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Let there be light! Iconic buildings across Sefton to be lit up in dazzling light projection

Southport and Bootle will play host to a spectacular light show capturing the history of the Sefton next week.

The Nightingale’s Song Reawakened is a triumphant series of video projection artworks taking place across Bootle and Southport, created with Illuminos, Guildhall Live Events, Lightworks, and artist Amelia Kosminsky.

The event will be free and will be hosted at:

Southport Market
Friday 25th 10am – 10pm
Saturday 26th 10am – 10pm
Sunday 27th 10am – 8pm
Wednesday 30th 5:30pm – 9pm
Thursday 31st 5:30pm – 9pm
Friday April 1st 10am – 10pm
Saturday April 2nd 5:30pm – 10pm
Sunday April 3rd 10am – 8pm

Bootle Canalside 
Saturday March 26th 8pm – 10pm

Accessed via Washington Parade/Stanley Road

The Atkinson, Southport 
Sunday March 27th (shows at 8.30pm and 9pm)

Food and drink will be available at Southport Market and Bootle Canalside throughout the shows.

March 2020 saw three iconic buildings lit up in celebratory stories, as part of Sefton Borough of Culture. Two years on the Nightingale’s Song is to be retold in a new and mesmerising collaboration.

The Nightingale’s Song is a tale of magic and wonder, of myths and wondrous creatures, spectacular nature, of ships and sailing, of peoples past and present and captures the history of Sefton.

The projections are anchored through following the journey of the Natterjack Toad – the endangered amphibian who lives in the Sefton dunes. Known as the Birkdale Nightingale because of its extraordinary night time song, it becomes the character we follow, symbolising the growth and transition through ever changing stages of egg, tadpole, and toad.

For this year’s spectacle, projection artists Illuminos have joined forces with Guildhall Live Events, Lightworks, and artist Amelia Kosminsky to create three distinct pieces, all thematically linked through the Song of the Nightingale.

The Echo begins the events at Southport Market.  In this unique video installation echoes of images morph and flow across screens, and visitors through their movements in the space trigger visual moments that interact and cause ripples across the artwork.  A toad hops, a biplane soars, waves roll in and seasons change.  By changing their positions and working together, visitors can uncover the many secrets and echoes of Sefton’s past and present.

The Whisper takes place at Bootle Canalside event space.  Here emerging artist Amelia Kosminsky transforms the surfaces of the buildings into vast dreamlike canvases of video art.  Making extensive use of archive images, newspaper cuttings, landscapes and histories of Bootle, audiences are invited to soak up a visual journey from land through canal and waterway to rolling sea.

The Song completes the events at the Atkinson Building, Southport.  In a vast and dramatic finale, the architecture of the Atkinson is transformed to tell the story of Sefton through egg, tadpole and toad as storms rage, arcades whirr, vikings rise, railways build, and the Birkdale Nightingale sings, in a celebration of Sefton and its coastline.


Have YOUR say on improvements to Southport Eastern Access routes

Sefton Council is seeking views from Southport residents and visitors over potential improvements to the town’s key eastern access routes.

The proposed Southport Eastern Access Improvements scheme seeks to improve the road and pedestrian network between the town centre and the Southport Road border in Kew.

Improvements would look to ease congestion issues for motorists, while also seeking to revamp cycling and pedestrian infrastructure at the eastern approach to the town.

The areas within the Southport Eastern Access Improvements scheme include:

Kew Roundabout
Southport Road
Foul Lane
Scarisbrick New Road
Norwood Road

Improvements to Southport’s eastern travel routes have been the subject of discussion since the 1960s and now Sefton Council’s Transport Planning team are working on a business case to make these changes a reality.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “To make any potential changes and improvements we need the vital knowledge and views of those who live near and use these routes every single day.

“We want to make sure any plans will best capture the views of residents, businesses, schools and visitors to Southport. That insight will help us deliver and develop our proposals and subsequent designs.

“Southport is a key cornerstone in the borough’s economic growth plans and an improved streetscene and transport network in the East will contribute massively towards this.”

The main benefits of the proposed scheme would:

Ease congestion on key routes including Scarisbrick New Road
Ease instances of ‘rat running’ around areas such as Norwood Road, Meols Cop Road & Butts Lane
Improving access to Kew Retail Park
Improving walking and cycling links to the town centre.

Cll Fairclough continued: “We remain committed to improving our streets and transport network across Sefton to support our Sefton 2030 Vision and address the climate change emergency.

“I would encourage everyone to take part and give us your views.”

To give your views on this scheme visit

Community groups urged to bid for new SeftonCrowd funding

An incredible community led scheme which funds ideas that create more vibrant, resilient and connected communities is set to return for 2022.

