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Sefton@Work support 1000 stars into employment through ESF Ways to Work programme

The success of a project to support unemployed Sefton residents into work was celebrated at Bootle Town Hall.

MP for Bootle Peter Dowd and Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson were among the invited guests at Sefton@Work’s 1,000 Stars of Sefton event.

The celebration marked 1,000 Sefton residents being supported into work through the ESF Ways to Work programme delivered by Sefton@Work, who provide free employment solutions for businesses and workless Sefton residents.

A number of the businesses who have supported the Ways to Work project were in attendance, many of whom received special recognition for the role they have played in providing employment to those furthest from the labour market.

The stars of the show were the Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) employees, including Sefton@Work’s 1000th success story Claire Bunclark, who is currently working at a school in Great Crosby after being supported into employment by Sefton@Work.

Sefton@Work has now secured employment for over 1,300 out of work Sefton residents since the project began in 2016.

Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We want to ensure regeneration creates jobs and wherever possible our residents have access to those jobs. That’s where our Sefton@work service comes in. We want to make sure we have opportunities for young people to make the move from school or College into the world of work in a way that allows them to learn and grow in the workforce. The Sefton@Work team are out there seeking new opportunities all the time and matching them to the needs of our residents. We want to continue and build on this important work and reach 2000 Stars!”

Speaking at the event, Dwayne Johnson, Chief Executive of Sefton Council, said: “We are proud of the fact that Sefton@work has helped more than 1000 people achieve their life goals and get into jobs or training they need. We feel it is important to pause for an afternoon and celebrate the achievements of residents who have used our Sefton@work service to overcome barriers and get into work, training or education to move their lives forward in a really positive way.”

If you or your business want to access free, dedicated employment support, contact Sefton@Work at

Southport looks to future as major conference destination as Southport Theatre and Convention Centre assess redevelopment options

Sefton Council has appointed IPW to appraise long-term investment and redevelopment options for Southport Theatre and Convention Centre (STCC).

IPW will work with Sefton Council to undertake feasibility studies into the future redevelopment of the STCC, which continues to be open for business.

IPW is a specialist sport, venues, entertainment and business events consultancy and have an international profile working on the development of multi-use venues.

STCC is already one of the UK’s largest integrated conference centres, offering 14 flexible event spaces suitable for a variety of events, an award-winning hotel and experience facilities including a 1,631-seat theatre auditorium and casino.

The Theatre has enjoyed a rich history, having hosted stellar names including The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Diana Ross and The Four Tops. In more recent years, crowds at the venue have enjoyed comic talent including Peter Kay and The League of Gentlemen.

Recently Sefton Council agreed to invest circa £1m to carry out essential remedial works to the venue (with dates yet to be confirmed) and will be seeking to further enhance Southport’s standing as a leading conference destination with further investment in STCC.

Bliss Investment Partners have now been appointed on a short-term basis to manage the theatre whilst the council looks for a long-term operator.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“Southport Theatre and Convention Centre is an important part of Southport’s visitor economy and will continue to be an asset in the future.  STCC is due to host a number of large-scale conferences and events in the coming months, including welcoming over 250 delegates from the National Union of Journalists, 400 delegates for the NUS conference in May and last month over 600 delegates attended the Labour Party regional conference, which alone helped to boost the local economy by £500,000.

“With the economic potential that conferences and other events bring it is vital that we continue to support the venue, invest in its future and help unlock Southport’s destination as a major conference destination.”

Robert Agsteribbe, Co-Founder Bliss Investment Partners, said:

“We are delighted to be involved with Sefton, and others, in the planning stage of the reinvention of STCC.  This is a wonderful opportunity to provide a 21st century state of the art building.  When complete we will have a hugely improved experience and, all in all, something which Southport will once again be so very proud of.”

Sefton calls on Department for Health for funding clarity

Sefton Council have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care for clarification on as yet unreleased public health grant funding.

The leader of the council, Cllr Ian Maher, has expressed his disappointment on behalf of the authority to Secretary of State Matt Hancock after the government failed to release the funding.

Sefton Council commissions and delivers a number of crucial public health services including smoking cessation, drug and alcohol services and integrated wellness services, which help keep people well and stop them needing more expensive NHS interventions.

However without clear and detailed budgets from the Department for Health and Social Care, local authorities, including Sefton, will struggle to effectively plan for these vital services in the future.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “At a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented levels of demand, not supporting the very services that can help keep people well and away from the NHS is an absolute false economy.

“I call on the Secretary of State on behalf of our wonderful communities to release our public health funding allocation immediately and to make that allocation one of significant growth to allow us to continue prioritising prevention services.”

For more information about the vital work Sefton Council’s Public Health team do across the borough, visit


Borough of Culture funding applications end soon!

Due to popularity and high demand, any community group or organisation planning to apply for Borough of Culture funding now has until March 27 to do so.

Groups interested in hosting Borough of Culture themed events were asked to submit applications earlier in the year and already a raft of groups have been successful in receiving funding.

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Sefton school chef crowned LACA School Chef of the Year 2020


We are absolutely delighted with the news that one of Sefton’s amazing School Chefs, Holly Charnock  has won this year’s national SCOTY title, for her two-course meal, which was presented at Stratford-upon-Avon College, in Warwickshire.

 The LACA organised competition sponsored by McDougalls is a chance for school chefs to showcase their professional skills, in front of a panel of judges. Ten regional champions and two additional ‘wild cards’, battled against one another for the title.

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