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Bids sought for UK Community Renewal Fund projects to deliver local growth

Organisations across Sefton are being encouraged to bid for funding from the from the national £220 million UK Community Renewal Fund.

Aiming to “support people and communities in need across the UK,” the Fund will invest in skills, communities, businesses, and by supporting people into employment.

Local growth priorities

Bids should be for a minimum value of £500,000 and should show how they can deliver the key local growth priorities of:

  • Investment in skills.
  • Investment in local business.
  • Investment in communities and place.
  • Supporting people into employment.

Applications must be submitted by Noon on Monday 17th May 2021 and projects must be delivered, with all activity completed, by 31 March 2022. Confidence that funding will be spent within that time-frame will be another key criteria in assessment.

Revenue funding

As 90% of funding available through the UK Community Renewal Fund is revenue funding and only available in 2021/22, projects should be predominantly, or exclusively, revenue based.

The Government has introduced the fund as it prepares for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022 to replace EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

Successful projects

The Government has designated Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as a lead authority, responsible for selecting bids that will be sent to the Government for consideration and paying grants to successful projects and manging their performance. In selecting bids to be forwarded to be considered by the Government, the Combined Authority will prioritise projects that have the greatest potential to deliver the key local growth priorities.

Find out more about applying for UK Community Renewal Fund support.  

New grant for Sefton businesses now available as coronavirus restrictions ease

A one-off financial support package, known as the Restart Grant, is now available to support Sefton businesses as they reopen in line with the easing of national coronavirus restrictions.

Restart Grants of between £2,667 and £18,000 are available for businesses who are liable for Business Rates. Grant payments will be based on the rateable value of the property and the sector which the business operates in.

The application window for Sefton businesses will open on Monday 12th April 2021 and the deadline for applications to be submitted is Wednesday 30th June 2021.

Full details of eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Sefton Council website, along with links to guides for businesses to support their safe reopening.

Restart grant supporting businesses to reopen safelyBusinesses are advised to read the eligibility criteria, and to familiarise themselves with the new Subsidy Allowance rules, before completing an online application.

This Government requires additional information from businesses than previous grant applications and requires the Council to undertake extensive pre-payment verification checks. Consequently, it is estimated that it will take 4-6 weeks from an application being received to payment being issued to eligible businesses.

Every effort will be made to make payment earlier. Businesses are asked not to request progress updates as this will slow down the issuing of grant payments. Progress updates will be posted on the Council’s website and social media.

The new national grant will replace the previous Local Restrictions Support Grant. The deadline to submit new applications to the Local Restrictions Support Grant is Monday 31st May 2021 for the period between 16th February and 31st March 2021. 

Sarah is Sefton’s Number One!

Picture of award-winner Sarah Vaughan
Award-winning leader of Sefton Council’s NEET Prevention and Early Intervention Service, Sarah Vaughan.

Sefton Council is delighted to congratulate Sarah Vaughan from Career Connect on winning the Highly Commended Award for National Careers Service Manager of the Year.

Sarah, who leads Sefton Council’s highly successful NEET Prevention and Early Intervention Service, won this prestigious recognition for her work with young people in Sefton at the recent Career Development Institute Awards ceremony.

Better outcomes

Part of the Council’s Economic Growth and Housing Department, the service delivers an innovative approach to secure better outcomes for Sefton’s young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). It places a strong focus on those from the Borough’s most vulnerable groups.

Unlike most other Councils, Sefton has introduced working with young people from age 14 up who may be more likely to find themselves without learning or work by the time they reach 16, and this new approach is making a big difference.

In the recent lockdowns, the work of tracking and supporting young people was even more challenging and Sarah’s team moved quickly to design new COVID-safe ways of supporting young people. Sarah led on a scheme to support young apprentices who have been furloughed and also worked with Care leavers and young offenders during this busy time.

Completely committed

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said “As a Council we are completely committed to finding ways to support our young people so they can achieve their full potential.

“Within the last two years, Sarah and her team of Careers Advisors, Coaches and Mentors have enabled Sefton to achieve its best-ever performance in helping our young people to stay in learning and jobs and achieve their goals.

“We have improved so much that Sefton is now ranked 4th best out of 151 local authorities across the country. With the difficult times we have all been through recently, this  is truly amazing performance. So, we know we have got some great people working with us in Sefton and Sarah’s award has just confirmed it!”.

Sarah was not alone in receiving an accolade, as her team member Rob Jones was also shortlisted as finalist in the Careers Advisor of the Year category.

Find out more about Career Connect.

More about the Career Development Institute.

