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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority launches £18 million skills capital fund

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has launched an £18m fund to enable local colleges and learning providers to improve their facilities.

 This is the third Liverpool City Region skills capital investment prospectus, with more than £30 million already invested in 40 schemes across the city region. 

 Of the £18m available, it is expected that £8m will be invested in new sites and premises, up to £2m in learning and skills equipment, and £3.5m in improvements to existing learning facilities.

 The £18m funding comes from the Local Growth Fund.  Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

 Colleges in the Liverpool City Region will also benefit from up to £3.5m of dedicated funding for maintenance of their campuses and up to £1m for investments in low carbon technologies. Low carbon investments will decrease colleges’ carbon footprint and reduce energy costs over time with savings re-invested for the benefit of learners.

 Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Our skills capital investments into local colleges and providers have allowed them to improve their facilities. This investment gives them the right environment and tools to deliver the technical and vocational training our employers and learners in the city region need to compete in the 21st century economy. I look forward to supporting further skills capital investments that provide new learning and apprenticeship opportunities for local residents.”

 Mayor Joe Anderson OBE, Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder Education, Employment and Skills said: “Today’s launch of a further £18m of skills capital investment will deliver the learning facilities our learners and job seekers need to gain the technical skills our local employers are looking for, so they can compete for high quality jobs across the Liverpool City Region.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP said:

“We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building a Britain fit for our shared future. 

 I’m delighted to see a further £18m from the Local Growth Fund invested in skills capital projects in Liverpool City Region. This funding has already enabled significant improvements across the Region’s colleges, for everything from maintenance of the new buildings at Hugh Baird College to investments in low carbon technologies at Wirral Metropolitan College. Together we are truly equipping our young people for the opportunities the future has to offer.”

 Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP, Asif Hamid MBE said: “I am extremely pleased to see Local Growth Funding being allocated to our City Region Colleges and learning providers. This investment will enable them to enhance and develop their facilities ensuring our future workforce is equipped with the necessary talents and training for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

 The first Skills Capital Prospectus operated from February 2015 to March 2017 with £19.3m invested in over 30 Skills Capital projects, including eleven major refurbishment and new build projects. The Combined Authority committed a further £11.9 million for nine projects from the second Skills Capital prospectus launched in December 2016.

Previous investments have included:

  • supporting Hugh Baird College to convert a former church into a new health engagement and training hub in Bootle;
  • Wirral Metropolitan College’s low carbon infrastructure to improve energy efficiency through Combined Heat and Power plants and battery storage technologies;
  • The Greenbank Project’s refurbishment in Sefton Park for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities;
  • North West Training Council’s new advanced manufacturing training centre for apprentices;
  • St Helens Chamber’s Clickworks supporting digital pre-employment training;

Riverside College’s Idea Centre which focuses on the skills required for the automation and digital aspects of  manufacturing.

Come along to Sefton Community Learning Centre’s Summer Fair

Sefton Community Learning Service is celebrating summer with a Summer Fair and Car Boot Sale on Saturday, June 22.

Taking place at the Sefton Community Learning Service hub at 53 Cambridge Road, Seaforth from 12-3pm, the event promises lots of fun for all the family with a variety of workshops and activities on offer.

Workshops include self-defence, Italian dessert-making, healthy pizza decorating, recycled jewellery making, self defence awareness and flower arranging.

Freshfield Animal Rescue will be at the fair running games and stalls to help support their charity.

Merseyside Police will be bringing along a ‘police media gaming van’ providing information on personal and home security (including bike marking) and Bluebell Stalls, who run local gift, craft and produce fairs will be offering plenty of products crafts to buy.

The Canal & River Trust and Living Well Sefton will also be attending the event, and there will be plenty of traditional stalls including ‘hook-a-duck’, ‘hoopla’ and balloon modelling.

To find out more about the event, book a place on one of the workshops or secure a pitch for the car boot sale, call 0151 934 4546. Admission is free and entry is £5 per car for the car boot sale.

 

Thousands enjoy delights of 2019 Southport Food & Drink Festival

Thousands of food and drink lovers descended on Southport last weekend to sample the very best that the North West has to offer.

Occasional rain showers did not deter the crowds at Victoria Park between Friday May 31 and Saturday June 2 with hundreds of stalls offering a range of tasty delights and delectable treats to buy.

New additions to the festival this year included Oktoberfest tent, live DJs, added children’s entertainment and a reptile park.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The Southport Food & Drink Festival is a fantastic annual event which benefits the whole town and the wider borough.

“Over the years the festival has evolved into an incredibly huge and diverse event and is now one of, if not the, biggest food festivals in the North West.

