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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.

Ainsdale Beach is one of the best in Britain

It would be foolish to celebrate English Tourism Week and not honour one of the best beaches in our fair isle. 

Ainsdale beach has it all, from a fascinating nature reserve, miles of sculpted dunes and golden sands, it’s a haven for all.

Tourists, horse riders, even kite surfers are often seen during the scorching hot summer months on Ainsdale beach, when sunshine brings with it a hive of activity and relaxation.

The nearby Ainsdale Discovery Centre, situated adjacent to the beach and Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve, provides local information, a classroom facility, venue for events and free cycle hire.

The beach itself has zones set aside for kite buggy and landboard use while kitesurfing takes place in the sea.

Taking place in spring each year, English Tourism Week campaigns to raise the profile of the industry and celebrate the value and quality of tourism in England.

Sefton is booming with business say local firms

Representatives from Sefton Council visited two local businesses to hear all about their thriving ventures and future growth.

Success stories and plans for expansion were discussed when Sefton Council visited two borough-based businesses.

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, was joined by officers from Invest Sefton on guided tours of Churchill Sheds based in Netherton and Jack Hodson Limited – a family-owned business established in 1966 now trading in Aintree.

Churchill Sheds began trading as a partnership in February 2016, and employs 4 staff and casual labour at peak periods. They manufacture purpose-built sheds, industrial barns, office units and workshops for businesses, the hospitality sector and rural producers.

Under the Business Growth Programme InvestSefton has supported with locating and bidding for public contracts, registration on The Chest and Contracts Finder portals, and using the Planning Portal to source work. The business is also being supported with developing a Social Value and Sustainability policy to help with bidding for contracts.

Jack Hodson Ltd is the ‘go to’ national supplier of security-related electronics for police vehicles, and participates in frameworks for the fitting of cameras, lightbars and security measures to marked and unmarked police vehicles. The business works for a number of police regions in the UK in England and Wales, and has won market share from its competitors. The business employs 25 staff, and turnover is £1.5million, which is expected to increase in the coming year creating more jobs, due to contracts won.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “I really enjoy getting out and seeing at first hand how local businesses are thriving and moving forward.

“Churchill Sheds is an excellent example of how a business can expand by constantly looking to develop new products and to consistent high standards. I am delighted that that InvestSefton has been able to assist them with their sales and marketing and their plans to grow the business further.

“The same goes for Jack Hodson Ltd who has recently relocated to Aintree Business Park, Ormskirk Road following more than 30 years in Berry St, Bootle, due to increased workload. The business has been supported by InvestSefton and Sefton@Work for a number of years, and is currently being assisted under the Sefton Business Growth Programme.

“Success stories like these show how Sefton really is open for business.”

Jack Hodson Ltd’s Financial Director, Peter Edward-Hodson and Technical Director, John Hodson, said: “Our recent relocation to larger, bespoke premises has required a major capital investment. However, the benefits achieved will allow us to streamline our operations, and grow our business.”

Ian Williams, Churchill Sheds managing Director, added: ”Our business is going from strength-to-strength, and we have a lot of interest in our workshops and barns. The help provided by InvestSefton has been invaluable.”

King’s Gardens launch tac-maps to help people with sight issues

Special maps, which help blind and partially sighted people find their way around King’s Gardens, Southport are now available for hire.

Free of charge, the portable ‘pack’ consists of an interactive audio guide, an A4 tactile map, a walking wallet and an A4 tactile walking guide full of information about King’s Gardens.

The maps were designed and produced by visual impairment accessibility firm TacMap, who create and produce innovative maps for blind and partially sighted people across the UK.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “The portable tactile maps are a fantastic addition to King’s Gardens.

“We already have two static maps for the visually impaired on site but to have such high tech portable packs on offer will benefit our visually impaired visitors even more.

“We have worked closely with the Friends of King’s Gardens on this project and they will be overseeing the distribution and collection of the maps.”

The tactile maps can be requested by emailing fokgsouthport@gmail.com or dlt391@sky.com.

For more information contact the Friends of King’s Gardens or visit www.kingsgardenssouthport.co.uk.

New parking charges to benefit traders and drivers

New parking charges are set to be introduced in parts of Sefton to benefit drivers and local traders.

As part of the budget setting process for 2018/19, it will again be possible to pay for 30 minute parking in Southport town centre.

This follows a request from the Southport BID to bring back the ability to park for 30 minutes in the town centre. It is anticipated the scheme will be live in June, 2018 with a cost of 80p. Other charges in the town centre will stay the same for 2018/19.

Also in the budget was the introduction of the option for motorists to pay for 1 hours parking in Crosby Car Parks. This was approved at request of ward councillors on behalf of local traders.

The current charges in Crosby are:

Up to 30 mins 30p
Up to 2 hours £1.00
Up to 4 hours £1.90
Over 4 hours £3.80

They will become

Up to 30 mins 30p
Up to 1 hour 50p
Up to 2 hours £1.00
Up to 4 hours £1.90
Over 4 hours £3.80

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “We meet regularly with the Southport BID and discuss many aspects that could benefit the busy town centre.

“After being approached by the BID to reintroduce the 30 minutes of parking in Southport town centre, following further discussions with them, we are happy to assist in making this happen through the difficult budget setting process.

“Similarly, ward councillors in Crosby contacted us with the view of introducing 1 hour parking in the village which we are pleased to introduce.

“We are also looking at introducing a scheme where Council owned town centre car parks would cease charging after 6pm. This would affect the Bootle New Strand multi-story, Bootle Leisure Centre, Crosby village and Tulketh Street in Southport and would be subject to consultation with ward councillors.

“As a Council we will always listen and hope this is well received across the whole borough by visitors, traders and residents.”

The changes were agreed at Full Council on March 1, 2018.

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