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Have your say on Sefton’s brand new Physical Activity Strategy

Residents across Sefton are being asked to share their physical activity lifestyle habits as part of a new consultation.

As part of a project to create its Physical Activity Strategy, Sefton Council’s is asking people to reveal, anonymously, the physical activity they take part in.

The Council is keen to know the current levels of physical activity in Sefton’s. It also wants to identify any barriers that may be preventing people from taking part in activities that help their physical and mental wellbeing.

Results from the consultation, which runs until Friday 30th June, will be used to develop a special new Physical Activity Strategy designed to better understand physical activity habits and increase participation for those who need it most.

Questions in the consultation are varied and ask people about their lifestyles, how major life changes have affected their levels physical activity and more.

Simon Burnett, Sefton Council’s Assistant Director for People, said:  “We know that good physical activity is vitally important for our health and wellbeing, and we want to ensure that our residents have access to the best possible services and programs to support them.

“This consultation is an important step in ensuring that we are meeting the physical health needs of our residents, as well as finding out what may be discouraging people from using the services and facilities that we do offer.”

“We are committed to providing a wide range of services that best support our communities, ultimately creating a positive environment that promotes healthy and active lifestyles. 

“By gathering information through this consultation, the council can better understand the needs and behaviours of our communities.

“The data will then help us to tailor our physical activity services to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.”

Residents across Sefton are being encouraged to take part in the consultation, which is open until Friday 30th June.

To complete the survey please visit

The Atkinson to light up in Union Flag colours to celebrate King’s Coronation

Communities across Sefton will be flying the flag and raising a tea cup or glass for the King’s Coronation next month, with more than 40 community-led street parties around the Borough.

Union flags will also fly from Southport, Waterloo and Bootle Town Halls while The Atkinson, Southport will be illuminated in the iconic red, white and blue colours of the UK.

Forty-eight of Sefton’s residential streets will be closed off as neighbourhoods come together in a show of community spirit to mark the Coronation of King Charles III.

From Southport to Seaforth and Blowick to Bootle, streets will be decorated in patriotic colours over the Bank Holiday weekend, which takes place from Saturday 6th to Monday 8th May.

Many other informal gatherings are also being planned in cul-de-sacs, driveways and gardens.

Sefton Council’s Highways team have been working hard to process and approve the 48 street closures. This involves a detailed traffic assessment to ensure any disruptions to the network are kept to a minimum.

Andrea Watts, Sefton Council’s Executive Director for People, said: “The Bank Holiday provides a fantastic opportunity for our wonderful and caring communities to come together and celebrate a once in-a-lifetime occasion.

“I know that many of our street parties will also be about coming together to celebrate Sefton’s wonderful community spirit and the kindhearted nature of our neighbours, as well as marking the King’s Coronation.

“I hope everyone enjoys themselves celebrate while staying safe and respecting the beautiful Borough that we call home.”

Peter Moore, Sefton Council’s Head of Highways and Public Protection, said: “I am very proud of our hard-working Highways Team who have processed and detailed all of these applications so that street parties can take place safely while at the same time minimising the impact any closures may have on traffic.

“Organisers have been given lots of advice and toolkits on how to host a successful street party and we cannot wait to see lots of pictures of people enjoying themselves.

“All I would ask is anyone attending a street party makes sure they look after the area where they live and clean up any litter that may get left behind.”

The deadline to apply for a Coronation street party has now passed.

Sefton business networking group for financial and professional sectors relaunched this month

Net Zero event at Formby Hall, hosted in partnership by InvestSefton and Liverpool John Moores University.
Net Zero event at Formby Hall, hosted in partnership by InvestSefton and Liverpool John Moores University.

‘Professional Sefton’, the business networking group previously known as the Financial & Professional Forum, is being relaunched at Southport & Birkdale Sports Club, at 8am on Thursday 27th April.

Free event

Organised by the Council’s InvestSefton team, ‘Professional Sefton’ brings together the financial and professional sectors, which are well represented in the Borough. The free event, which includes breakfast, is open to Sefton’s financial and professional businesses including accountants, solicitors, estate agents and surveyors.

