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Fast becoming part of Bootle Strand Shopping Centre’s increasingly diverse offer is a community hub, continuing to support a thriving voluntary and charitable sector.

Acquisition of the Strand Shopping Centre in 2017 gave the Council control over the space and how it can be used to benefit the local community and economy. The Council’s aim was to make the Strand more than simply a place to shop and in line with that intention, it is becoming a space where people can spend time, find support, get involved and connect with a strong focus on social as well as financial outcomes.

Since 2017, Sefton Council and the centre have supported a number of voluntary organisations to take up residence in the Strand, as it becomes the heart of the town centre’s physical, social and economic regeneration.

The Strand is now providing a valuable gateway to inclusive support for the local communities. This is particularly the case for those with additional needs or those who need extra support. Organisations now located in the Strand include Y-Kids who run Kingsley and Co, a community children’s bookshop. Books cost as little as £1 to inspire creativity and encourage reading among children. The organisation contribute to the Strand’s community events programme on a regular basis, running events and competitions throughout the year, the latest ‘Dino Dig’ event saw 2000 people attend.

In December 2020, the Big Onion opened, transforming 6000 sqft of unused to let space to provide three layers of opportunity including a market space for 19 independent retailers, an employability hub and a community centre. The Big Onion supports young, local entrepreneurs who run stalls selling everything from craft items, bath bombs to collectibles and plays an integral part of our inclusive strategy to support local entrepreneurialism and talent, create jobs and strengthen communities.

The Strand also hosts Bootle Tool Shed, a community workshop who aim to combat social isolation among Bootle’s older population and produce fantastic products for people up and down the borough.

The community offer covers mental health and wellbeing, social inclusion, craft skills training, provision of musical instrument lessons and reading and employment support.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council said:

 “High streets up and down the country have suffered in recent times and we know that regeneration must mean more than solely new retail space.

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, town centres will have to present a diverse range of amenities and services with a strong community focus to succeed. Therefore, in this new era, the Strand must be more than just a shopping centre.

“I am delighted to see that work by dedicated and inspirational voluntary organisations is creating a community hub at the Strand, in the heart of one of the towns hardest hit by COVID-19.

“Purchasing the Strand Shopping Centre in 2017 gave us the opportunity to support our voluntary sector in the amazing work they do in our community. Our focus remains on economic and social outcomes for Bootle town centre, as well as the financial performance of the Strand. The Council’s ownership of the centre means we can agree tenancy for certain units with these fantastic organisations and create this thriving voluntary space in the centre of our town.

“After the disappointment of our Levelling Up Fund bids for Bootle and Crosby being rejected, we need these community groups more than ever to bring energy and passion to regenerate these areas that have once again been neglected by the Government.”


Rowland Parry, Centre Manager said

 “We have a great respect for the local Bootle community and have worked hard to attract tenants to the Strand Shopping Centre that are aligned to the needs of our population in Bootle and bring great value to local communities.”


Eddie Flynn, Bootle Tool Shed said:

 “The amount of people we reach would not be possible in any other setting, whether we are doing community projects or helping out aged community members, this could be something as simple as fixing a gate for somebody, to bigger park projects, we are grateful for the opportunity and look forward to the future.”


Y-Kids CEO Claire Morgans said:

“Operating out of the Strand allows us to connect with a huge portion of Bootle’s residents and enables us to be truly accessible to the community.

“Our family of charity organisations here at the Strand see the centre as a community hub for people to get support for themselves and to support each other.

“The future of town centres must have community as it’s heart. The passion for Bootle already exists in those of us who have worked in the voluntary sector for many years, the key to Bootle’s regeneration is to harness that energy.”

Sefton Council launch Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board to mark Adult Safeguarding Week

Sefton Council is marking Adults Safeguarding Week with the launch of its Safeguarding Adults Board, focused on the protection of adults and promotion of safeguarding across the Borough.

Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board’s purpose  is to help protect adults with care and support needs from abuse, harm and neglect. It brings together leaders and representatives from local organisations to ensure that safeguarding arrangements are in place and services in Sefton are high-quality and safe.

Partner agencies include senior representatives from acute hospitals, adult social care services, Merseyside Police, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Merseyside Fire & Rescue, probation service, public health, Healthwatch Sefton and the voluntary sector.

The Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board replaces the Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board and provides a focus on Sefton-specific issues and priorities.

The Council will be sharing messages throughout the week to improve understanding of safeguarding adults, types of neglect or abuse that would require someone to need safeguarding and how to raise a concern with the department to secure support for the person(s) involved.


Cllr Paul Cummins, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:

“I am glad that Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board has launched in time for Adults Safeguarding Week so we can protect people in Sefton and raise awareness of this crucial issue.

“It can be hard to recognise signs of abuse or neglect and even harder to take action and raise a concern, but we all have a responsibility to each other to speak up if we see signs of abuse or neglect.

“Our fantastic teams will be sharing useful information all week to make it easier to spot abuse and neglect and to explain the process of raising any concerns.”


