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Eight ideas to build Bootle back better

The Bootle Festival of Ideas, backed by Sefton Council, gave residents a chance to develop ideas and win a share of a starter-grant.

Over the course of six events, 161 people attended the Bootle Festival of Ideas. 74 of them online and 87 in-person. Through the festival 98 ideas were submitted on how to build Bootle back better. From this, eight promising ideas, that will have a local impact, have emerged and are set to receive a starter-grant to get things going.

The eight ideas are: Adventure Boxes, Meda Brewing, Mosaic Motivation, Made In Bootle, Bee’s Bench, Bootle Zine Library, A helping Hand, and A Carnival Community.

Each finalist was supported by mentors to produce a poster which gives an elevator pitch of what the idea is, and what else they might need to make it happen.

Now each idea will receive a portion of the starter-grant pot, as well as on-going support from Make CIC, Kindred and Sefton Council to develop their ideas further and bring them into reality.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The Festival of Ideas was a unique opportunity, amidst the chaos of the last few months, for Sefton residents to bring about positive changes to their own lives, to their communities and our culture.  I’m delighted so many wonderful ideas have been brought forward, further enhancing Sefton’s reputation as a borough of ideas and innovation.”

Liam Kelly, who is Make CIC’s CEO and LCR Town Centre and Land Commissioner for Metro Mayor, said: “It’s brilliant to see eight ideas emerge from the festival. 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year to run a programme like this, but despite the pandemic we managed to gather nearly 100 ideas and engage 161 people.

“Supporting and funding local people to bring forward ideas on how to make change happen is something we looked at on the LCR Town Centre Commission. Towns do need big capital investment, but they also desperately need investment in people. People who live, work and play in town centres have the solutions, they just need the means and support.”

Bernadette Colligan, who idea Bee’s Bench is receiving a starter-grant, said: “The festival gave us space to discuss ideas, collaborate and network with one another and imagine how our ideas could make a difference in Bootle. It showed the importance of having community at the heart of every idea and I am so excited to chat to everyone about making Bootle a more accessible and age friendly place through my bench project”