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All eyes on the enterprise in Southport

Southport is set to have its first purpose-built incubator spaces for start-up businesses.

Forming part of Southport’s Town Deal Bid, Crown Buildings, located within one of Southport’s famous grand shopping arcades, Cambridge Walks, is proposed to undergo extensive refurbishment.

Repurposing an historic, empty property to create a new business incubator space to support Southport’s emerging creative, digital and tech sector, the working title for the space is the ‘Enterprise Arcade’.

The Town Deal bid proposes to acquire and repurpose one of the town’s former department stores. The ‘Enterprise Store’ has been designed as move-on space from the Enterprise Arcade, supporting further growth and diversification of Southport’s economy, and bringing new footfall to a declining area of Southport’s town centre.

The near 3,000m2 flexible workspace, allowing for event and networking space to encourage cross collaboration, innovation and business growth, can house around 54 Creative, Digital and Tech focused SMEs in co-working and private office spaces.

Artist impression of what te outside of the arcade may look like

These two distinct and exciting projects will support the development of a focused Creative and Digital District in the town to play host to a vibrant cluster and community of businesses and like-minded individuals.

The redeveloped Southport Market, near to the Enterprise Arcade, will in turn benefit from custom generated by the new business hubs, playing host to informal meet ups and socials which are known to be vital to the success of these collaborative business spaces.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “I’m delighted that, as part of the Southport Town Deal Bid, we will be able to repurpose and fill key empty properties in the Town Centre attracting more people to work in the town, supporting the retail and hospitality sector and providing more reasons for young people to stay and work in Southport.

“The Enterprise Arcade and Enterprise Store will offer a space for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, creating a community for our existing and future talent.

“The designs won’t be like any other traditional workplace setting and will capture Southport’s distinctive entrepreneurial character.

“Together with the redevelopment of Southport Market, all three projects will work in tandem bringing new uses to underused and vacant buildings while generating substantial footfall to the area.

“Our bid has now been submitted and we have done everything in our power to make Southport an attractive proposition for the Government to invest in. Without Government support these fantastic schemes won’t go ahead. We eagerly await their response.”

Inside of a similar office space that the enterprise hub could look like

A coronavirus update from Margaret Jones, our Director of Public Health

With the national lockdown restrictions now in place, plans for people without coronavirus symptoms to be able to get tests progressing and positive news about a vaccine, we thought it was time to catch up with Sefton Director of Public Health Margaret Jones again.

We asked her about what we should and shouldn’t do under the national restrictions, what will happen after they come to an end on 2nd December and her advice for those of us considered clinically vulnerable.

Margaret also gave us an update on the planned new testing programme and the need to get a test if we have coronavirus symptoms of a raised temperature a persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell.

She told us about the vaccine and the importance of us all taking it when it is available.

Here’s what Margaret had to say.

Find out about the latest restrictions.

Information on where to get a coronavirus test in Sefton.

Employment support, advice and training still available for all across Sefton

Sefton@Work Client Advisers are still available to provide information, advice, guidance and practical support to any Sefton residents who are looking for employment and training opportunities.

Those who are currently worried about their job and potentially being made redundant, or those who are currently on furlough and want to take the opportunity to upskill themselves – help is available from Sefton@Work in several ways.

During the current national coronavirus restrictions, it is still possible to arrange in person appointments at the Bootle office, as well as online and telephone support.

The Bootle Office on Stanley Road remains open for pre-booked appointments everyday between 9.45am and 4.15pm, with COVID secure interview stations in operation.

Sefton@Work Advisers and Employer Liaison Staff are working remotely and at the Bootle office providing:

  • Job Search support
  • CV development and interview skills
  • Assistance with job applications
  • Identifying transferable skills and career coaching
  • Advertising vacancies for local employers, helping with recruitment including pre-screening of applications and online/telephone interviews

If you would like to know more about the services Sefton@Work can offer please call 0151 934 2610.

