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Second bid submitted for Heritage Lottery funding

Sefton Council has submitted a second round bid for National Lottery Heritage Funding (NLHF) for a major project in Southport town centre.

The Southport Townscape Heritage Project aims to enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront so that the two become more integrated.

The project aims to increase the levels of economic activity within a target area and reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

It will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the previous Lottery funded restoration of King’s Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Communities funds for Southport pier.

The total combined funding pot is £2.47 million including a request of £1.62m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The second round is very competitive and is open to bids nationally and Sefton will find out in September 2019 if they are successful.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “Since we submitted our first round bid, a lot of work has been undertaken to fully develop the project including the adoption of the Conservation Area Management Plan, discussions with building owners, building property surveys and valuations, further public consultation and workshops with project partners.

“If approved we really believe the money will enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas.

“The project also aims to increase local knowledge and appreciation of Southport’s rich heritage and inspire future generations featuring specialist educational courses on traditional building methods, the innovative use of digital technology, as well as a mix of complementary heritage-focused activities.”

If successful the project will be delivered over the next 5 years up until 2024.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, added: “The overall project aims to carry out essential conservation work, involving structural and external repair of historic buildings, the reinstatement of authentic architectural features and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

“Lord Street and the Promenade conservation areas provide a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings and landscaping. We firmly believe preserving this heritage for residents, businesses and visitors alike will contribute greatly to the town’s economy while providing a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.

“It runs along the recent King’s Gardens improvements, the Pier restoration, the Lord Street verandah project and other key developments in the resort.”

To keep up to date with the project and find out more information on Southport’s Heritage, follow us on Twitter @SouthportTHP and Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/southportthp

Regional business leaders learn all about AI at latest Economic Forum

Business leaders from across the region have attended the latest Sefton Economic Forum to find out how Artificial Intelligence can support their business.

Hosted by InvestSefton, the Spring Sefton Economic Forum took place at the Park Hotel, Netherton with more than 70 local businesses present to discuss how the local economy is faring, and to learn about Artificial Intelligence and how SME’s can benefit from this technology.

The popular forum included guest presentations from Christian Spence, Head of Future Economies Analytics, Manchester Metropolitan University, Dr Carl Chalmers, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Liverpool John Moores University and Simon Reid, Head of Advanced Manufacturing at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Ensuring the presentations ran smoothly was guest chair, Chris Burgess, a Sefton based health and well-being expert.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “This was yet another great event with over 70 businesses turning up to learn all about how they can make both their own business and the local economy grow.

“All of our speakers gave a great overview of the local economy and the many opportunities that exist to stimulate and support business growth. Christian’s economic update provided a whistle-stop tour of the local and regional economy, Carl completely demystified the use of Artificial Intelligence in business while Simon highlighted how SME’s can benefit from Artificial Intelligence.

“After the forum finished, businesses spent time in the Growth Hub Marketplace and met with representatives from over 15 different business support agencies who provided vital information on what help is available to boost business.

“I would like to once again congratulate the InvestSefton team on organising such an interesting and well attended forum. I would encourage Sefton businesses looking to invest in AI technologies, or understand what it can do for them to contact the Sefton Growth Hub.”

For more information about the Sefton Growth Hub and further Sefton Economic Forum events call 0151 934 3452 or email info@investsefton.com.

Sefton inject £1million into boosting Adult Education provision

Almost £1million of funding has been agreed by Sefton Council to help continue support the delivery of adult community learning provision for residents aged over 19.

An offer of £969,724 was approved at Cabinet today (June 20) for Sefton’s Adult Community Learning Service to be used for the next academic year from August 2019 – July 2020.

The funding is from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Adult Education Budget. Under its devolution agreement, the Liverpool City Region is responsible for adult education from August 1, 2019.

The level of grant available to Sefton has been increased from last year’s allocation of £787K to £820K and an additional £150K has been included for the operation of some agreed “test and learn” pilot activities.

Sefton’s Adult Community Learning Service offers adults over the age of 18 from any background the opportunity to learn and develop skills through different courses with the view of entering the jobs market.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: “Improving the skills of our workforce is central to the Council’s wider aims on economic growth.

“This amazing amount of money will go a long way in enabling more local residents to gain the skills and confidence they need to take up employment opportunities arising from investment and regeneration.