The community project funding opportunity is part of Sefton Crowd, a council 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 an allocated a dedicated fund of £50,000 for projects taking part in the programme, where there is an opportunity for local projects to get a pledge from the Council of up to £5,000

Now groups are being invited to submit their ideas for new projects by April 27, 2022. Successful projects will support Sefton Council’s 2030 Vision, but this year we are also looking to support projects that look to help residents and communities in tackling the climate change crisis in Sefton.

From wildflower meadows to virtual music festivals, Sefton Crowd is helping people bring their ideas to life.

A spokesperson for Everton Volleyball, who benefited hugely from Sefton Crowd, said “”The support from the council is a real boost for the team that has been working so hard on the campaign!

“We will be able to do amazing things for the community and all the members will be super grateful”.

The deadline to put forward your idea for this Round is Wednesday 27th April.

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.

A special Project Creator Workshop to learn more about the initiative will be held on Wednesday 8th March, 12.00 noon – 1.00pm and you can book a place here.

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: “This will be the seventh round that we are supporting and we have already seen some incredible schemes and ideas brought to fruition.

“We will be looking to support projects that answer our call for ideas which benefit local people and communities.

“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.”

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 or email


Sefton’s Derek praised for tackling mental health issue among town planners

A Sefton Council officer has been recognised for his work to raise awareness of mental health support for town planners with a top industry award.

Derek McKenzie, Sefton Council’s Chief Planning Officer has received an Outstanding Contribution Award by the outgoing president of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for leading on a project to create a mental health and wellbeing hub for people who work within the high pressure sector.

The ‘President’s Special Award’ for 2021 was bestowed upon Derek after he championed the need for a platform to support his colleagues across the UK and further afield after recognising that more needed to be done.

Derek said: “We all have a duty of care to ourselves, but sometimes our focus in this area can be distracted by the many events that can impact on us in life. Sometimes we just might want some help, advice and support from someone else when all that is in our brain is a fog that inhibits our thought processes.

“Our profession covers a diverse area with public, private and third sector organisations and businesses of varying size and complexity. In my experience, members who work in the public sector or for large private businesses generally have more access to mental health support when feeling under pressure, while smaller private sector business, sole traders, retired members and some students generally have access to none or very little.

“In my own capacity as a Chief Planning Officer at Sefton Council, I am all too aware of the significant and sustained increases in the number of planning applications that have been submitted, which can quickly cause additional pressures on staff so it is vital that efforts are made to keep staff morale and wellbeing high.”

Derek is a well known figure in the Planning sector, having worked across local government organisations for a number of years, as well as playing a key role in delivering the iconic Dubai Palm island projects.

Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson welcomed Derek’s award, saying: “Derek is a fantastic member of our Planning & Building control service and he really appreciates the importance of maintaining good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

“It is a testament to Derek’s commitment to his position that he has worked on a wider mental health provision for his contemporaries elsewhere in the UK and abroad. Well done Derek!”

For more information about planning processes in Sefton, visit

How to help rough sleepers in Sefton this Winter

Sefton Council is highlighting details of where anyone who finds themselves sleeping rough or knows someone who is, can find help and support.

Earlier this month The Big Issue reported that the number of households facing eviction tripled in the three months after Covid protections to keep renters in their homes ended.

And there are fears that the impact of rising living costs and other issues such as the Government’s £20 per week cut in Universal Credit could see evictions rise in the coming months.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This Council has a long-standing commitment to helping people suffering from homelessness and supporting those rough sleepers who may find themselves in a vulnerable position, without a safe and warm place to call home.

“I am very proud of the work our teams do to help combat rough sleeping.

“Nobody wants to find themselves bedding down for the night on a cold pavement or stairwell and we are fully aware that with each new day, people may find themselves in need of support through absolutely no fault of their own.

“That is why we continue to urge the public to report an incident of rough sleeping in Sefton, by calling the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team via Light for Life on 01704 501256 or 07918746042 outside normal office hours and weekends.’’

People can provide details of the location and any description of anyone they suspect is sleeping rough by emailing or

Veterans in Sefton (ViS) has also been commissioned to provide support to people who are currently serving or who have served in the Armed Forces. This covers regulars and reservists, their families and their dependents, who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

ViS is based at The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre in Bootle. For any further help and information from ViS people can call 0151 933 0800 or 07591825204 out-of-hours assistance.


If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough, you can use the StreetLink website or App to send an alert. The details you provide are sent to the local authority or outreach service for the area in which you have seen the person, to help them find the individual and connect them to support.

Download the StreetLink app on the App Store 

Download the StreetLink app on Google Play

It is important to note that if you think the person you are concerned about is under 18 please do not contact StreetLink but instead call the police.

If you think the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger or needs urgent care, please call 999.

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