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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.

Ultimate Frisbee and Zorb Football come to Sefton parks

Active Sefton is proud to announce the launch of Sefton Park Nights.

The Easter evening events are a new scheme designed to give youngsters across the south of borough the chance to enjoy a host of free and fun activities.

Hosted at various locations throughout South Sefton, the early evening events aims to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour by encouraging them to take part in fun filled activities

Throughout the fortnight (Monday March 26 – Thursday April 5) youngsters can take part in a raft of free activities including street golf, zorb football, climbing walls and more!

Park Nights is organised by Active Sefton and funded by the Merseyside Police Community Cash Back Fund.

Activities include:
• Street Golf & Football at Derby Park (6-8pm) on Monday March 26
• Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball at Killen Green ( 5-7pm) on Tuesday March 27
• Zorb Football at North Park (6-7.30pm) on Wednesday March 28
• Climbing wall and games at Crosby Coastal Park (6-8pm) on Thursday March 29
• Street Golf & Football at Derby Park (6-8pm) on Tuesday April 3
• Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball (5-7pm) on Wednesday April 4
• Zorb Football at Marion Square Gardens Park (6-7.30pm) on Thursday April 5
• Street Golf & football Kirkstone Park (5-7pm) on Thursday April 5
Heather Redhead, Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing Development Manager , said: “We are delighted to be able to launch Park Nights after huge successes with other events in the past such as Sefton Lights.

“Park Nights promises to be two weeks of fun and free activities and thanks must go in advance to Merseyside Police who have worked so hard to help us bring this great programme together.”

For more information contact the Active Sefton Team on 0151 288 6286.

Longer hours for Merseyside Recycling Centres

Residents will have the opportunity to recycle more from Sunday, April 1 as the region’s Household Waste Recycling Centres open for an extra three hours every day.

The 14 Recycling Centres, which are provided by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and operated by resource management company Veolia, will be switching to their summer opening hours, meaning they’ll be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm*, seven days a week.

The Recycling Centres are situated throughout the region with all 14 available to use for all Merseyside householders. They accept all sorts of household materials for recycling, from batteries, cans and cardboard, through to garden clippings, glass bottles, wood, and white goods. They also accept lesser known items such as takeaway coffee cups, clothes, furniture and electrical items.

A Van Permit scheme is in operation at all the sites meaning if you are planning to use a van or large trailer then you will need a Permit. Permits can be obtained free of charge by calling 0151 236 0305 or visiting www.merseysidewda.gov.uk.

The Recycling Centres are open every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Nominations are open for the 2018 Sefton Sports Awards

The opportunity to join Sefton’s sporting hall of fame is one step closer as entries open for 2018’s Sefton Sports Awards.

Now in its 16th year, the awards celebrate the very best of the sporting offer across the borough with categories celebrating the outstanding talent and commitment of local athletes, coaches, volunteers, clubs and schools.

2018 is already a sporting year to remember with the Winter Olympics and Paralympic games, Commonwealth Games and the World Cup all on the agenda. This makes it the perfect year to truly celebrate what is on offer in Sefton and recognise the people who make it all possible.

Especially poignant this year are the two awards celebrating sporting volunteers, given that 2018 is Sefton’s Year of the Volunteer. Volunteers can be nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category and Young Volunteer of the Year.

Taking place at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Wednesday, July 11, the event is organised by Active Sefton which is part of Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing portfolio.

With 10 awards up for grabs there is a category to recognise all aspects of sporting achievements from school teams to top coaches and even a sports personality of the year.
Nominations can be made in the following groups:

• Club Of The Year
• Coach Of The Year
• Lifetime Achievement
• School Of The Year
• School Team Of The Year
• Sports Personality Of The Year (including Junior Male, Junior Female, Male, Female and Disabled categories)
• Supporter Of The Year
• Team Of The Year
• Volunteer Of The Year
• Young Volunteer Of The Year

Tina Pilkington, Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing Development Manager, said: “The Sefton Sports Awards is one of my favourite events of the year and a fantastic opportunity for those involved with sports across the borough to be recognised for their efforts.
“We look forward to seeing another strong list of nominations this year.”