Mark Borzomato, Chief Executive of River Capital (formerly the Merseyside Special Investment Fund), has been invited to make a presentation at this meeting. River Capital Limited is a Liverpool-based fund management business. Mark will be explaining its strategy for supporting business across the City Region and providing an overview on the range of products and services currently available to businesses.

Initiatives, support and funding

April’s ‘Professional Sefton’ will also be an opportunity for InvestSefton, Sefton Council’s Business Support and Inward Investment Service, to highlight any initiatives, support and funding that might be of interest to local businesses and their clients.

Anyone wanting to book free places at ‘Professional Sefton’ should call Dom or Sharon on 0151 934 3452 or email

Before COVID, InvestSefton hosted the Financial & Professional Forum network events twice a year. Gatherings were well-attended and regularly attracted attendees from over 50 local businesses.

‘Health is Wealth’

Representatives of more than 30 local businesses attended InvestSefton’s recent ‘Health is Wealth’ workshop, organised by InvestSefton Sefton and PACT Mantality.

InvestSefton, partnered with PACT Mantality, a Sefton based businesses, to deliver the event. ‘Health is Wealth’ was an informative and insightful workshop focused on improving mental health.

Held at the recently renovated Maghull Cricket Club, the workshop was led by Pact Mantality’s Paul Garrigan and Carly Skelly. Its aim was to provide local business leaders with ways of benefiting their personal and professional lives as well as their companies and their workforces.


Paul is passionate about creating mental wellness for others after struggles in his own personal and professional life. He has worked with leading experts covering mental health, trauma and human development. He has also learned from doctors and other specialists to develop courses for his business to deliver.

As well as working in the NHS as a paediatric nurse, Carly is a professional boxer who has competed at the highest level. She is the current WBC bronze champion. She has immersed herself fully in the health and well-being industry, studying mental wellness and trauma-related holistic therapies.

Paul and Carly are currently receiving support from InvestSefton to help them grow their business as well as looking to help other businesses and to promote how good mental health can benefit both employees and employers.


After the event, Paul said: “As PACT Mantality, we believe very strongly that good mental health in the workplace and good management go hand-in-hand, a view which is shared by the InvestSefton team. ”

Carly said: “High levels of mental health wellbeing in the workplace tend to result in organisations being more productive and more profitable as well as being better able to retain staff. 

“It was great to speak to so many Sefton businesses, to pass on our views and advice and hear their response.”


Stephen Watson, Sefton Council’s Executive Director of Place Economic Growth and Housing said: “I am pleased we have been able to work with PACT Mantality, a business that is itself being helped by InvestSefton, to organise this beneficial event for other local businesses.

“It is important that we all think about our mental health in the workplace and the recent ‘Health is Wealth’ workshop made that very clear and provided some good insights on how we can look after ourselves and our employees.

“Now I’m looking forward to another busy event with the relaunch of ‘Professional Sefton’, later this month.”

Business support service

InvestSefton is Sefton Council’s enterprise, business support and inward investment service. It offers free information and advice and access to a wide range of services and is there to help any business, of any size, in any sector.

You can find out more  about Invest Sefton here.

As well as regular events such as ‘Professional Sefton’, InvestSefton also organises demand-led events. The topics for these are based on feedback from businesses and have previously covered Digital Marketing, Carbon Reduction, Branding and Access to Finance as well as a Meet the Buyer event for the construction sector.

A Marketing Workshop is planned for Thursday 18th May. 

Local businesses can book places and suggest topics for future events by calling InvestSefton on 0151 934 3452 or email

SHOL announce expansion plans after success of The Lake House

Following the success of its first seven months running The Lake House at Waterloo and the popularity of its Beach House food and drink outlet at Ainsdale, Sefton Hospitality Operations Ltd (SHOL) is now looking at expanding its operations.

SHOL is a Sefton Council-owned, arm’s-length company which operates The Lake House in Waterloo.

Located alongside the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, The Lake House comprises a new cafe bar and restaurant, conference and events spaces and 14 refurbished rooms for guests to stay over.

Since it opened under SHOL’s management in August 2022, The Lake House has been a huge success.

