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BIPC Liverpool and British Library join forces to announce major new support lifeline for businesses across the Liverpool City Region

The Business & IP Centre Liverpool (based in Central Library) and the British Library have announced the roll out of several new local Business & IP Centres (BIPCs) across the Liverpool City Region.

Tuesday 21st September sees the official launch of more BIPCs in libraries in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St.Helens and Wirral.

Anyone with a business idea or wanting to develop an existing business can now access a new range of specialist support services.

Following last year’s spending pledge of £13million in government funding towards a major expansion of the British Library’s Business & IP Centre network, many more local libraries are being equipped with dedicated workspaces, business resources and expert support for aspiring business owners. The expansion builds on the proven track record of support delivered by BIPC Liverpool.

Since being set up six years ago, BIPC Liverpool has helped over 3000 people start or grow a small business.

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson says:  

“Liverpool’s Business & IP Centre is a brilliant success story and has provided a huge amount of support to countless individuals. The concept of providing help to anyone with a business idea, regardless of their background, is social value in action.

“What’s hugely encouraging is that over half of those who have benefited and set up a businesses are women and a third are from ethnic backgrounds – more than triple the national averages for business ownership in the UK.

“This is largely due to the accessibility and community-based ethos of library-based business support, so I’m delighted to see that the success of BIPC Liverpool will now be replicated across the City Region enabling many, many more people to benefit.”

The new BIPCs will be situated in Crosby, Huyton, Birkenhead, St. Helens and Allerton libraries. Each will be equipped with a core set of resources including a powerful range of free business databases, provided by the British Library. There will also be a programme of events, workshops and one-to-one advice sessions delivered in collaboration with local business leaders, professional advisors, successful entrepreneurs and community partners.

Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian at the British Library, says:

“At their heart, libraries are trusted spaces with professional staff who have a mission to connect people with information. Our BIPC Network harnesses the power of libraries, bringing in expertise from the local community to help people from all walks of life turn an idea into a successful business.

“We’re delighted to mark this next chapter in the Network’s journey, growing from 14 to over 100 new regional and local Centres across England. Our mission is to put business support in every library, whilst maintaining our commitment to ensuring IP workshops and events are also open to everyone online.”

Culture Minister, Caroline Dinenage, says:

“It’s brilliant that small businesses and entrepreneurs will now be able to access invaluable support and resources across the Liverpool City Region.”

Details of individual library opening times and range of BIPC services can be found at 

To find out how InvestSefton, Sefton Council’s business growth team, can help your business contact 0151 934 3452 or email or visit

Save a life this month, by becoming a Zero Hero and learning how to help prevent suicide

Man opening shirt - Superman-style to reveal a large zero on his undershirt.As Friday’s World Suicide Prevention Day approaches, Sefton Council is encouraging people to find out about The Zero Suicide Alliance.

The Zero Suicide Alliance is a made up of National Health Service trusts, businesses and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond.

Free training

To achieve this, the Alliance is promoting a free suicide prevention training course for everyone. The short, online training teaches you how to spot the danger signs, and how to reach out and support someone in need.

After the training, you will be able to identify when someone is showing they have suicidal thoughts or behaviour. You will also be able to speak in a supportive manner and to encourage them to contact appropriate correct services or support.

You can access the courses at


The full course takes around 30 minutes, but there’s a shorter version that just takes a few minutes. It has been developed using expertise from clinicians at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and a leading e-learning training provider.

People in Sefton can also find out about mental health support available, on Sefton Council’s website at .

NHS advice for over this August Bank Holiday weekend

NHS treatment information posterHealth professionals in Sefton are encouraging residents to contact NHS 111 first if they need urgent medical advice over this August Bank Holiday weekend. They are also reminding people of the wide range of support that will be available.


People who need urgent health care across Sefton are being encouraged to contact NHS 111, by visiting or by calling 111 if they do not have access to the internet.

NHS 111 is staffed by trained professionals and clinicians, who will direct you to the most appropriate health service. It is fast and simple and the easiest way to be sign posted to the right service that you or a loved one needs. This could be a GP out-of-hours, a walk-in centre or a local pharmacy. In an emergency, you should call 999.

There any time

Dr Pete Chamberlain, GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “NHS 111 is there any time to advise you how to safely manage your condition at home, or direct you to the right health service for your needs. This may include a local walk-in centre, GP, pharmacy or hospital. If appropriate, 111 are able to book appointments with GP out-of-hours over the bank holiday weekend too.”

“Remember, in a life-threatening medical emergency such as loss of consciousness, stroke or serious injury, you should always call 999 straight away.”

Trusted information

Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The NHS website has a wealth of trusted information and support as well as really helpful guides to some of the most common conditions that people can often treat at home. 