Sefton Council looking forward to welcoming people back to refurbished fitness facilities

Representatives visiting site including MP Peter Dowd, Cllr Paul Cummins and Cllr Marion Atkinson

Sefton Council is looking forward to welcoming people back to refurbished fitness facilities at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre on Monday 12th April, as lockdown measures are eased.

Work carried out during lockdown means that users will be able to enjoy a brand-new fitness and spin studio, an updated fitness suite and refurbished changing rooms with new toilets. There is also a brand-new reception and social area, a new fitness class waiting area and new meeting rooms.

Cllr Ian Moncur Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing said

“I’d like to thank our staff who have been working hard behind the scenes while the gym has been closed due to the pandemic. It has really paid off as I’m sure our members will enjoy an even better experience when they return.”

“The gym and lake will re-open on Monday 12th April and new members can book an induction from Tuesday 6th April. Fitness classes will commence on Monday 17th May.

At the site visit, Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“These improvements are part of a £3.1 million scheme to transform the whole of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, which is at the entrance to the beautiful Crosby Coastal Park and adjacent to Anthony Gormley’s Another Place (the ‘iron men’).

“Construction has already begun on the project, which will see new and improved wedding, conference, hotel, dining and bar facilities.

“This transformation is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021 but in the meantime the leisure side of the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, including the gym and the water sports activities, will be open for business as usual throughout the work.”

MP for Bootle Peter Dowd said:

“It has been great to come on site and see how this amazing project is coming along and to get a glimpse of the new and improved leisure facilities first hand.

“As part of the original team who worked on the Lakeside when it opened in 2009, it is fantastic to see the Council still valuing the asset and making these improvements.

“Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre is an incredible asset and I am delighted that this investment has been made in order to improve the service for the local community and visitors.”

Also visiting the site Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Cllr Paul Cummins said:

“I am so pleased that such a significant investment has been put into this fantastic facility which can be enjoyed by people from our borough and beyond.

“The plans for this site are exciting and the development is already coming on leaps and bounds. I am fully confident that this leisure and hospitality offer will be a major benefit to Sefton’s visitor economy.”

Mike Macaulay, Director of Crossfield Construction, commented:

“We are delighted to have started construction on this flagship project.

“It gives us great pride to be entrusted with Sefton Council’s vision to revive the Coastal Park and the wider area.

“Many of our team grew up in Crosby so this project is very close to our hearts and we are committed to ensuring that our work here positively impacts the wider Sefton community.”

WATCH: Sefton honours communities during national Day of Reflection

Tuesday, March 23 marks one year since Sefton went into lockdown.

In line with national events to mark this day, Sefton have put together a special film to honour, remember and thank all of our residents for a difficult and challenging year under COVID-19.

Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson and Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher have also issued the below letter to all Sefton communities.

Southport and Bootle Town Halls will be illuminated yellow this evening (March 23) from 7pm-9pm as a sign of reflection and remembrance to all those who have lost their lives through COVID-19.

*****

To our residents,

This past year has been a year like no other.

March 23rd 2021 marks a year since the first national lockdown began as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were asked to stay at home and reduce our contacts. For some, that has meant that they have not seen loved ones for over a year, some have not met new family members, or marked special occasions; others did not get a chance to say goodbye.

Our communities have been hit hard by this pandemic and we want to recognise the difficulties people continue to face as we slowly begin to emerge, a year later.

The impact of this pandemic will be felt for some time to come and it is important that we reflect on the challenges we have faced, and we consider how we will emerge stronger and face those difficulties ahead.

We could not let today pass without recognising the sacrifice and hardship faced by our community and to pause and take stock of the year that has gone by.

But there are some positives we can take from this past year.

It has been heart-warming and truly inspiring to see how our communities have come together to support each other during this time.

We have seen huge numbers of volunteers, supporting those who needed it, neighbours checking in on neighbours, and welfare visits through the window.

We’ve seen fundraising and charities pulling us all through and inspiring stories of people going the extra mile and showing what Sefton can do.

The spirit of our community continues to impress us, while we share an overwhelming sadness for those we have lost and pride in our community for how we are pushing through.

We know that many sacrifices have been made to drive the COVID infection rate down, and sadly, we have lost loved ones along the way.

They will be sadly missed and will not be forgotten.

We will look at options for a permanent memorial and long term commemorations when the time is right, but for now, we would urge everyone to pause, reflect and continue to work together as one community.

We must continue to stick to the rules as lockdown eases so that we can truly put this past year behind us.

We urge everyone to continue to reduce their contacts as much as possible and take precautionary measures as lockdown lifts.

Soon, we hope, we can hug our families again

Sefton Council will continue to support our MySefton community as we emerge from this pandemic and we would, once again, like to thank you for all that we have done over the past year.

We will emerge stronger.

Dwayne Johnson & Cllr Ian Maher.

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