Bootle Strand, Sefton Council, p Sefton Council

Sefton Council acquired the Bootle Strand for its redevelopment in 2017. Credit: via Sefton Council

Bulldozers prepare to roll in at Bootle Strand

Sefton Council has submitted a planning application to demolish around 15% of the 400,000 sq ft shopping centre, part of a £20m package of works aimed at revitalising the authority-owned asset. 

The regeneration of Bootle Strand, built in the 1960s, has been on the cards since Sefton Council acquired the shopping complex for £32.5m in 2017. 

The council has been criticised for the time it has taken to get the project off the ground, with some questioning the decision to buy the asset, which has significantly decreased in value in recent years. 

However, Sefton has repeatedly defended its decision to snap up the Strand, which anchors a 20-year regeneration vision for Bootle. 

The submission of plans to raze a sizeable chunk of the southern portion of the complex is one of the most significant developments since the acquisition. The project is aimed at paving the way for future development, according to a planning statement by Avison Young. 

“The Strand Transformation Programme recognises the complexity of the change required and the need to create the right foundations for long-term resilience of the new town centre through early phase enabling development,” the statement adds. 

The elements to be demolished include the Palatine, which suffers from high vacancy levels and acts as a physical barrier that “disconnects the Strand from the canal”, according to Avison Young. 

Sefton Council has worked alongside AY and K2 Architects to draw up its masterplan for Bootle Strand, having been awarded £20m for the project through the government’s Levelling Up Fund. 

Following the demolition work, plans seek to refurbish and repurpose existing buildings through an enhanced retail offering and new health and education amenities, as well as digital facilities. 

A digital creative hub will be built to offer office space and high-tech facilities, while an integrated health and social care facility will consolidate a range of easily accessible services. 

Improvements to the public realm will include the removal of major parts of Bootle Strand’s roof and the introduction of “green corridors” in the area. 

The project will also see the introduction of Bootle Canalside, which was granted planning permission in August 2021. Canalside will introduce a food, drink, and events space next to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. 

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For various reasons the retail space offered at the Strand is now way too much and needed reducing. Retail generally is having a hard time, shopping habits have changed, people have had less to spend, and basically the Strand is not attractive. Sefton overpaid to get this asset and to get a further £20m is like throwing good money after bad ,but hope springs eternal that this can be turned round with intelligent planning and vision, the canal being a great magnet in attracting leisure venues and crowds.

By Anonymous

Is it worth all this investment, if more people are shopping online, but good luck anyway

By Anonymous

Its going to be great…it will kickstart the regeneration of south sefton

By Karen kelly

About time. The frontage of the market is brutish and just plain ugly. I hope they fix that first.

By Anonymous

Obvious loonies thinking that shops that have been vacant for several years can suddenly be transformed into a successful office centre….. Chimney sweeps, hot dog sellers could dream of the same projection, perhaps they are already on the Sefton Council town planning committee.

By Anonymous

They need to start cleaning the streets. I live in bootle and the council have let go to a slum area.

By Joe bootle

Aside from the very obvious need to remodel the frontage on Stanley Road, the key here is doing a high-quality leisure-focused scheme facing the canal, perhaps with some quality residential above. Bootle’s catchment is low income and they need to bring people in with higher earnings to give it a lift. Otherwise it’ll be stuck in a doom loop of discount retailers and grot.

By Sceptical

The canal passing through Sefton can be turned into a major asset to Bootles Strand once regeneration is completed BUT care must be taken the area is not allowed to become a magnet for anti social behaviour. The Canal and River Trust with its ever decreasing funding cannot be expected to clear up the mess created by waterside food and drink outlets!

By Poorly Sunack

Lets hope its a huge success, I do think it needs more residential above, more people living locally means more footfall and spending. Never heard of Bootle referred to as south sefton?! that not even a real place, its in north Liverpool.

By GetItBuilt!

Need to drop rental rates to get more shops interested ( footfall its not rocket science) but good luck

By Anonymous

Will there still be shops I.e. TJ Hughes

By Anonymous

TJ Hughes is already in the Strand !

By Anonymous

The canal needs a good clean up
Get members of the public to help clean the canal up.

By Bob Jones

Maybe they should think about spending the money cleaning up Bootle & leave an ares not used alone until places like Stanley Road get cleaned up & I’m sick of fly tipping on Kings Road, pay for cameras & catch them – The Strand is a waste of money😡

By Anne

£33m to buy the Stand??? Plus £20m to help refurb it?? Crazy money. The Stands had money thrown at in the past (same with St. Johns Precint in town) it will always be a relic of the concrete building drive. Its like putting lipstick on a pig. Even if half this development comes about, the local people who use it (local shopping centre after all) will still only have the same amount of money to spend as before so whats the point? No profits here. Most people after a particular purchase will still hop the bus to Liverpool One. Or like me shop online. Every high street is suffering & going down. Local, traditional type shops all but gone. Big supermarkets put paid to them. And now Internet will see everything else off. At some point planners & councils need to recognise this & stop throwing good money after very bad. The Strand needs razing to the ground & completely repurposed.

Bringing the waterway into the mix, great. Vauxhall did it years ago to their community, green spaces, arts & creative stuff, youth stuff, listen to the locals what they want. Perhaps do a little wee street as Bootle used to be. With a butchers, green grocers, chandlers, dairy so the old bids can relive shopping as it was. History stuff too should feature. Bootle has all that & more. But don’t dole out another re-do that will need more re-doing in another decade or so. By that time we might be zipping about in ickle pods if we bother to go out at all away from our gadgets & techno. I’d happily stay home now, plus i get my shopping deliveries free with Amazon Prime (included with Amazon Video) :). Bootle will always have a special place in my heart it was my first proper home, after living in grandparents pub on the Dock Rd as a baby. All my memories up to age 6 are of there. And i remember lots from 3 years on.

By Amanda13

Vanity project

By Anonymous

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