Nominations can be made at sefton.gov.uk/seftonsportsawards. The deadline for entries is June 8, 2018.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton Play The Atkinson, Southport

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton will play The Atkinson, Southport on Friday 6 April.

The first gig of their new album launch tour, the duo can’t wait to play the venue, Ross said: “We absolutely love being on tour, there’s nothing better for us than playing to a live audience. We’re really looking forward to playing The Atkinson and seeing fans old and new there on the 6th April!”

Following on from the success of their debut album ‘Symbiosis’ Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton will release their second album ‘Symbiosis II’ this spring. Winners of the best duo category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017 and nominees for the same award in 2018, Ross and Ali have been busy in the studio creating an album full of new and original material.

Packed full of their own compositions, partly commissioned by some of their fans, Ross and Ali have welcomed lots of their fellow friends and musicians to record on this album.

Revolving around skilfully played guitar, cittern, whistles and bagpipes, which are the bedrock of the award-winning duo, the arrangements also include a full string section, the extensive use of synthesisers, drum kit and bodhran. The result is a much bigger sound with more adventurous and epic arrangements.

Ross and Ali met in the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band when they were 12 years old. The boys were guided by one of the most influential pipers in the last 30 years Gordon Duncan. Gordon instilled a great passion in them for playing pipes with other instruments and they have gone on to play in many leading Scottish bands including Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs, Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Shooglenifty, Capercaillie.

Ross Ainslie is one of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and composers, playing pipes, whistles and cittern. He is renowned for his highly acclaimed solo material, and as a skilled performer and prolific collaborator who performs regularly with bands Treacherous Orchestra (of which he is a founding member), Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Ali Hutton, Jarlath Henderson, Charlie Mckerron, India Alba and has performed with Kate Rusby, Blue Rose Code, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Capercaillie, Shooglenifty, Carl Barat, Papon, Karsh Kale, Flook, Breabach, Soumik Datta, Tim Edey, Patsy Reid, Hamish Napier.

Ali Hutton, from Methven in Perthshire, was inspired at the age of 7 to take up the bagpipes and rose through the ranks of the world-famous Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. It was there that he was taught, alongside Ross Ainslie, by the late, great Gordon Duncan. He has since gone on to become a successful multi-instrumentalist on the Scottish music scene. Ali has performed, and worked alongside some of the most respected musicians, and bands on the scene, such as Capercaillie, Dougie Maclean, Carlos Nunez, Deaf Shepherd, Clueless, Steve Forman, Salsa Celtica, and Shooglenifty to name but a few. During his apprentice years as a professional musician he was fortunate enough to become a member of the multi award winning bands Brolum and Back of the Moon. He toured with them for several years across Europe and North America. Ali has also found himself producing some of the most well received Scottish Folk albums in recent years. Ali is currently a member of Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson band, and the new duo, cleverly named, Ross and Ali.

SYMBIOSIS II FEATURES

Ross Ainslie – Highland Pipes, Whistles, Cittern and Banjo
Ali Hutton – Highland Pipes, Whistles, Acoustic and Tenor Guitar Duncan Lyall – Moog and Synth
Martin O’Neill – Bodhran and Drums
Steven Byrnes – Drums
Patsy Reid – All Strings
Gus Sicard – Snare Drum

Produced by Andrea Gobbi, Ali Hutton and Ross Ainslie
Engineered by Andrea Gobbi at GloWorm Recordings and Carrier Waves Mixed by Andrea Gobbi at GloWorm Recordings and Carrier Waves Additional Engineering by Barry Reid and Keir Long
String Arrangements by Patsy Reid
String Recordings by Jamie Pryke
Mastered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound Studios
Design and Photos by Somhairle Macdonald.

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton perform at The Atkinson, Southport on  Friday 6 April at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £14 and are available online at theatkinson.co.uk, by calling 01704 533333 or over the counter during opening hours. 

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