Sustainable and dog-friendly

The venue has served over 20,000 teas and coffees, and received over 2,000 dog visits, many of which are regular canine customers.

Customers have rated their experience as ‘Excellent’ on both and Trip Advisor, while staff turnover is well below the hospitality industry rate.

And over 80% of staff are Sefton residents, reflecting SHOL’s mission to create jobs for local people.

Sustainability is at the heart of operations at The Lake House who have adopted the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, while utilising local and seasonal ingredients to minimise food miles and support local businesses.

Recognising the popularity of the venue with dog owners, its dog-friendly areas are being expanded this year.

Expansion plans

As Sefton Council expands and improves facilities for visitors to Ainsdale Beach in 2023, SHOL will be providing food and drink through its Beach House pop-up.

SHOL are also exploring options to reopen the White House Café, for the public and golfers alike, while the Council continues to explore longer-term options and opportunities for Southport Golf Links.

And SHOL hopes to deliver a much-needed food and drink outlet to Bootle Town Hall and bring the currently-unused areas of the spectacular building back to life.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“We are delighted that SHOL has met our aims by providing the customer experience that has made The Lake House so popular with visitors, while at the same time providing local people with first-rate employment opportunities.

“And I am excited to see the company now looking to build on its success by returning to its pop-up at Ainsdale beach over the summer, and explore options to create new hospitality offerings at Southport Golf Links.”

“Plus, dog owners will be able enjoy access to more areas of the Lake House which will no doubt result in even more happy customers and wagging tails.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is fantastic to see SHOL making the most of our incredible coastline and working to enhance the hospitality offering for residents and visitors alike.

“I’m sure many residents will be pleased to hear that SHOL are also exploring options to bring back assets such as the White House Café at Southport golf course.”

Sefton appoints leading UK construction group to work on MLEC project

Yet another landmark for the Marine Lake Events Centre project has been reached after Sefton confirmed one of the UK’s leading construction firms to oversee the venue’s delivery.

The new Centre will be complemented by the UK’s first light, water and sound show in the town’s Marine Lake.


Following a comprehensive tender process,  Kier Group, one of the UK’s largest construction and infrastructure companies, have been identified as the preferred contractor to work on the Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC) project. Kier will now enter into a pre-construction services agreement with Sefton Council, in advance of full contract later in 2023.

This vital stage in the Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC) and Water & Lights Show project follows a series of huge milestones for the scheme, including the appointment of venue management experts ASM Global and £73 million pound business case approved by Sefton Council, by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and by Government.

As part of the Marine Lake Events Centre project Kier and other partners have also signed up to a special social value plan which will see them give back to communities across Sefton.

Social Value

This will include providing local employment and supply chain opportunities, along with additional time and resources dedicated to working with school and college students who want to explore careers in the construction industry.

Overwhelming support has already been shown for the transformational project, which will see a brand new state of the art events centre and accompanying water and light show built on the site of the former Southport Theatre.

Sefton Council and the Southport Town Deal team have been congratulated by Government on ‘an ambitious project for the benefit’ of Southport and the Liverpool City Region, which will see a total of £73 million of funding invested into the project.


Mayor Steve Rotheram, and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) recently approved £17.7m funding for the new Marine Lake Events Centre. This was on top of £2.3m the CA had already committed to the pre-development work.

A planning application for the project has been submitted and is expected by be considered by Planning Committee in Spring 2023.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “By awarding preferred status to Kier we are putting the physical creation of the venue into the hands of a proven contractor with a strong track record.

“The interest of the UK’s leading construction firms in the project, and the standing of the successful bidder, reaffirms the scale of ambition for the future of Southport that this transformational project demonstrates.

“The end goal is a fully flexible, scalable cultural space capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences, exhibitions that is the envy of other towns and cities.

“Kier share in the ambitions of Sefton Council and the Southport Town Deal in making MLEC a soaring success.

“The MLEC, together with the Light Fantastic, is forecast to attract more than half a million additional visitors to Southport year on year and generating an annual £18 million for the local economy and I am delighted that Sefton Council is once again leading the way in exciting projects like this.”

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