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Cabinet welcomes Salt and Tar rebrand ahead of busy Bootle Canalside events programme

Later this year, top comedians Jason Byrne, Jo Caulfield and Scott Bennett and local band Red Rum Club will appear at Comedy and Music festivals at Salt and Tar, the new brand for Bootle’s Canalside events space agreed by Sefton Council’s Cabinet today.

Comedy Weekender

Salt and Tar’s emerging 2023 events programme includes the three-day Comedy Weekender. Chris McCausland, Daliso Chaponda, Nina Gilligan and Brendan Riley will also be appearing at the May event which will be held in a 500-seat marquee.

Red Rum Club will be just one of the bands appearing at the Music Festival, which will take place over two weekends in July.

A full programme for the coming year, including A Food and Drink Festival, outdoor cinema screenings, community events and live music, markets and beer festivals and a Christmas event is being developed.


At their meeting this morning, Sefton Council’s Cabinet agreed the new Salt and Tar brand that has been developed for the Canalside as part of an updated Strategy and Business Plan. It refers to Bootle’s rich industrial heritage, with the Brotherton’s Tar Distillery on Hawthorne Road and the area’s historic link to the salt trade.

When questioned, people said Salt and Tar was ‘easy to remember’ and ‘short, sweet, and creative’. They also described it as being ‘catchy and flows well’ and ‘something you would remember,’.

At this morning’s meeting, Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said:
“Events already held at Bootle Canalside have shown us that they attract people to The Strand and the town centre so I’m pleased to see this important step forward in developing this impressive new brand for the area and the beginnings of an exciting programme for 2023.

“Anyone visiting the site will see that work is underway, the fence along the canal has already been removed with plans to provide an attractive entertainment complex with covered areas, bars and food outlets and canalside access scheduled for completion later this year.”


The development of Salt and Tar branding and events programme is part of Sefton Council’s work to cement the area’s role and contribute to the revitalisation of The Strand and wider Bootle town centre economy.

Sefton Council submitted a bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund in July for a £20 million to underpin a regeneration scheme to transform Bootle town centre, focused on The Bootle Strand and canalside area. The Government is now expected to announce the outcome of the Levelling Up bidding process early in 2023.

Concept design illustrating what the future re-purposed Strand could look and feel like.Today’s Cabinet meeting also approved a new Business Plan for The Strand, which sets out how re-purposing The Strand will create an enhanced and more diversified town centre, support the growth of a night-time economy and deliver new amenities needed by local people and businesses.

Health, education, and technology

Among the proposed changes are better retail provision and the introduction of alternative uses including health, education, and technology. Additionally, the adjacent Canalside site will continue to be developed, along with the introduction of new green corridors and improvements to The Strand’s public spaces.

Generating an evening and night-time economy through new leisure food and drink uses will increase the time shoppers and visitors spend at The Strand. This will help encourage the return of businesses to the Town Centre.

The Cabinet report also provided an overview of the impacts of the cost of living crisis on the retail sector and particularly on Bootle, where the inflation rate for residents will be higher than the national rate – 12%, compared to 9% for the wealthiest households – as local residents spend a higher proportion of their household budget spend on staples such as food and energy.

When the plans were unveiled in December, Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council said: “As landlord of The Strand, Sefton Council is in a position to develop this exciting medium and long-term vision for growth at the heart of Bootle which the private sector has historically failed to do. Our intervention will make this happen for our community.

“Our vision reflects local ambitions and aspirations to generate positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for people in the town and where deprivation means the effects of the national cost of living crisis hits particularly hard.

“The particularly harsh effect the national cost of living crisis is having on many Bootle households reinforces the importance of investment to support town centre recovery and resilience.

“What we need is the Government to work with us on this important regeneration project to breathe a new lease of life into an area that is among the most deprived and hardest hit by COVID in the country.  A positive start would be to support us by approving our Levelling Up Fund bid.

“We are determined to build on successes such as this and are committed to ongoing engagement with local people, businesses and other stakeholders to ensure our plans continue to reflect what they need and want to see.”

You can find details of the January Cabinet meeting here.

