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Sefton launches major bid for Future High Street funding

Sefton Council is bidding for a slice of the ÂŁ675m Future High Street Fund with bids planned for both Southport and Crosby.

The Future High Street Fund was announced in last November’s budget and aims to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

In this first round, Sefton will include bids for both Crosby village and Southport town centre and builds upon the Council’s ambitions for its town centres encapsulated within its agreed regeneration frameworks and 2030 Vision.

The Future High Street Fund aims to help Councils, their communities and the private sector work in partnership to develop and sustain town centres to enhance their vitality and viability.  The fund also includes the opportunity to bid for part of a £55m Heritage High Street Fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Skills and Regeneration, said: “Building on Sefton’s ambitions for its town centres, we are aiming to submit two bids to the Future High Street Fund for both Southport town centre and Crosby Village to help sustain them for the future. The bids will also support Sefton’s and the City Region’s ambitions for future growth.

“For Southport this will build upon Sefton’s success in securing around ÂŁ10m of Heritage Lottery and Coastal Communities Funding for King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and the recently announced Townscape Heritage Scheme.

“For Crosby this will build on the significant private sector funding by St Modwen into the village centre. If successful, Sefton Council will continue to work in an inclusive way with private sector and community sector partners.”

Formal stage 1 bids for both projects will be made in the coming months with further details issued in due course.

Sefton Cycle Chat returns by popular demand

Anyone with an interest in cycling is encouraged to attend the next Sefton Cycle Chat at the MeCycle Café on Station Road, Ainsdale.

cycle chat

The evening session, on Tuesday March 5, runs from 6pm until 8pm and is an ideal opportunity to talk about cycling issues and news around Sefton.

The latest of many regular meetings, a number of riders, enthusiasts and local groups are set to come together and debate the top topics that affect cyclists in the borough.

Special guest at the session will be road safety consultant Paul Mountford, who will update the group on cycling related initiatives by the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership.

All local cyclists will be warmly welcomed at the March session and will be encouraged to engage with their ideas and thoughts on topical matters.

If you would like further information please email activetravel@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 934 4541/4808

Consultation begins on tackling Grand National ticket touting

Sefton Council have launched a public consultation to tackle the issue of ticket touting at the Aintree Grand National after a sharp rise in the practice.

The Local Authority are proposing to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which would make it an offence within a designated area to sell, offer for sale or advertise tickets for the three day event.

Failing to comply with the order would result in ticket touts being required to leave the area for up to 24 hours, as well as being handed  a £75 fixed penalty notice.

A consultation will now run until March 10 with residents being asked for their views on the proposed PSPO.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “Ticket touting at the Grand National is an ongoing issue and we want to curb this unpleasant practice.

“Touts can be intimidating and their behaviour may cause distress to members of the public and racegoers during what should be a completely enjoyable experience.

“We know through evidence provided to us that there has been a significant increase in the number of touts operating during the event over the last four years.”

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse, said: “We would very much welcome the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order for ticket touting by Sefton Council which would make it an offence to sell, offer for sale or advertise tickets for the Randox Health Grand National outside the racecourse.

“At Aintree we pride ourselves on providing first class customer service and that starts at the perimeter of our racecourse.

“We are grateful for the support of Sefton Council on trying to eradicate these unpleasant, and often criminal, activities of touts and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Council.”

Ward Councillors, Aintree Parish Council, The Jockey Club and local businesses will also be asked to give their views on the consultation.

For more information or to give your views, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/aintreepspo.

To request a hard copy of the consultation please call 0345 140 0845

Thousands benefit from InvestSefton business support

InvestSefton, Sefton Council’s enterprise, business support and inward investment service, continues to support local enterprises and has engaged with more than 2,200 individual businesses.

