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Southport Market transformation given £1 million boost

The transformation of Southport Market into a social space to enjoy food, drink and markets is one step closer to reality with the Governments Acceleration Grant announcement

The resort has been awarded a £1million grant from central Government’s Town Deal Fund, which is designed to go towards capital development projects.

This funding will complement the work which is well underway on a comprehensive bid by the Southport Town Deal board for a larger grant of £25 million from the fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, says:
“This is a very welcome grant and helps us in our long term vision for Southport.

“We have been working extremely hard on plans for Southport Market as part of our Southport masterplan for some time, recognising how important such a social space would be to the local economic and tourism sector.

“It will bring a market culture experience to the town that some cities across the UK have successfully introduced already and which European towns and cities have become celebrated for. It also continues to show Sefton Councils commitment to Southport providing further opportunities to support independent businesses”

Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Southport Town Deal board, welcomed the news, saying:
“We have been working incredibly hard to try and make our ambitions a reality and we are in a fantastic position ahead of us submitting full plans for a £25million bid later this year.

“Our plans can now move forward at pace with Southport Market being the key focus, with £900,000 of the grant allocated to this project.

“The remaining £100,000 will be used to transform the Lord Street tree lights working in partnership with Southport Business Improvement District (BID) to ensure our beautiful boulevard is bathed in the very best light.”

Mark Lawler, Managing Director of Baltic Creative and member of the Southport Town Deal Board, echoed these sentiments.

Mark said: “We recognise how important this kind of investment can be for giving a kick start for further growth throughout the resort, as well as having the potential to spark further enhancement of the area surrounding the market.

“As a seaside town that is renowned for its great food and drink offer we think that this will be the perfect complement to Southport’s already impressive social offer, which is already recognised for championing independent businesses.”

The Southport Market project business case will now go to Cabinet and Council for approval in September, with a view to ensuring completion of the project by the end of the financial year, in accordance with the conditions of the grant.

For further information and to have your say on the Southport Town Deal, visit

Ainsdale Beach Car Park now open again after nearby utilities works

Ainsdale Beach car park has now re-opened.

Earlier this Green Sefton took the decision to close the car park due to essential sewerage works being carried out by United Utilities at a nearby leisure site.

Owing to the large number of vehicles and the machinery on site, the decision was taken to temporarily close Ainsdale Beach car park to ensure public safety.

Sefton Council is asking people who do come to the beach to act responsibly, to be considerate to local residents and to follow the measures in place to protect them and their loved ones from COVID-19.

Sefton Council recently developed a Coastal Visitor Action Plan which sets out some of the measure in pace. As well as the re-opening of Ainsdale Beach Car Park, these have included the introduction of portable loos and skips where people can leave their rubbish.

This short video shows some of the measure in place as part of the Coastal Visitor Action Plan.

When the plan was launched, Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We have proposed a wider range of measures to meet the requirements of residents, visitors and employees and our beautiful coastal environment while at the same time keeping them safe in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government’s national guidelines.

The Council has been asking people not to light barbecues or fires or to take glass bottles and other items onto the beach as they can cause fires and dangerous litter if left behind.

People are also being reminded that a Public Spaces Protection Order is in place preventing the outdoor consumption of alcohol in areas of Formby & Ainsdale Beaches, Southport Promenade and town centre, Crosby & Waterloo including by the Marine Lake as well as Bootle and Formby town centres. The Order can be enforced by Police officers and authorised Council officers and fines for breaching it start at £50.

Download a copy of Sefton Council’s Coastal Visitor Action Plan.

Mobile testing units at Litherland and Southport from today

Mobile coronavirus testing sites will be at Litherland  Sports Park on Thursday 30 and Friday 31 July today and at Southport Eco Centre from Thursday 30 July to Monday 3 August.

Tests at drive-through mobile sites tell people if if they currently have the Covid-19 virus.

Tests are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at or by calling 119.

Essential workers can book through

Key NHS employees can attend regional testing sites at Liverpool John Lennon Airport as well as Haydock and Manchester Airport without the need for an appointment.

Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG are supporting the mobile sites, which have now provided around 7,000 tests.

Health bosses have been reminding young people that they can still catch coronavirus and pass on the serious illness to friends & loved ones without knowing it.

That why it is important that anyone contacted through the Government’s NHS Test and Trace service, shares information about their recent interactions.

Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace service.

Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre re-opens

Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre on Stanley Street, Southport are re-opening its doors to provide residents affected by cancer with face to face, COVID safe support following the recent easing of lockdown restrictions.