Invite to view Sefton’s Fostering Services’ Angel Wing Art Installation for the first time

Pupils from Stanley High School, Southport decorating paper feathers for Sefton's Fostering Services Angel Wing project
Pupils from Stanley High School, Southport

Sefton’s Fostering Service would love you to join them for the unveiling of their beautiful Angel Wings designed by children and young people from Sefton.

The event takes place: Monday 31st Oct at Crosby Library, Waterloo, Crosby Road North, Liverpool L22 0LQ


Angel Wing Launch 11 – 12pm 

The Angel Wing art installation will be made up of 614 individually decorated paper feathers and are in honour of foster carers who truly are guardian angels to our foster children.

The 614 individual feathers represent each child in Sefton’s care, some of whom are in need of loving homes.

On the day guests will hear from two of our dedicated foster carers Paul and Dawn and will get to watch a video with young people about how the project has unfolded.

Fostering Information Session 12 – 1pm

After the launch of the Angel Wings, a Fostering Information Session will take place for anyone who wants to speak one-on-one with the team and our carers. Here you can get more of an insight about the real-life experiences of our foster carers, find out more about the process of becoming a carer and ask any questions.

Recruitment Team Manager Jennifer Rose Murphy said “We’re so excited to see the Angel Wings really coming together. We’ve been working with our children in foster care, children visiting libraries and other events and school children from across the borough, to really involve our communities and raise awareness.

“I would like to say a massing thank you to teachers and pupils from Formby High School, Maghull High School, Stanley High School, and Summer Hill Primary School, who have all really embraced this project and sent us such colourful and creative designs.

“We desperately need more foster carers to give loving homes to children in Sefton. If you want to make a difference and have ever thought about fostering or if you want to learn more so you can help us share our message, please come along.”

Refreshments will be available on the day.

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 visiting the dedicated website at 

People can also speak to one of the team by calling our freephone number on 0800 923 2777 or email 

Sefton Pushes the Boat Out for our Fostering Families

Sailing activities organised for Sefton’s fostering households were underway as families came together for a fun day at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre.

Children and young people, their foster carers and the children of foster carers took the helm as they enjoyed riding electric and sailing boats.

The event is part of some collaborative work between Sefton Council’s Fostering and Leisure Services. Working jointly means that Sefton has been able to improve their lifestyle offer for foster children and their carers. This includes free gym and golf membership for the whole fostering family.

James is a foster carer with Sefton and brought his family along to enjoy the sailing. James said:  

“Today has been so good to get out in the fresh air and have some family time and catch up with other foster carers.

“The children have had a go at everything and have loved being out on the water. It’s great because it brings us closer together and we’ve never done anything like this before and it’s something we can all enjoy.”

Sefton Fostering Services’ Assistant Team Manager Tracy Millward said:

“We want to show our carers and their families how much we appreciate them by putting on these great activities and events. Days like these bring foster families together and help to create those special memories.

“Here at Sefton Fostering we are always looking for new and exciting opportunities to give our carers and all the children they care for the chance to meet up with friends and meet new ones.

“I’d also like to say a big thank you to our Leisure Services who we have been working closely with. This work means foster children and their foster families can access Sefton’s leisure facilities for free and have the opportunity to try different experiences and possibly find new talents and interests, building confidence and self-esteem.

 Jeff Jones, Locality Manager for Sefton Council’s Leisure Services said:

“We are really pleased to be able to support the fostering service. Seeing the children and young people smiling and having so much fun is just brilliant.

“We wanted to give them the chance to get out and enjoy themselves but also experience something they have never come across before.

“We’re also delighted to be offering carers and children free passes to leisure facilities and really hope this will make a difference to the lives of our foster families.”

Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team by calling the freephone number – 0800 923 2777

Or by visiting the dedicated website at 

To find out more about Sefton’s Leisure offer please visit Sport & Leisure (

Foster Care Fortnight Celebrations at the Strand Shopping Centre

It’s Foster Care Fortnight (9th – 22st May), the annual celebration which allows us to raise awareness about how fostering makes a real difference to children’s lives.

The theme for this year’s Foster Care Fortnight is #FosteringCommunities and we wanted to give the local community, businesses and services who are all part of our ‘Fostering Community’, the opportunity to hear first-hand, the heart-warming and exceptional experiences from people whose lives have been touched by fostering.