InvestSefton is one of the Liverpool City Region growth hubs working alongside the Local Enterprise Partnership, other local authorities, Chambers of Commerce and The Women’s Organisation. It is part of current UK Government funded activities delivered locally by Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Robert Andrews (Director), Peter Oxspring (MD), Julie Swarbrick Invest Sefton, Peter Dowd MP, Cllr Marion Atkinson and Gary Brine, Hardy production manager

InvestSefton is also about to confirm the second phase of its European funded initiative-the Business Growth Programme which has already assisted over 255 businesses including 45 new enterprises in the borough.

Sefton residents and entrepreneurs seeking to start their own business have a managed referral to the Enterprise Hub which sits alongside the ERDF Business Growth Programme and provides a range of 1:1 and mentoring support.

Some 140 start ups have been referred to the Enterprise Hub for further support and InvestSefton has begun to supplement this work through the introduction of business clinics held every Tuesday at The Atkinson, Southport.

InvestSefton also supports the offer of subsidised commercial assistance through New Markets with 54 referrals into this Liverpool City Region wide programme. The team works closely with the Council’s Sefton@work service which helps support Sefton residents into new employment opportunities arising from business growth and new inward investment in the borough.

Businesses are supported in a variety of ways from expert 1:1 advice and guidance from the team’s nationally accredited Advisers to demand led events and workshops.

Kristina Swift of Invest Sefton pictured with Kevin Murphy of Venue Rent a Space

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Housing, said: “We are very proud of all the excellent work in helping and supporting local businesses through InvestSefton and Sefton@Work.
“Our mantra is very much about being open for business and the fact so many enterprises are contacting us for help and assistance is testament to this.
“Business enquiries through Sefton Growth Hub continue to rise with the same mix of firms from a range of industry sectors seeking advice, guidance and more intensive support and we really hope this continues.”

InvestSefton is able to provide a wide range of assistance at no cost to business. Areas of support can include:
• Access to finance
• Finding new business sites and premises
• Business planning, cashflow and cost reduction
• Dealing with council services more easily and effectively
• Winning new business from public sector contracts

For more information on the wide range of services available via InvestSefton please visit www.investsefton.com, email info@investsefton.com or call 0151 934 3452.

Hundreds attend Southport BID investment meeting

Over 100 local businesses, regional property agents, investors, and other stakeholders with an interest in taking Southport forward were brought together last week by Southport BID.

Southport has been hit hard, not helped by recent announcements of further store closures, and the town will take time to recover. However, the event was designed to focus on the positives, the investment that’s already happened, and the millions of pounds that could potentially come to the town from funding applications already in the pipeline and from private sector investors.

Speakers at the event included the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and members of his investment team; Sarah Kemp, Executive Director, Sefton Council; Caroline Baker from property specialists Cushman Wakefield; Dr Steve Millington from The BID Foundation; and Agsteribbe from Bliss Investments.

Rob Uffendell, Chair of the BID, says:

“It’s clear that Southport, our town, is experiencing the same sort of issues that are facing many other towns and cities across the country. So, we’re not alone in having to face up to some really significant challenges.

“Our speakers consistently highlighted the big advantages that helps set us apart from our competitors. Our reputation as a significant coastal destination is increasing year on year (as demonstrated by the annual rise in visitor numbers). We have some unique assets in our town.

“We’ve already seen a lot of investment in our town. And we have dedicated partners from both the private and public sector who are determined to get things done.

“There is evidence from around the UK that those areas with BIDs in place are more successful in attracting external funding because it demonstrates a strong partnership between the private and public sectors and a willingness to work together”.

Delegates raised the issue of parking and the need for more flexibility in setting tariffs. Improving east – west transport links and doing more to increase residential living in the town centre were also highlighted.

Rob Uffendell continued: “Southport was described as a speciality town with plenty of opportunities for development.

“Attracting investment is hard work as was made clear by our speakers. All of them were clear on one thing: there are huge opportunities for this town but to get it right we need to demonstrate confidence and pride in what we have.

“That said, many of the solutions raised at the event have been talked about for years. If we’re going to take this town forward and make things happen, it’s time for action and not words”.

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