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Bootle healthcare firm win top Queen’s Award for Enterprise

A Bootle based company has been honoured with a ‘Queen’s Award for Enterprise’ in the International Trade category for outstanding short-term growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

Richardsons Healthcare Ltd. designs and manufactures operating table and birthing mattresses. The family owned private business, which is based in Bootle, started trading in 1988. The company supplies pressure relieving mattresses and accessories to some of the world’s largest medical device companies and are recognised industry leaders in the development of this type of patient support surface.

The prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:
• innovation
• international trade
• sustainable development
• promoting opportunity through social mobility

Despite a difficult economic trading environment for UK manufacturers, the company’s overseas earnings grew by 66% over a three-year period. Their main customer base includes Germany, France, Finland, Sweden and Italy. However the company has more recently expanded their export market to the USA and China.

Major investment in product innovation and quality assurance has led to great success with manufacturing contracts for medical class 2 products such as heated mattresses. The new product line offers great potential to grow sales in this sector overseas, particularly the United States.

On winning the Queens Award for Enterprise, Michael Gould, Managing Director, said: “This is wonderful recognition of the hard work and professionalism of our entire team.

“The award marks the next step in our drive to develop new products and expand our international customer base. We recognise that exporting is essential for the viability of our company, and British manufacturing in general.”

The award is going to be presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside at the Company’s premises on Irlam Road, Bootle in the coming weeks. Mr. Gould will also attend a reception for award winners, hosted by Her Majesty the Queen, at Buckingham Palace in June this year.

Richardsons Healthcare Ltd, has championed British-made manufacturing and exporting in Sefton for many years. This includes working with InvestSefton, Sefton Council’s enterprise and inward investment service on initiatives including chairing the Sefton Export Advisory Group, Sefton Economic Forum and the UK International Business Festival.

Margaret Carney, Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, added: “We are tremendously proud of this major achievement by a Sefton business. Richardsons Healthcare Ltd has shown a real commitment to investing in research and development, and developing new markets overseas which has now been recognised by this prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

“The company is flying the flag for the British manufacturing industry, and more importantly Sefton. They are positive about employing local residents and have worked with InvestSefton in encouraging other Sefton businesses to consider exporting.”

 

Phased improvement works on Buckley Hill Lane

Phased improvement works are set to start at the junction of Buckley Hill Lane and Edge Lane, Netherton to benefit traffic flow in the area.

The improvements will include the installation of a new left hand turning lane on Buckley Hill Lane and general works to help enhance pedestrian facilities at the junction.

Contractors will undertake the works from March 11 and are expected to take up to two weeks to complete the first phase of the improvements.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “This will require the installation of temporary traffic lights to be used during off-peak hours between 9:30am and 3:30pm so we are kindly asking motorists to make sure they plan their journeys accordingly.

“The second phase of improvement works is expected to begin on March 25 and this will necessitate the closure of the southbound carriageway of Buckley Hill Lane, between Almonds Turn and Edge Lane, for up to ten weeks.

“However we are making sure that adequate diversions and signage are to be in place during this closure to help reduce delays and northbound traffic should remain unaffected throughout.”

Residents and businesses in the area have already been made aware of the works.

For more information about roadworks or diversions across Sefton, visit www.roadworks.org

Litter louts found guilty of dropping rubbish

Four people have been fined after being found guilty of littering in the borough.

Fines totalling over £1,400 were handed out at South Sefton Magistrates Court on February 27 after all four failed to pay fixed penalty notices after being caught dropping rubbish.

Paul Carter, 48, of Waterloo plead guilty by post and was fined £322.

Craig Keevil, 46, of Southport was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Makala Smith, 29, of Eccles, was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Emma Wilkinson, 39, of Chorley, was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “People need to think twice before just throwing their waste away and court cases like these highlight what can happen if you are caught.

“Littering is an unsightly act and we will not hesitate to fine those who do it.

“Please take it home or use a bin or face the consequences.”

For more information about littering, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/bins-recycling/litter-and-fly-tipping.

Sefton launches major bid for Future High Street funding

Sefton Council is bidding for a slice of the £675m Future High Street Fund with bids planned for both Southport and Crosby.

The Future High Street Fund was announced in last November’s budget and aims to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

In this first round, Sefton will include bids for both Crosby village and Southport town centre and builds upon the Council’s ambitions for its town centres encapsulated within its agreed regeneration frameworks and 2030 Vision.

The Future High Street Fund aims to help Councils, their communities and the private sector work in partnership to develop and sustain town centres to enhance their vitality and viability.  The fund also includes the opportunity to bid for part of a £55m Heritage High Street Fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Skills and Regeneration, said: “Building on Sefton’s ambitions for its town centres, we are aiming to submit two bids to the Future High Street Fund for both Southport town centre and Crosby Village to help sustain them for the future. The bids will also support Sefton’s and the City Region’s ambitions for future growth.

“For Southport this will build upon Sefton’s success in securing around £10m of Heritage Lottery and Coastal Communities Funding for King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and the recently announced Townscape Heritage Scheme.

“For Crosby this will build on the significant private sector funding by St Modwen into the village centre. If successful, Sefton Council will continue to work in an inclusive way with private sector and community sector partners.”

Formal stage 1 bids for both projects will be made in the coming months with further details issued in due course.

Sefton awarded £500k to help bolster prevention of youth crime

Sefton Council has been awarded half a million pounds for its early intervention programme and ongoing work to prevent youth crime in the borough.

The £500,000 from the government’s Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund with help the local authority to continue in-depth work with parents, carers and professionals around the dangers of children being exposed to gang culture.

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund enables keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk, to intervene early on and help stop them from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and the youth justice system.

Sefton Council will now use the £500,000 funding to continue with a range of initiatives, which will see teams work closely with young children who may be directly impacted by crime from an early age.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been given this grant. This much-needed vital funding will allow us to continue to help families in need to resolve problems that affect them and their community.

“We recognise that investing in people at an early stage, before problems become too serious, will help our families across the borough so they can make positive changes to their lives that will keep them safe and healthy and away from youth or gang crime. This funding will help us support initiatives that focus on early intervention and scaling up whole family working before problems escalate into something much more serious that could have consequences later in life.”

“However, the funding is only short-term and doesn’t substitute for a much needed sustainable approach to local government funding to tackle issues like this in our community.”

The grant is the latest recognition for Sefton Council’s Localities team after their partnership work around gang awareness was praised as an example of best practice by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner, Baroness Newlove.

For more information about Sefton Council’s Localities team and their work around early intervention and prevention, where they offer support at Family Wellbeing Centres, Libraries, Leisure Centres or community bases, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/localities

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