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Sefton Council launches new funding round to help Sefton communities bring local project ideas to life

Sefton Council has launched a new round of funding to back ideas which will put local people at the heart of the efforts to create more vibrant, resilient and connected communities.

The funding opportunity is part of Sefton Crowd, an initiative that aims to give anyone who lives locally with ideas about how to improve their area the opportunity to gain funding via the UK’s leading civic crowdfunding platform Spacehive.

The aim is simple – to fund and deliver exciting and innovative ideas to improve Sefton put forward by the local community, for the local community.

The council has allocated a dedicated fund of £50,000 for projects taking part in the programme.

So far, over 750 residents, businesses and other organisations, have come together alongside the council to get behind 17 ideas, with over £90,000 raised across Sefton. From wildflower meadows to virtual music festivals, Sefton Crowd is helping people bring their ideas to life.

The Woodend Community Woodland Project is just one example.

Frank Sharp, Trustee of Friends of Maghull District said: “In the most challenging of times, the rich, accessible, friendly collaborative support from Spacehive and the incredibly generous motivational pledges from their partners Sefton Council, Idverde and others made the seemingly impossible possible.

“This enabled us to exceed our £23,803 funding target by 14%, to reinvigorate an historic woodland entrance to Maghull, with a welcoming, accessible, safe, iconic and engaging wildlife friendly space, focusing on enhancing the environment, history, community, and legacy.”

The deadline to put forward your own idea is the 21st April. You can get started by simply visiting Spacehive’s website and creating your own project page.

Spacehive will also lead a programme of events for anyone who is interested in learning a little bit more or might want to test or discuss ideas that they would like to put forward first. Free online events are taking place on the 9th March at 2pm and 19th March at 12pm.

Sefton Crowd forms part of a new approach to civic planning by Sefton Council which sees crowdfunding as a key channel to involve communities and local organisations in regeneration.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for communities and housing, said: “We’re ready to support projects that answer our call for ideas which put local people at the heart of the efforts to help Sefton recover from the pandemic.

“I’m also calling on companies and foundations to join us in offering support – whether funding or in-kind – to the ideas people post on the platform so we can work together to make them a real success. The more people that get involved in Sefton Crowd the more amazing places we can create together.”

And it’s not just the council offering funding to local projects. The idverde Community Investment Fund could pledge up to £1,000. It aims to empower local people to deliver sought after projects that improve their local green space or the public realm, enhance the local environment, and boost the wellbeing of local people.

If you are interested in taking part in the next funding round of Sefton Crowd, as a funder or to fund your own project, please visit www.spacehive.com/movement/seftoncrowd or email info@spacehive.com.

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Exciting plans for the future of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre are now underway

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has agreed to fund a significant investment of £3.1m to transform the facility, which on completion will provide a new and improved hospitality offer including enhanced wedding, conference, hotel, dining and bar facilities.  A new residential bunkbarn will also be built, to provide overnight accommodation for groups.

This new investment will also allow Sefton Council to ensure delivery of the new hospitality offer, as it plans set up it a wholly-owned company to manage these operations at the facility. Sefton Council’s Cabinet Meeting of 4th February 2021 is expected to approve the incorporation of a new company that will manage the new food, beverage and accommodation offer being provided.

With the quality of customer service and experience at the foundation of the offer, the company will aim to be the ‘employer of choice’ locally in the sector, offering a fantastic work culture with industry-leading terms and conditions for employees, and training programmes to support career development opportunities in the company and across the hospitality and leisure sectors.  It is intended that the company will in turn attract, develop and retain the best workforce available in the sector, which will strengthen the offer to customers. Furthermore, the operating company will remove the subsidy currently provided to the venue, delivering a surplus to the council over the next ten years and beyond.

Construction works will soon be underway on the £3.1m transformation of the Centre. Situated at the entrance to the beautiful Crosby Coastal Park and adjacent to Anthony Gormley’s Another Place (the ‘iron men’), the facility provides an events venue, food and drink, hotel accommodation, watersports, a gym and fitness studios and, for many years, has been a popular destination for Sefton residents, visitors from the Liverpool City Region and further afield.

Artists impressions, detailed designs will be available soon

Councillor Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said:

“I am delighted that works can soon begin to take place and we will start to see these exciting new plans develop.”

 “The establishment of a new Council-owned company will allow us to implement a first-class hospitality offer which will put the customer experience at the heart of everything we do, whilst creating positive outcomes for Sefton residents by generating quality employment and training opportunities within the borough.

“I understand that visitors may currently miss being able to take advantage of our bar and café facilities while works are ongoing, but I assure people that it will be worth the wait

“This development means Crosby Lakeside can reach its full potential of being an impressive leisure and hospitality destination in a perfect location.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:

“The Lakeside Adventure Centre is a fantastic facility, enjoyed by people not just from our region but from all over.

“Sefton Council have some really exciting plans for the site, and we’ve invested £3.1m to ensure that it keeps improving and attracting more and more people. When its transformation is finished, Crosby will have another fantastic leisure and hospitality destination to add to the City Region’s visitor economy.”

