Sefton Council are being asked to approve bids of up to £20m each for projects across Sefton as part of the government’s Levelling Up Fund.
If successful, the funding will help boost the regeneration and recovery in parts of the borough that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing jobs and investment to areas that have received less government investment in recent years.
Projects to be submitted as part of the bid will support the ongoing regeneration and recovery as part of the wider transformation of Bootle, including the Bootle Area Action Plan and the wider regeneration of Bootle town centre.
The proposed bid for Bootle will include exploration of new visitor attraction in the town centre. A ‘Flying Cinema’ would be a unique and complementary part of the region’s visitor offer and will help diversify use and increase town centre footfall.
This interactive and immersive experience would complement plans already in place at Bootle Canalside for a food, drink and events space. Although work continues to progress the bid in advance of the submission date, such a leisure attraction could include a unique “Fly Over Britain” experience, along with immersive shows focused on the history of Bootle and the region.
Additionally, Everton Football Club are supportive of the Levelling Up Funding bid, given the site’s proximity to the new stadium location at Bramley Moore Dock, transport commitments made through the planning process to connect Bootle Town Centre, the proposed stadium development, and mutually beneficial community and regeneration opportunities for canalside and towpath links between the stadium site and Bootle Town Centre.
If Cabinet approval is granted at next Thursday’s meeting, a bid will also be submitted for funding to bring new uses into Crosby village, broadening the community services on offer, attracting investment and increasing footfall within the town centre.
Plans include a community hub centred around a new library, community healthcare services, a public café and new residential accommodation in the heart of the village centre.
This new state of the art facility will be perfectly placed to help create a vibrant new community hub which will serve local residents for many years to come in a modern energy efficient, attractive, landmark multi-purpose building. This will encourage significant numbers of local residents and visitors in to the town centre supporting the wider objectives of covid recovery and long term economic stability.
The development will involve significant improvements to town centre access arrangements and also bring with it improvements to public realm creating safer and more attractive gateways into Crosby centre particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.
Following submission of the Heads of Terms for the Southport Town Deal, options for a Southport bid will also be reviewed, exploring opportunities complementary to the exciting projects being progress via the Town Deal.
All bids will be community focused, drawing from local community consultation and engagement in the coming weeks and months, in particular from young people, schools and colleges.
Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council said:
“There are some fantastic opportunities for our communities as part of the Levelling Up Fund to bring jobs, investment and recovery to parts of our borough that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“I am pleased that community remains at the heart of our plans for regeneration; we want to attract people to our town centres as well as improving them for the people who live there.
“The projects that will be submitted as part of our bid for funding are varied, ambitious and will shine a light on what Bootle and Crosby have to offer, bringing much needed footfall and focus to our town centres.”
Sefton is eligible to submit up to three bids to the £4.8billion fund, to be invested in local projects focused on town centre and high street regeneration, local transport, cultural and heritage projects.
The first bids would be submitted by 18th June 2021, with the timescales and criteria for future bidding rounds to be announced.