The team at the centre – a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – has put measures in place so that it can safely resume services for patients and staff. This means that there are some changes to the way the service is delivered, initially, there will only be pre-bookable appointments available. The team will be continually reviewing guidance so that the drop-in service, support groups, courses and events will also be resumed as soon as it is safe to do so.

To protect staff, volunteers and service users, a simple health questionnaire and temperature check will be carried out before anyone enters the centre. In addition, unless there is a medical reason why it is not possible, visitors and staff will be required to wear a disposable mask or face covering of their own. All rooms that are used in the centre comply with the 2-metre social distancing guidance. The centre will be thoroughly cleaned at the start and end of each day and all tables, chairs and used areas will be wiped down after each person has left.

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and cancer clinical lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “We know that there has been a sharp drop in the number of patients referred for cancer investigations and appointments during the pandemic. We understand that some people may be concerned about visiting their GP with symptoms or attending hospital for a cancer referral appointment. Strict infection control procedures and video and phone consultations have been introduced in GP practices to ensure the safety of patients and staff. It is vital that people contact their GP if they have any signs or symptoms of cancer because early diagnosis saves lives.

“It’s brilliant to see the Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre re-open, we know that coronavirus means people living with cancer need help now more than ever. The Centre has increased the number of counseling sessions so that the trained and experienced staff can provide more vital emotional support to people with cancer locally.”

Tanya Mulvey, Centre manager at Southport Cancer Information and Support Centre, said: “We know that the last few months have been incredibly difficult for people affected by cancer and although we have been offering telephone support (which we’ll continue to do), we know that seeing someone face-to-face is far preferable for many people. Sadly, we will not be able to hold your hand or hug you – but the welcome will be just as warm as it ever was, and we’ll do our very best to help and support you.

“We will be continually reviewing our services against evolving guidance and hope that we will be able to return to our normal service provision as soon as possible.”

To find out about the support available and to book an appointment, please call the Centre on 07976 767188 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)

For more information about the Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre, visit:

Sefton hosting region’s first walk-through COVID-19 Local Testing Sites

People across Sefton will benefit from the opening of Cheshire and Merseyside’s first dedicated walk-through Covid-19 testing sites, in Bootle on Friday (31 July) and in Southport next week.

Walk-through Local Testing Sites improve access to COVID-19 tests for the whole community, especially those who do not have access to a car and those people who should not be using public transport because they have coronavirus symptoms.

Unlike the Mobile Units, which people have already used to take over 7,000 tests at Sefton’s five locations, Local Testing Sites will be open for several months. Each Site will have between four and eight testing bays which can each test up to three people an hour. Users will be asked to self-swab when attending.

To use the walk-through process, people first need to book a test. You can do this online at or by calling 119 or Sefton Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845.

Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher, said: “We have been working very closely with colleagues in the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside and the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that we have the most accessible testing facilities for the people of Sefton, when and where they need them.

“I am delighted that we have been able to secure the first ever Local Testing Site facilities in Cheshire and Merseyside and that people will have even greater access to testing should people feel unwell.

“We have a fairly unique borough, which is both long and narrow, so being able to secure a Local Testing Site for both Southport and Bootle is a really good result. We will continue to work closely to ensure that all of the testing availability is used in the best possible way to help keep Sefton safe as we look to support the recovery of our area and the local economy.”

Regional Testing Director for Cheshire and Merseyside, Terry Whalley, said: “This additional capacity is great for Sefton and the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside.

“Having two semi-permanent Local Testing Sites  in Sefton means that we will be able to use other testing facilities more flexibly and be able to deploy them in a more targeted way in the future. This will help the Director of Public Health, and other professionals have a greater say in how testing is used and deployed locally.

“Having this extra capacity, more permanently, means that we can respond and react in a much more targeted way with other testing resources, should we see local outbreaks or other urgent needs. Such decisions can now be made in the knowledge that there are testing sites in both Bootle and Southport to rely on day to day.

“We will carefully study the use of these new sites in Sefton as we look to roll out further testing capability across Cheshire and Merseyside in our bid to continue protecting lives and livelihoods.”

People with coronavirus symptoms travelling to the Bootle Local Testing Site should not use public transport. There is on-street pay-and-display parking close to Bootle Town Hall for those people travelling to the Local Testing Site by car.

Mobile coronavirus testing units are scheduled to be at locations across Sefton every day in August.

Find out more with our Guide to the walk-through testing process.

More information on visiting a Local Testing Site is available in this YouTube video

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