“Our superb Adult Community Learning Service offers real opportunities for residents who have had less favourable educational attainment to access second chance learning opportunities to improve their confidence and wellbeing.

“The Service targets a high proportion of learners who are vulnerable in terms of low skills, long term worklessness, BAME, learning difficulties and other disabilities.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Devolution means that we can make decisions locally about the things that affect us.

“We have waited a long time to take over responsibility for adult education, which means that we can now work with our local partners to ensure that adults in our city region can develop the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, for an apprenticeship or other learning.

“This is vitally important for the future of the city region and we look forward to being able to further tailor what we offer to suit our own needs over the years to come.”

For more information about Sefton’s Adult Community Learning Service visit www.sefton.gov.uk

Sefton invests £320k to keep borough’s communities safe from crime

Sefton Council continues to help keep communities across the borough safe from crime and anti-social behaviour, a recent report has revealed.

Throughout the past twelve months, Sefton’s Safer Communities Partnership (SSCP) have invested in a number of initiatives, programmes and activities designed to disrupt and prevent disorder.

Key targets for the SSCP include:

Investing in community infrastructure projects
Working with victims
Combating domestic and sexual abuse
Tackling serious and organised crime
Improving youth offending services

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “In the last financial year we have spent over £320,000 on helping to reduce crime, supporting victims and working with partners to provide resilience to our wonderful communities.

“Through the SSCP we identify a number of areas where there is a need for a project, scheme or event which can often deter crime and anti-social behaviour as well as provide a platform of education.

“The impact that the SSCP have had, from our park night sessions to our scrambler bike partnership work with Merseyside Police, has been incredible and we are constantly receiving positive feedback from our initiatives.

“We are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in Sefton along with partners in the Sefton Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership (SSCP), and this is shown we’ve seen an incredible reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents since we started our invaluable work.

“We will continue to build a positive future for our thriving communities and work tirelessly to combat any crime and anti-social behaviour in Sefton.”

For more details on the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership, or to read the latest report, visit www.sefton.gov.uk

Works Starts on New Motorway Junction

Work has just started on a multi-million pound M58 improvement scheme in Sefton.

The project involves the construction of the ‘missing’ slip roads at Junction 1 of the busy motorway, providing a northbound off slip and a southbound on-slip.

As well as improving journey times between Maghull and North Liverpool, it is hoped the scheme will reduce traffic on the A59 and some residential roads and facilitate potential future development in the Maghull area.

Sefton Council received an offer of funding from the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Fund for £5.5m toward the scheme in 2016 which was formally approved a year later at Sefton Council’s Planning Committee.

Early in 2017, Sefton Council appointed John Sisk and Sons to complete the design and construction of the scheme. They appointed Atkins Ltd as their design partner.

Works began on site on May 20 with the early activities include the construction of the site compound and farm access track for the benefit of Guest Farm. Once this exercise is completed, the section of Giddygate Lane parallel to the motorway will be stopped up as per the Order granted in 2018. Works will then be focussed on the earthworks associated with the slip roads.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “It’s great news to hear that initial work has started on this important scheme.

“Once complete we believe it will really improve the junction by providing additional slip lane facilities to accommodate all possible traffic movements.

“It will also support commercial and residential development in Maghull, increasing employment and facilitating new, more accessible development helping Sefton remain ‘open for business’.”

Sisk’s Managing Director for UK Civils, Paul Brown, said: “We have been working closely with Sefton Council since early 2017 to design and develop this project. We are delighted that it has now started on site.

“We are committed to delivering this project to a high standard and on time, and will be working with the local communities and stakeholders to ensure we leave a positive legacy.”

If the scheme goes to programme, then the new slip roads should be open and operational by Spring 2020.

Bruce Parker, North West Head of Planning & Development at Highways England, said: “The M58 provides a vital motorway link from Merseyside to connect businesses, families and friends across the north of England and beyond.

“We’re pleased that work has now started on the new slip roads at junction 1, which will help to improve the flow of traffic and provide quicker and more reliable journeys for drivers.”

For more information on the scheme visit www.sefton.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates and progress. Sisk will provide regular updates on Twitter @M58J1.

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