In addition to the transformation of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, Sefton Council is also leading on improvements to the surrounding areas, to complement the project and to further fulfil the potential of this spectacular area of Crosby’s coast. Improvements to lighting along cycle and pedestrian paths in the coastal park will also be delivered, along with the restoration of the lake water management system to enable easier on-going maintenance of the Lake.

The construction project and external works are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Enjoy an ‘Evening With’ to celebrate Sefton’s Borough of Culture year

The Reader invites you to spend an evening delving into the works of some special guest authors as we celebrate Sefton’s year as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture.

Joanne Harris
Thursday 18 February, 6pm
Joanne Harris’ short stories are firm favourites with Shared Reading groups. Shehas published novels, short stories, screenplays, libretti, game scripts, two cookerybooks and a musical, and she sings with The Storytime Band. Her many works include Chocolat which was made into an Oscar-nominated film. She will be joining us live to read and talk about the latest in a series of short novels which re-imagine folk stories.

Kei Miller
Thursday 11 March, 6pm
Kei Miller is a Jamaican poet, novelist, short story writer and essayist, with four collections of poems published. His wonderful readings bring out the musical quality of his poems. He will be joining us live to read and talk about poems from his last two books, which looks at how places exist as much in the imagination as in their landscapes, and in nearby bushes which continues his evocations of contemporary Jamaica.

Max Porter
Thursday 25 March, 6pm
Max Porter’s two books are genuinely difficult to categorise. Are they novels? Are they poems? Does it matter? The vibrancy and energy of his writing speaks for itself. He will be joining us to read and talk about Lanny, a book set in a modern English village. It’s part mystery, part myth, part environmental polemic. Max loves being asked questions so come along prepared to really go for it!

Hosted on Zoom, join us for an hour-long Shared Reading followed by live readingfrom the author and questions from the audience.

Tickets £2 per person

Book online www.thereader.org.uk

Message from Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, Chair of the Merseyside Resilience Forum.

My name is Serena Kennedy, and I am Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and am chair of the Merseyside Resilience Forum. The Merseyside Resilience Forum (MRF) is a multi-agency partnership set up to prepare for and respond to any emergency in the county. Over the last year the MRF has been one of the key forums where local authorities, emergency services, government agencies and all other organisations have worked together on a regional basis to tackle to COVID-19 pandemic. This statement is to update you on the current situation as we move on with dealing with another period of national lockdown and look ahead to the continued vaccine roll-out.

It is increasingly clear that after close to a year of COVID-19 there is growing sense of fatigue with restrictions across many of parts of our communities. Local and national media continue to report how people are still congregating and trying to find ways around the rules, many underestimating the risks they face. However, we must make it clear that the risks remain high. The COVID-19 figures for Merseyside are stark: on December 29 the weekly admissions to hospitals for COVID-198 were 43 in Merseyside. Just two weeks later, by January 12, it had gone up to 178 – and our numbers remain worryingly high.

The steps we take now and in the coming weeks will be crucial in ensuring our region can emerge from the national lockdown at the earliest possible opportunity. The most important step we can all take is to carry on following the lockdown rules, which will remain in place for the foreseeable future. In England this means people must stay at home and only go out where absolutely necessary, such as to shop for basic necessities, or exercise once a day. Also, people are not allowed to leave home to meet people socially if they don’t live together or have a support bubble together. This is the only way we can reduce the rates of infection – the “R value” – and begin to see fewer people becoming ill with the virus.

Although the news of vaccine roll-outs is encouraging and going well, we must tackle the increasing risks created by people feeling they are out of harm’s reach – they are not. By working together we can better protect our communities, our families and ourselves and create a resilient position to emerge from the national lockdown.

Finally, thank you for all your hard work so far. Merseyside people have shown true community spirit and strength and we see examples of that every day. Despite this I know it is difficult and I can’t promise it will be any easier for a while yet, but all the effort and working together so far has truly paid dividends and we can be optimistic that by carrying on we can do the right thing for our communities and keep people safe and well.

Weather Notice: Severe Flood Warning Issued for the Maghull area

Heavy rain from Storm Christoph has led to raised water levels and flooding from the River Alt, that is set to increase significantly and means that some residents in the Maghull area are advised to vacate their properties as soon as possible.

The increase in the water level has led the Environment Agency to issue a severe flood warning, meaning there is a threat to life and significant disruption. Flood warnings mean that flooding is expected, which is the case in Maghull from 10pm until 10am tomorrow morning.

Water levels at Dover Brook, near the River Alt, reached 2.5m today, which in unprecedented for that area, modelling from the Environment Agency, including anticipated overnight rainfall, will take that level to 3.5m.

This is expected to impact the Sefton Lane, Sefton Drive, Claremont Avenue and old Racecourse Road areas Maghull.

Residents are being urged by Sefton Council and its partners to vacate their homes immediately, with a temporary rest centre will provide shelter at the nearby Meadows Leisure Centre, the option of joining their established Covid bubble or staying with family and friends.

Where residents do not want to leave their property, it is imperative that they ensure their safety in their property and secure their belongings.

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