Nat Hendry-Torrance, designated Safeguarding Adult Manager for the CCGs in Sefton said:

“This year’s theme for Safeguarding Adults Week is ‘Creating Safer Cultures’ . This is about how organisations and individuals can take steps to minimise harm occurring in the first instance, while ensuring correct policies and procedures are in place so that safeguarding concerns that are raised, are recognised and responded to effectively.”

“As a newly formed Board for Sefton, our aim is to protect the most vulnerable members of our society and work together to make Sefton a safe place for all.”


People can find out more about the Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board on our website.




Antibiotics ‘not the answer’ for COVID, flu and other conditions

Someone emptying pills from a jarNHS healthcare professionals are urging people in Sefton to ‘think twice’ before asking for antibiotics to treat conditions such as COVID-19, flu and toothache.

Drug-resistant germs

Their advice comes ahead of this year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which aims to encourage the responsible use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines to prevent the spread of dangerous, drug-resistant germs.

Over time, the overuse or inappropriate use of medicines such as antibiotics can lead to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and become resistant to medicines. This makes infections harder to treat and increases the risk of diseases spreading, severe illness and death.

Sefton residents are being advised not to take antibiotics when they don’t need them, and if they are unsure, to follow the advice of their doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Not effective

Susanne Lynch MBE, head of medicines management at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:  “Antibiotics are not always the answer. They are not effective against the COVID-19 virus or against everyday viral infections like the common cold or the flu, so seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist to get the right treatment for your condition.

“Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics when they are needed and when they will be effective against a bacterial infection, so only take these types of medicines when you are advised to do so.

“Patients taking antibiotics unnecessarily puts us all at more risk, as it means that dangerous germs can start to develop resistance to these medicines, meaning they cannot be treated in the future.”

Best options

Dr Yvonne Dailey, lead consultant in dental public health at NHS England and NHS Improvement – North West, said:

“It’s also important to remember that there are solutions other than antibiotics for dental problems like toothache or dental abscesses. Antibiotics are not always the best way of treating tooth decay, gum disease or jaw problems, and are not usually needed.

“Always talk to your dentist if you have worries about pain, swelling, lumps or ulcers in your mouth, including if you are worried about oral cancer. They need to examine you and find out the cause of your problems before they can advise on the best options to treat you.”

Sefton residents who feel unwell and need medical advice for non-emergency conditions are advised to call 111, or visit NHS 111 online

Southport Market launches first ever Christmas Extravaganza

Southport Market is set to play host to a winter wonderland as the popular food and drink venue launches its first Christmas Extravaganza!

Throughout December, Southport Market, on the town’s King Street, will undergo a magical transformation into a festive dream world. There will be  with Christmas film showings, Christmas Markets, additional seating for Christmas bookings and even playing host to the big man himself.

Free events

Sefton Council’s Tourism elves are putting finishing touches to the plans, which will see a host of completely free events take place at Southport Market during the Christmas period.

Decorations will also see the venue adorned with amazing garlands, giant baubles along with an eye-catching tunnel of light.

Book and reserve tables

Anyone wanting to arrange a Christmas get together at the market can now book and reserve tables by pre-purchasing a drinks package for any date between Friday 3rd and Saturday 18th December. And, from Wednesday 11th December, free festive films will be shown in the market’s bespoke events space, in partnership with Bijou Cinema.

Also starting from December 11th, children will be able to visit the market’s special North Pole post office drop-off to ensure their letters to Santa are delivered in time for the big day. Father Christmas and his elves will also be making a special guest appearance on certain dates.

Outdoor chalets featuring a wealth of present and gift ideas will also be located in the area around Southport Market


Cllr Marion Atkinson, Santa’s Sefton representative and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Southport Market will be a winter wonderland with fun for all the family this December.

“All of the special events we have planned are completely free and we are using a first come, first serve basis for our film showings and Santa meet & greet.

“There is plenty on offer from our incredible traders and they will be complimented by a selection of outdoor shopping chalets.”

Find out more about what’s on offer at Southport Market over the Christmas period.  


Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre redevelopment update

A Sefton Council spokesperson said:

“Unfortunately, owing to Crossfield Construction Limited’s unacceptable delays and failure to satisfactorily progress the works on the redevelopment of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, the Council has terminated its employment under their contract.

“This is a difficult decision, which we realise may have a knock-on effect on local firms subcontracted to Crossfield. We understand and share the frustrations that those subcontractors may have. Disappointingly, it will also delay until next year, the completion of the refurbishment of this tourist and leisure facility in one of Sefton’s most beautiful locations and the creation of new jobs and training opportunities it will bring.

“The Council has worked proactively with the contractor to try to resolve its issues and ensure progression of the project. This decision has been taken after much consideration, but is in line with the Council’s duty to protect the interests of local Council Tax payers and its assets. The decision could not have been communicated earlier, due to the legal and commercial nature of negotiations with the contractor.

“Sefton Council is implementing its contingency plan to complete the scheme and ensure delivery of a first-class asset and the benefits it brings, for residents and visitors, as safely, quickly and economically as possible.”


To learn more about Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and the refurbishment plans, people can visit 

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