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Derby Park set for action packed family fun day

The Friends of Derby Park are busy preparing for a summer music event, at the Bootle based Park next month.

The annual Derby Park Music and Fun Day takes place on Sunday July 22, from 12pm till 3 p.m. featuring St Helen’s Brass Band (2 – 3pm) and Serendipity Barber Shop Quartet (1 – 1.30 pm) with live music throughout the day, with crafts for the children, and pony rides from Shy Lowen Pony Sanctuary.

Be sure to bring a picnic – and of course the ice cream man will be there too!

Hosted by the Friends of Derby Park, with help from Sefton Council, the annual summer fun day is a popular event in the local calendar and attracts hundreds of families each year to the beautiful park on Fernhill Road.

The event is free to attend with activities starting from 12pm.

Bike lovers to get in gear for July cycle chat

Anyone with an interest in cycling is encouraged to attend the next Sefton Cycle Chat at the MeCycle Café on Station Road, Ainsdale.

The evening session, on Tuesday July 3, runs from 6pm until 8pm and is an ideal opportunity to talk about cycling issues and news around Sefton.

The latest of many regular meetings, a number of riders, enthusiasts and local groups are set to come together and debate the top topics that affect cyclists in the borough.

All local cyclists will be warmly welcomed at the July session and will be encouraged to engage with their ideas and thoughts on topical matters.

If you would like further information please email activetravel@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 934 4541/4808

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.”

Balliol Road to undergo carriageway maintenance works

Balliol Road, Bootle will be temporarily close over two nights to undergo essential carriageway maintenance works next week.

Two sections of the eastbound carriageway, between Pembroke Road and Stanley Road Junction, as well as Stanley Road Junction and University Road, will be temporarily closed overnight on both Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 7.

Contractors will close the road off from 6.30pm. It is planned for the night works to end at midnight, followed by a site safety procedure which will be completed on each occasion by 1am.

To maximise opportunity, additional works will be undertaken at the same time on Stanley Road at the junction with Balliol Road.

These works will be signposted accordingly, and a three way traffic lights system will also be in place to minimise disruption.

A signed diversion route will be in place for the duration of the works.

For further information on road closures across the borough visit www.sefton.gov.uk.

Sefton Council’s Southport Heritage project wins National Lottery support

Sefton Council has received initial National Lottery support for the Southport Townscape Heritage Project.

The Council managed to beat off fierce competition from 23 other submitted bids nationally to be one of only 5 areas within the UK awarded the grant.

The grant (which is made possible by National Lottery players), will fund a project which aims to:

• enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the Seafront so that the two become better integrated: and
• increase the levels of economic activity within the target area to reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

The project will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade in order to complement the previously awarded Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of Kings Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Community funds for the pier.

Development funding of £70,100 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help Sefton in partnership with Southport BID progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.6m at a later date, which it is hoped will contribute to a combined funding pot of around £2.4m.

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work, involving structural and external repair of historic buildings; the reinstatement of authentic architectural features (e.g. traditional shopfronts, windows) and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

The project will also bring community and educational benefits to the town and in conjunction with partners such as Southport Civic Society and education and training providers, will include a programme for promoting the heritage of the town including education, training and skills development for the repair and looking after historic buildings. It is hoped that this will bring about significant volunteer opportunities.

The target area for the project is located within Lord Street and the Promenade Conservation Areas which includes a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings, layout and landscaping. This heritage is important to residents, businesses and visitors alike, contributes to the economy of the town as well as giving a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Planning and Building Control, said: “Considering we were competing against other local authorities for this funding and how massively oversubscribed it is, the fact we are successful is a testament to the strength of our bid.

“This was a real team effort and involved a lot of hard work with our planning and conservation officers along with partners.

“The project will focus on the areas between Lord Street and the Promenade linking up the town centre with the seafront to build on the recent Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of King’s Gardens and the Coastal Communities Fund of £2m for Southport Pier.

“We strongly believe the money will enhance these links so that the two areas become more integrated while increasing economic activity with the aim of reducing the number of vacant, underused and poorly maintained properties.”

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, said: “This is a great example of an effective and strong public and private sector partnership working together to attract external funding to Southport.

“BIDs aren’t just about delivering events and organising marketing and promotional campaigns. There is increasing evidence that investors and funding bodies are becoming more attracted to areas where BIDs operate and that has to be good news for the future development of our town”.

Southport Townscape Heritage Project has initially been granted round one development funding of £70,100 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £1,625,000.

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