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Sefton welcomes £20 million funding announcement for Bootle Strand regeneration

Shoppers in the Bootle Strand Shopping CentreYesterday (Wednesday 15th March) Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced, as part of the Spring Budget, a £58 million fund for “Levelling Up Capital Projects”, of which £20 million has been allocated to the first phase of repurposing the Strand shopping centre and wider transformation of Bootle Town Centre.

Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) has also shown its commitment to supporting Sefton Council with its vision for the future of Bootle Town Centre, by awarding a further £2 million of funding to enable the Council to carry out further pre-development work to bring forward a Full Business Case for future phases of the project.


Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher, said: “Of course, we were naturally disappointed about the outcome of our bids for Levelling Up funding in both Bootle and Crosby.  However, we are delighted to have received notification of the intent to award Sefton Council £20m of capital funding for the first phase of the repurposing of the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle town centre.

“This award reflects the quality of the Levelling Up funding bid submissions we made to Government, the vision we developed for the future of the town centre, and the strength and breadth of consultation and engagement with stakeholders and communities across the town.

“It also reflects the need in Bootle for such funding, given the continued economic challenges the town faces, that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis in recent years.”

Big step in the right direction

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Devolution has given regions like ours the opportunity to chart our own course and invest in projects that will make a genuine difference to people’s lives.

“Despite some setbacks and disappointing decisions via the Levelling Up Fund, today’s announcement is a big step in the right direction and it is fantastic to see that Sefton’s ambitions for the future of Bootle Town Centre are finally being realised. This is the difference devolution makes – we are helping to open doors to projects that are rejuvenating parts of our communities which have been starved of funding for decades. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for Bootle Town Centre.”

Sefton Council’s vision for Bootle aims to create a thriving town centre that works for all people, brings investment and interest to an area filled with opportunities and builds a happier, healthier, more resilient population.

This vision has been developed, and will continue to be progressed, in close consultation and engagement with stakeholders and communities across Bootle, building on local pride in our town and passion for its exciting future.

Private sector investment

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “£20m will help us to deliver phase 1 of this project, and we believe, will unlock millions of pounds of private sector investment bringing many benefits to Bootle’s economy.

“By broadening the use of space in the town centre, we will be able to keep some retail space, but also be able to allocate space for education, health and social care uses, an enhanced leisure and hospitality offer, and the development of further community, cultural and creative spaces and offers in the town centre.

“We’ve said it before, Sefton Council is unashamedly ambitious for our communities and our people. We have ambitious plans for Bootle and are committed to delivering the vision for the future of the town centre, which can now progress at pace with this financial support.  We’ve also made similar commitments to the revitalisation of Southport Market, the opening of the Lake House in Waterloo, and the exciting range of projects that form the Southport Town Deal – not least the new £73m Marine Lake Events Centre!

“Sefton truly is ‘Open For Business’!”

Sefton Caring Business Charter heads to Peel Ports

Cared for and care experienced young people had the chance to meet one of Merseyside’s largest businesses this week and learn more about the shipping and logistics sector on a visit to Peel Ports in Seaforth.

A group of young people were given a very special tour of the port and got the chance to talk to the different businesses which operate at the port. They were able to learn more about the work each of the different businesses do within the port  and the equipment and machinery used.

This visit to Peel Ports gave our young people a valuable insight into the jobs which exist in the industry and make useful contacts for the future. The young people on the visit came away with an enthusiasm for the work placements and work experience opportunities that Peel Ports are offering as part of Sefton’s Caring Business Charter.

The visit was the latest initiative to come out of the Charter which aims to link our cared for and care experienced young people with local employers opening up opportunities for them in their chosen sectors. Just as traditional parents would try to link their children up with professionals in industries they were interested in, the Council, as corporate parents, are aiming to do the same via the Caring Business Charter, with the support from local businesses and partners who already work with the Council.  

Phillip Hall, Port Director, Peel Ports Group said:

“We are really proud to be part of the Caring Business Charter, and hope that the attendees felt that it was worthwhile for them. I thought it went well and we enjoy showing people behind the Port gates, it’s a full ecosystem that is made up of many different customers and tenants, each undertaking their own specific business. We are the enabler to allow those customers to operate.”

The Charter represents a commitment from local business and partners to offer high quality opportunities to young people who have experience of the care system. Some businesses have committed to guaranteed interviews for care experienced young people or work experience, while others have committed to paid roles and apprenticeships.

The list of signatories to date stands at over 50 businesses and covers a range of industries from construction and project management to hospitality and healthcare.

We are still keen to hear from any local organisations who may be interested in signing up to the charter, or who want to know more about how they can take part in our scheme.

Please contact Macy Loasby ( for a chat about how your business can help our young people here in Sefton.

Southport Macmillan Centre invites people to their next health and wellbeing event and to join them for parkrun

Southport Macmillan Centre is inviting those affected by cancer to its next Health and Wellbeing event and are encouraging people to join in on the monthly 5k parkrun with the team.

Carol, Justine and Julia at a Southport Macmillan Centre Parkrun
Carol, Justine and Julia at a Southport Macmillan Centre Parkrun

Health and Wellbeing event

The Centre is holding its next free Health and Wellbeing event at Southport College from from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday 13th April . The event will be a great opportunity to speak to local organisations, support groups, health professionals and centre staff.