In addition, many local pharmacies will be available over the bank holiday weekend to provide advice and support on how to treat some of these conditions. You can also still get your COVID-19 jab over the bank holiday at walk-in vaccination sites.”

Mental health support

For anyone over 16 in need of urgent mental health support as they no longer feel able to cope or be in control of their situation, there is a free 24-hour telephone service on 0800 145 6570. There is also free, confidential, 24/7 text message support for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. The service, run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you, to take your next steps towards feeling better. For this service text HEAL to 85258.

Litherland Walk in Centre is open 8am to 8pm and is operating a telephone triage and appointment system to keep everyone safe by supporting social distancing. Local residents are advised to book an appointment before visiting the centre by calling 0151 475 4667.


Many local pharmacies are open over the bank holiday weekend and pharmacists can offer expert advice on appropriate treatments for a wide range of conditions affecting adults and children.

The NHS has produced a range of easy to follow online ‘self-help’ guides to common conditions such as indigestion, ear infections, sprains and strains and Mersey Care have developed their own range of self help guides for a range of physical and mental health conditions. You can also find trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions on and the NHS app which provides secure access to a range of NHS services.

For detailed information on where you can go for your COVID-19 vaccine and information on other health services including pharmacy times over the bank holiday weekend please visit the CCG websites:  /

Information on urgent mental health support can be found via: and Mersey Care’s range of self-help guides can be found on: 

The latest information about Litherland Walk-In Centre can be found at: 

And a range of helpful self help videos to common conditions and how to treat them is available at 

You can also check @NHSSSCCG or @NHSSFCCG on Twitter, or ring NHS 111.

Bootle Canalside: The Story so Far

We want to know what you think of our plans for Bootle Canalside…

You can fill in the feedback forms which can be found at the entrance and on the container stalls

Just pop it in on of our drop boxes when you are done


But first, let us tell you the story so far…

Sefton Council purchased the Strand in 2017 and since then it has been at the heart of transformation and regeneration plans for Bootle.

The area adjacent to the Strand alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal has been put aside to house a multi-functional, open air food, drink and events space while the longer term ambitions for the Strand are developed.

The site was granted planning permission for this use in July 2021.The site has the name ‘Bootle Canalside.’

Bootle Canalside is set to host a temporary, five day, pop up event over the August Bank Holiday. Local food and drink traders will serve food and drink from around the world from refurbished shipping containers in a nod to Bootle’s industrial history.  The event will be an opportunity to test the site with the community and gather feedback on what people in Bootle want to see from this exciting, new venue.

Bootle Canalside, once completed, will include an urban garden, food and drink offer, leisure uses and events spaces. It will be a vibrant recreation and leisure area that makes full use of its fantastic setting and brings a new element to Bootle’s local economy.


So tell us… what does Bootle need?

Have you enjoyed your time at Bootle Canalside?

How can we make the site better?


What do you want to see from Bootle Canalside?

We need to carry on protecting ourselves says Sefton’s Health Chief as changes to self-isolation rules come in

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health in Sefton
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health is reminding people across the Borough of changes to the COVID-19 self-isolation rules that have come into effect.

From today (Monday 16th August), anyone who has been fully vaccinated no longer needs to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case. This means people who have had their second COVID vaccination dose at least 14 days ago and who are not showing any coronavirus symptoms.

Under 18s

Under 18s identified as a close contact of a positive case will not need to isolate either.

But, if they are identified as a close contact, they should still get a PCR test, unless they have had Covid-19 in the last 90 days, in which case they should get a rapid test instead.


Margaret Jones said: “This is a significant easing of the self-isolation rules, which means it’s important we all keep on making sure we protect ourselves, our families, our friends, our colleagues and the wider Sefton community.

“This means continuing to limit contact with people – particularly those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and where possible, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you cannot maintain social distancing.

“And we should continue taking free Lateral Flow Tests, which are available free from a wide range of local outlets including all Sefton pharmacies.

Both doses

Margaret continued: “The best way to protect ourselves is to make sure we get both doses of the vaccine, which is now also available to 16 and 17-year-olds, who will soon be invited for their vaccination appointments.

“Plus, it’s vital that anyone who starts to show COVID symptoms of a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell, should book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting

“People who test positive will still need to self-isolate no matter what their vaccination status or age.”


Mrs Jones also reminded employers across Sefton that they need to follow the general duties outlined in the The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

She said: “Many employers will already be carrying out risk assessments and putting suitable controls in place to maintain the safety and wellbeing of staff and the public and they need to continue doing this.  There is more information for business on our website at

Links to further information about COVID testing, vaccination and self-isolating can be found at

Government guidance can be found at

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