug driving, said: “Merseyside Police will be conducting numerous roadside operations and breath and drug testing hundreds of drivers across Merseyside throughout this campaign to ensure that drivers understand the principles of this campaign – that the only safe drink drive limit is zero.

“Many drivers are unaware that even a small amount of alcohol may affect their driving ability, placing themselves at an increased risk of a crash and arrest. They may be arrested for ‘drink driving’ even if they pass a breathalyser if the officer considers them to be unfit. This is particularly relevant the following day when many will not consider their driving fitness after a night’s sleep.

“We are also reminding drivers that we will not tolerate those who take illegal drugs and drive. Similar to alcohol, driving while under the influence of illegal drugs can place the driver and other road users at risk. Our roadside tests aim to not only detect these drivers but also deter them from getting behind the wheel.”

Phil Roscoe, Head of Education and Welfare from Liverpool FC said: “The session with the Road Safety team was really interesting and helped to raise awareness of the effects that alcohol can have on your body, even the morning after having a drink.

“The message from the campaign is relevant at any time of the year, but it is particular important to in the run up to the World Cup to help people enjoy watching the tournament safely.”

The main message from the campaign is not ‘don’t drink’, but ‘don’t drink anything if you are driving’ and ‘don’t drink heavily if you have to drive the following morning’.

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