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and primary care cancer lead for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside in Sefton, said: “This regular event is a great opportunity for people to meet others who have had similar experiences – it is always good to share.

“Everyone is welcome to come along and talk to a friendly face and to see what kind of support is out there. Come along, have a chat and be entertained by the amazing Macmillan singers – all in one place!”

To book a place at the Health and Wellbeing event in April, call 01704 533024.

Lace up those trainers

Keeping active has many benefits including helping people cope with cancer treatment and reduce the risk of it returning.

The Macmillan team is inviting people to join them on the last Saturday of every month at Hesketh Park for the 5k Your Way parkrun. It’s a community initiative and not just for runners. Participants are encouraged to walk, jog, run, cheer, or volunteer and attendees can go at their own pace.

They meet at 8.50am by Hesketh Park’s children’s playground). The event is really well organised with marshals lining the route and walk leaders taking part so you’re never on your own. There are 3 different laps making up the 5K and you do whatever you can……it’s the taking part that matters!

Attendees need to register at

Get moving with a supportive group

Dr Octavia Stevens, Southport and Formby Primary Care Network cancer lead and GP at Ainsdale Village Surgery, said: “5k Your Way! is a great way to get moving with a supportive group at your own pace, we had our first run on 28 February and it was great to run together. If you do come along do feel free to meet the team for a tea or coffee in the Hesketh Park café after.

“Exercise has huge benefits and can help reduce cancer related fatigue, improve fitness and psychological wellbeing and is social and fun!”

You can find out more about Southport Macmillan Centre events supporting those affected by cancer, here.

Public warned to expect significant service disruption ahead of industrial action from Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th March

Health leaders are urging members of the public to use services appropriately ahead of planned 72-hour industrial action by junior doctors, from Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th March.

Cheshire and Merseyside trusts set to be affected

All NHS Trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside set to be affected by the strike.

Prof Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director at NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, says there is likely to be significant service disruption and is urging people to make NHS 111 Online their first port of call for non-emergency health needs.


Prof Pritchard-Jones said: “The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption, including industrial action, but inevitably a walkout on this scale is likely to lead to significant service disruption.

“Urgent and emergency care services will be open but, with NHS services already under pressure, it has arguably never been more important for people to use the available services appropriately.

“We are immensely grateful to the people of Cheshire and Merseyside for continuing to use NHS services thoughtfully. If you need to access a healthcare service, but it’s not an emergency, please use NHS 111 Online to ensure you are signposted to the right service first time.”

Attend as planned

Notice saying 'You will  be contacted if appointment needs to be changed. Please continue to come forward for the care you need.The NHS will continue to do everything it can to go ahead with planned procedures – especially for patients in greatest clinical need – and will contact you if an appointment needs to be rescheduled. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.

Local NHS services will also keep their websites and social media accounts up-to-date with information about local service disruption – so please check before you travel.

Prof Pritchard-Jones added: “Irrespective of any industrial action, please do not hesitate to come forward to access care if you need it.”

NHS111 Online

NHS 111 Online can tell you:

  • Where to get help for your symptoms
  • How to find general health information and advice
  • Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • How to get a repeat prescription

More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.

LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week

This week we’ve been celebrating LGBT+ Fostering and Adoption Week (6th – 12th March).

For LGBTQ+ people thinking about fostering or adoption the question absolutely shouldn’t be “will my sexual orientation or gender identity count against me?

We encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender+ people to think about giving a loving home to a child and foster with Sefton Council.

Sefton needs more foster carers from all backgrounds regardless of their sexuality, gender, single, married, in same-sex relationships, race, ethnicity or religion.

We would like to share Mark and Dave’s inspirational story. The couple have been fostering with Sefton for 16 years and say that they have loved every minute.

Mark: At the moment we’ve got three foster children 6, 10 and 13. We also have other previous foster children who are still with us and are a massive part of our family.

Sometimes we have to count how many plates we need at the table and how many seats we need there is that many of us. That includes children their friends their partners, we’re just one big family and we love it.

Dave: We have different experiences of fostering children of all ages. It’s great to see the young ones coming through, they are such a delight. They’re learning and their minds are like sponges. They want to be loved and to be hugged and its beautiful.

When you’re looking after the teenagers you can really get stuck in with sports and games. We like the outdoors so it’s great for us to get out and about with them.

There’s never a shortage of one of them wanting to play a game of pool, badminton or have a rounders tournament in the back garden. Seeing them wanting to engage is heart-warming.

Mark: When our eldest came to us he was sad. We gave him the stability and support he needed during difficult teenage years. 10 years on and he’s working and he’s really doing well in his life and being in foster care hasn’t held him back because we’ve pushed him forward and encouraged him.

Dave: If anyone from the LGBT+ community is concerned or worried or apprehensive about fostering, please find out more. We started 15 years ago, and it has been an amazing journey we’ve never been held back, and we’ve always been encouraged to be the carers that we are today.

Mark: I completely echo what Dave has said. If you are thinking about fostering honestly it is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It can be challenging at times, but you are bringing happiness and life to children who actually need love, a good home and support.

Sefton’s Foster Carers are paid for their skills, receive full training and support, plus allowances.

Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team or by visiting the dedicated website at 

Or call the freephone number – 0800 923 2777

If anyone is thinking about adoption, please visit

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