Alternatively, you can email:

For the latest updates and vacancies keep an eye on the Sefton@Work website or follow @LearnWorkSefton on Facebook and Twitter.

Coronavirus testing for people without symptoms, coming to Sefton

Borough Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher has welcomed the news that Sefton is one of the local authorities where mass coronavirus testing for people without symptoms is to be rolled out.

Cllr Maher said: “I am delighted that people across our Borough are going to benefit from the new Lateral flow tests, have a turnaround time of under an hour.

“Although we have been limited with the number of tests and will only be able to test 10% of the population it’s another way of identifying people who have coronavirus before they show symptoms. This will help reduce the number of people they might spread it to and in turn the overall the transmission rate.

“Sefton residents and people who work here who don’t have coronavirus symptoms will be able to go and get a test. They will quickly receive a result, which hopefully confirms they don’t have COVID-19 and are not infectious.

“Those people who don’t have symptoms but who receive a positive test result, meaning they are infectious and could prevent a risk to any of their family, friends and colleagues who may be vulnerable, will then be able to isolate for the required period.

“By taking the tests regularly, people across the Borough will be able to monitor their condition, which will help to reduce infections rates and help pave the way back to some kind of normality in the future.

Lateral flow tests have been available since Friday for people who live or are employed in Liverpool, including Sefton residents who work in the city.

Cllr Maher added: “We have already secured significant walk-through and drive-through testing facilities in Sefton.

“Over the coming days we will learn lessons from Liverpool and decide how we deploy the tests.”

“In the meantime, I would urge anyone who feels any of the symptoms of coronavirus coming on, whether that’s a high temperature, a new cough or they lose their sense of smell or taste, it’s time to get a test straight away.

“The sooner people do this, the quicker they can find out if they are COVID positive and the more quickly they can start taking measures to isolate and protect the people around them.”

To make an appointment for a test people can call 119 or visit

Sefton has four walk-through test centres for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. And now, extra Mobile Coronavirus Testing Units are being deployed across the Borough.

Mobile Units are on site at Southport Esplanade Coach Park and in Litherland Sports Park and Aintree Race Course until Friday 20th November, apart from on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, and also at Maghull Town hall on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November.

Find out more about where and when tests are available in Sefton.

Excited sandgrounders help launch Southport Town Deal

A host of Southport residents and businesses have come together to mark the launch of the Southport Town Deal in a special video.

The Southport Town Deal board have today released a video showcasing some of Southport’s main attractions and highlighting the potential of its business and visitor economy. The video also stars a host of Sandgrounders spanning a number of generations to welcome the bid.

Produced by Sefton Council, the film brings together local businesses, students and residents to celebrate the launch of Southport’s bid for government Town Deal funding, worth £50 million for the future transformation and regeneration of the resort.

The bid itself focuses on visitor attractions, water sports, business spaces, water shows and a new events space.

The funding will pave the way for Southport to transform its fortunes and maximise the great potential it has to offer; the bid is hoping to attract a wider £400 million investment.

The bid is part of the government’s Town Deals Fund, developed to ‘level up’ and drive the economic regeneration of towns across England.

Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Town Board said: ““Our plan has been informed by the biggest conversation that the town has ever had about its future. We’ve had 7,000 pieces of individual feedback from residents, business and visitors. 700 school children from the town have also put their ideas forward. Our plan is designed to provide opportunities for our current residents and future generations.”

Dwayne Johnson, Chief Executive at Sefton Council, said: “The Town Deal process has raised the profile of Southport with investors and we can already see the positive effect it is having. For example, Sefton Council has just announced an exclusivity agreement with GoSurf to create The Southport Cove Resort. This £40m privately financed investment will bring a unique surf wave pool and wellness and spa facilities to the heart of the town. The resort will add value to our Town Deal plan and complement our proposed projects, such as the convention and events centre and Marine Lake experience.”

A decision on the funding is expected early 2021 and further details of projects will be released in the next few weeks.

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