New Strand Bootle 2
Leonard Design Architects has drawn up indicative designs of the revamped Strand

Bootle Strand overhaul delayed due to Covid

Dan Whelan

The redevelopment of the 400,000 sq ft shopping centre Sefton Council bought for £32.5m in 2017 has been pushed back due to the “severe impacts” of the pandemic.

A report to the council’s cabinet said the formulation of a business case for the Strand revamp, which will anchor the regeneration of Bootle town centre, has been put on hold “until the medium-term outlook is clearer”. 

Sefton’s decision to delay the project was influenced largely by the shopping centre’s current financial position, the report added.

The council said it anticipates the Strand will make a loss of between £2.65m and £3.18m for the financial year, primarily due to tenants not paying rent throughout the pandemic.

It will be the first time the council has made a loss on the Strand since it bought the site, according to the report.

Despite the current difficulties the council faces in relation to the Strand, it maintained it is“ fully committed to supporting and securing investment…to reverse the decline [the shopping centre] was suffering in the hands of private ownership”.

The council acquired the Strand from Ellandi for £5m more than the £27m the investor paid for it in 2014.

No revised timescale for the creation of a business case has been put forward. 

Low rent realisations during the pandemic have hit the Strand

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has contributed £1.65m over the last two years to progress the project, helping to fund the acquisition and clearance of land around the shopping centre next to the Liverpool and Leeds Canal.

Last August, Sefton released indicative CGIs by Leonard Design Architects. Interim proposals for meanwhile uses for the retail complex include food and drink establishments, pop-up markets, artists studios and craft workshops, and education and training facilities.  

Work is also underway to ensure that meanwhile uses are in place for the summer of 2021 while longer-term plans are worked up, the council said.

Longer term, a partnering arrangement with the Canals & Rivers Trust would also integrate the site with the canal to enable it to be brought fully back into use and provide a possible ‘waterway link’ to Bramley-Moore Dock in advance of the proposed new Everton FC stadium. 

Sefton Council declined to comment when contacted by Place North West.

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All the redevelopment of the strand is great news but what about the residents who live in strand road ash street estate. What is going to happen to our estate ie: the state of thev roads and side walks and the amount of traffic. We have heard rumours that delta taxi have moved off site but we can not find out any information. Can you provide an answer?. As i said its great news for the back of the strand but what about the rest of us. Thank you

By Mrs carol maddock

The problem Sefton have with the Strand is quite simply, no one loves it…. I fear that the plans will be on the shelf for a very very long time….

By Anonymous

The main problem is that people go to Liverpool when they should be shopping more in the strand and helping the local economy more.

By Mark

What’s the real reason?

The shopping centre now making a loss (from which it is unlikely to recover) is surely all the more reason to get going.

I don’t see Manchester pausing business redevelopment, and quite right too. “You snooze you lose” should be the Liverpool lesson of the century.

By Jeff

It doesn’t need an overhaul. Just need to attract new business. Re anonymous
I love it. But I love liverpool city center more.

By Kenny

Supporting local is key here. People from Bootle need to start spending more in the town to get the economy going again! The new rooftop bar 14 at Daniel House has thrived in Bootle. It just takes more people to take risks and start their businesses there for it to catapult. It’s all about social media these days to spread the word but Bar 14 proves that it can work. People just need more of a reason to stay in the town to eat, drink and shop!

By Anonymous

It’s a huge job this one, but Sefton have some capable officers working on the regeneration side and I wish them well on this scheme.

By Mark Gilbertson

Are they knocking strand down as the flats are empty and shops by toilets have been told to move out all the plans show flats and open spaces the strand building makes the strand being covered from rain and sitting having coffee and catch up in cafes

By Lynn