To do this, our friendly team, Sefton’s Foster Carers, and young people, will be at the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle for 4 days for you to come and chat to us. We will also be bringing some great events and activities for you to get involved in so please come along.

Wednesday 18th May – Saturday 21st May

Strand Shopping Centre – Upper Level, Unit 165 Parkside (Next to JD Sports and opposite Greggs Bakers)

Events and Activities

Decorate a Feather for our Art Installation

Our #EverydayAngel campaign celebrates our foster carers, who are our #EverydayAngels and it also urges local people to think about giving a loving home to a child and become their #EverydayAngel.

In line with our campaign, we are excited to be developing an art installation which consists of hundreds of paper feathers which will make up a pair of larger angel wings. Our fostering families have already been making our individual feathers look beautiful and we are also inviting you to pop along to the Strand to decorate your own to be added to the display.


You can become part of our #EverydayAngel team by coming along and taking a selfie in front of the fabulous neon wing stand that we will be bringing to the Strand while we are there. Make your visit to us even more memorable by taking a snap of you and your friends to post on Instagram or Twitter.


Wednesday 18th, 10 – 4pm Drop in Anytime

Our friendly team including our foster carers will be on hand for you to drop in anytime and have a cup of tea and a chat. In your own time, you’ll be able to speak to experienced foster carers and the team about how to become a Foster Carer and the benefits that come with it.

Thursday 19th May, 10.30 – 12noon Open Discussion Q&A

You are invited to be part of an audience listening to a great panel of speakers including our foster carers, young people whose lives have been turned around and representatives from the Council who are supporting our fostering families.

The event will be introduced and led by Laura Knights, Sefton Council’s Head of Children’s Social Care.

Will also be playing a video we have produced with 14-year-old Jamie who is from Sefton and who is currently living in foster care. In this heart-warming video, Jamie shares his wishes and feelings past and present.

Friday 20th May 10 – 4pm Drop in Anytime

Another chance for you to meet our friendly team including our foster carers who will be on hand for you to drop in anytime and have a cup of tea and a chat.

In your own time, you’ll be able to speak to experienced foster carers and the team about how to become a foster carer and the benefits that come with it.

Saturday 21st May 11 – 1pm Weekend Info Session

If you’ve been thinking about fostering what better place to learn more than at our weekend information session.

Meet one of our amazing foster carers Dawn, and Amina, a young person who has experienced living in foster care and now lives with Dawn.

They are eager to share their story about how fostering has transformed their lives. You’ll also be able to speak to the team about how to become a foster carer and the benefits that come with it.

We would ask you to register your interest in our events so we have an idea of numbers.

Email or call us on 0800 923 2777

Sons and Daughters Month and our Fostering Family

This October Sefton has been celebrating Sons and Daughter’s month. This is an annual campaign to recognise how children of foster carers play a vital role in helping young people in care feel welcomed and part of their family.

Paul is one of our dedicated foster carers. Him and his wife Angela have three children, work full time and have been fostering for Sefton for three years. Paul wanted to share his heart-warming experience about how his children have really embraced foster care.

“When we were considering fostering, one of the main things we wanted to ensure was that it was going to be the right thing for our own children as well as any children we looked after.

“We have 3 birth children, boys aged 7, 13 and 15.

“We involved them at every stage of the assessment process and still continue to. Before we take on any new children we sit down as a family and discuss the who might be coming to or home. To us we are not just foster parents we are a Foster Family.

“Here we are now, 3 years in and I can honestly say that all of the children we have looked after have enhanced our family and that is by a large part due to our sons welcoming new children into our home and looking after them in their own small ways that have made such a huge difference. Our older children play football in the garden and our younger child plays with them with his toys and games. This really has helped the fostered children settle in much quicker. It has also helped our sons too, with their confidence and sense of pride, particularly our youngest who is proud to say he is a foster family.

“It so important to involve your birth children as it affects them in a huge way too. They do sacrifice a lot sharing not only their toys, but their parents too. For this reason, Sons and Daughters week is one of the biggest weeks in the year for Foster families.

“Thank you to all of the Sons and daughters of all of the foster families for the fantastic work and sacrifice you make.”

Sefton’s Foster Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances. Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team. Get in touch on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

People can also find out more on our dedicated website 


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