“Hundreds of our amazing local traders in Southport are joined each year by some of the finest food and drink producers from across the region in the fantastic setting of Victoria Park. It is a testament to the festival’s incredible popularity that so many people turned out despite the occasional rain shower! With so many people attending the event, the whole of the resort receives a real boost with added footfall right across the town.

“The Food & Drink festival kick starts what is an exciting programme of events for Southport over the coming months with the Air Show and the British Musical Fireworks Championships in September. We look forward to welcoming thousands more visitors for each of these events.”

Sefton welcomes over 8.7 million visitors a year contributing over £518 million to the local economy.

For more information about upcoming events in Southport please visit www.visitsouthport.com.

Sefton leads the way in protecting Heritage At Risk sites

Sefton Council is leading the way in protecting the borough’s most culturally and historically important sites for generations to come.

Working closely with English Heritage and other partners, the local authority has created a proactive and contemporary approach to taking care of Sefton’s Heritage At Risk sites.

This approach led to the creation of a dedicated Sefton Heritage At Risk Officer and, although originally planned as only a temporary position, approval has now been received to make it a permanent fixture of the local authority.

Stuart Barnes, Sefton Council’s Head of Economic Growth and Housing, oversaw the creation of the role and outlined the authority’s ambitions to better manage the borough’s incredible heritage sites.

Stuart said: “We really stepped outside the ‘planning box’ in our bid to protect our Heritage At Risk sites.

“Firstly we had to address what could be done to keep our assets from the ‘At Risk’ register. What were the root causes and could potential problems be headed off before sites became at risk?

“We know heritage assets are important to our communities, providing a historical context to neighbourhoods and townscapes.

“But due to increasing pressures on resources it was necessary to look at different ways of tackling risk, which is why we created the Heritage At Risk officer’s position.

“The wide scope of the role allows us to focus on innovative partnership work, improved community understanding and exploring possible future savings and funding streams.

“Our work has been so beneficial that Southport, one of our key heritage sites, was chosen as a pilot project for Historic England’s national ‘Heritage Action Zone’ scheme.

“This led to a number of fantastic initiatives including the Southport Development Framework, the Lord Street Verandah Project and community led Heritage Trails.”

“A number of key buildings and spaces within Sefton – listed buildings and other buildings in conservation areas – have been targeted for intervention, investment and re-use.

“This is a complex, large scale and long term project, particularly so with the resources at our disposal, but nevertheless is a key priority for Sefton Council”.

Daniel Longman, Sefton’s dedicated Heritage At Risk Officer, added: “My role is to make sure our heritage sites are at the forefront of any work we do while continuing to encourage community resilience.

“I put a lot of focus into working closely with our communities and partners, using our combined knowledge to identify future projects, potential ‘At Risk’ sites and finding new funding streams.

“We want our communities and visitors to be better informed of the history and character and value of the borough and this has a positive knock-on effect on tourism, the economy and housing.”

Sefton Council is now working alongside partners and community groups in the delivery of the Southport Townscape Heritage Project, with the explicit aim of enhancing the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront.

It will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the previous HLF restoration of King’s Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Communities funds for the pier.

Can you give a loving home to a child in Sefton?

During Foster Care Fortnight (May 13-26), Sefton Council is asking people who live in the borough, to think about giving a loving home to a child who is unable to live with their birth family.

As with most councils, with less people coming forward to foster within the area, this means children have to live in a residential home or with a foster family a long way from their home. They are sometimes split up from their brothers and sisters, or may have to move from family to family and school to school.

Some of these children have experienced abuse or neglect prior to coming into care. Fostering is often their first positive experience of family life. Despite their difficult start to life, living in familiar surroundings with a nurturing foster carer can help to transform their lives and enable them to flourish.

Sefton Council wants to hear from people of all backgrounds regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. Couples, single people, disabled people and people from all cultures are welcome. As long as you have room in your home and the time, compassion and energy to dedicate to children who need it.

The Council is committed to offering support to our carers every step of the way. This includes specialist and peer support, training and a competitive financial package.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “Recent estimates show nationally, over 8,000 foster carers are required to meet the needs of children and young people who need placements, the picture in Sefton reflects this. With the number of children and young people across the borough coming to around 500, the need for more foster carers has never been greater.

“We need more foster carers with the right skills and qualities to make it more likely for the right homes to be found for children, giving them the best chance of a happy and stable childhood and a successful future.”

If you want to know more about fostering, why not come along to our next information evening on May 28, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at the Vincent Hotel in Southport? Alternatively call; 0800 923 2777 or visit seftonfostering.co.uk.

Additionally, if know someone who you think will make a great foster carer, please help us spread the word!

 

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