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More than 56 MILES of new decking planned for Southport Pier refurbishment

More than 56 miles of decking boards will be used on the refurbishment of Southport Pier, the same distance as travelling from the resort to Stoke!

Southport’s 160-year-old Grade II listed Pier could be set for the significant upgrade in the coming months if up to £3 million for new decking is approved.

Charlie Chaplin

Since its construction in 1860, Southport Pier has been the focal point of the town’s seaside heritage. It has been visited by Charlie Chaplin, stopped at by steamers and was used as a base for searchlights during the Second World War.

And over those 160-plus years exposed to corrosive rain, wind and salt spray, Southport’s pier has, like all traditional seaside piers, required numerous repair and refurbishment.

At their meeting next week, Sefton Council’s Cabinet will be asked to provisionally approve up to £3 million to replace the wooden decking along the Pier’s whole 1.1km length. If agreed, the work could begin in late 2022.

Southport to Stoke

Such is the scale of the planned works, more than 56 miles of decking boards will be used in the refurbishment, which is the same distance as the crow flies from Southport to Stoke. 

Once approved at Cabinet, full council approval for the works will then need to be sought prior to any works being undertaken.

Constant effects of nature

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Skills, said: “Like many incredible open-air coastal structures, Southport Pier is affected by the constant powerful effects of nature.

“That plus the wear from the many thousands of people who enjoy walking along Britain’s second longest pier means large-scale works like we are proposing are needed to preserve the structure for generations of the future to enjoy.”

Repairs to the Pier date back to as early as 1890 and during its long history it has fallen victim to incredibly powerful storm damage, boat crashes and numerous fires in the 19th and 20th century. In 2018, extensive repairs and repainting works were carried out by Sefton Council to the Pier’s steelwork to combat corrosion from the sea. 

Iconic

Cllr Atkinson added:  â€śBy replacing the decking boards in their entirety, we are protecting the structure for generations to come.

“Southport’s iconic pier is by no means cheap to look after but it is cherished by all of us in Sefton and by the town’s many visitors so I don’t think anyone could argue against providing it with this vital care.”

You can find out more about the highlights of a visit to Southport here. 

Council cabinet to consider Marine Lake Events Centre business case

Sefton Council’s Cabinet will next week consider a report which would see the Local Authority reach a major milestone in its plans for the exciting Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport.

The report, which was published today (Wednesday, July 20th) asks Cabinet to approve plans for a Full Business Case to be submitted to Central Government, following the award of the ÂŁ37.5m Southport Town Deal.

Cabinet will also be asked to approve plans to procure both a Design & Build contractor and an Operating Partner for the proposed venue.

Excitement for the Marine Lake Events Centre & Water and Light Show project has been building rapidly in recent months, and a detailed planning application for its creation has already been submitted.

Both the Planning submission and Business Case proposal follow a detailed public consultation process held by the council, which showed that 84% of residents and businesses in the resort are in favour of the Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC) being created.

Should the business case and planning permission be approved, The MLEC is expected to bring more than half a million visitors to Southport year on year, while generating an annual ÂŁ18 million for the local economy.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The submission of a full business case and the appointment of contractors and operators are the natural next steps in this fantastic one in a generational project.

“We are wholly committed to the delivery of this incredible scheme which will be of massive importance to the economy across the borough.”

Detailed in the report includes a transparent financial analysis of what the local authority’s predicted annual cost of borrowing for the project could be, less the annual income received from the venue’s future operating partner.

A more detailed financial forecast is currently being drafted and will be presented to the September meeting of Sefton Council’s Cabinet.

Cllr Atkinson continued: “We know that the public recognises the council’s ambitions to boost Southport’s cultural offer and visitor economy, as well as ultimately support local businesses and increase spend.

“This report reaffirms the Cabinet’s steadfast commitment to the MLEC project by borrowing up to £20m to make it happen.

“I am immensely proud of what we have been able to deliver in terms of regeneration projects for our communities and businesses across Sefton, especially following the impact of the pandemic.

“Should it be approved, the new development will provide first class theatre space, a conference and exhibition centre able to accommodate a wide range of events, and café and signature restaurant, providing facilities for both visitors and the local community alike.

“The plans also include a new Water and Light show installation on the Marine Lake, the largest permanent installation of its kind in the UK.

“Our plans for the Marine Lake Events Centre and Water & Light Show directly complement the ongoing and continued investment Sefton Council makes toward improving the future of the town for our amazing communities and visitors.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Southport holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in our city region and beyond as being a family-favourite destination for days out and holidays alike. The town has been entertaining generations of visitors for as long as it has existed.

“We want to build on that legacy and make sure that Southport can continue to thrive and attract visitors for many more years to come, giving a massive boost to local businesses and creating good quality, secure jobs. We are working with Sefton Council to drive the town’s revival and start a new chapter in its story. I for one cannot wait to see what the future has in store.”

Park Nights return for summer of fun thanks to Active Sefton

Active Sefton’s successful Park Nights are set to return this Summer holiday!

The free evening events are designed to give youngsters across the borough the chance to enjoy a host of free and fun activities.

Hosted at various locations throughout Sefton, the early evening events aims to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour by encouraging them to take part in fun filled activities.

Throughout the period (July 11th – September 2nd) youngsters can take part in a raft of free activities including football, archery and more.

Park Nights is organised by Active Sefton and funded by the Merseyside Police Crime Commissioner.

Fun filled activities include inflatable football, blow up dart boards, tennis, cricket, rugby and much more.

For more information contact the Active Sefton Team on 0151 288 6286 or email active.sport@sefton.gov.uk

 

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  https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/investment-programmes-and-infrastructure/southport-eastern-access-improvements

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