New Strand Bootle
Indicative image of The New Strand

Works to start as Sefton rethinks retail

Neil Tague

Sefton Council is advancing the revamp of its Strand shopping centre in Bootle, with some demolition work to start this year following the acquisition of adjacent sites.

The council bought the shopping centre in 2017 for around £32m, saying its ownership would create revenues and allow the centre to become the fulcrum of its plans to regenerate Bootle town centre.

The former Post Office site in Stanley Road has now been acquired – the Post Office now being based within the Strand – along with the Easirent van hire premises on Washington Road.

Sefton, which has released indicative CGIs by Leonard Design Architects of the New Strand project, said it is currently reviewing a range of short-term, cost-effective meanwhile uses for the site while long-term plans are worked out, and a consultation process completed. It hopes to have “meanwhile uses” up and running for the second quarter of 2021.

What will form part of the plans both short and long term is making better use of the centre’s canalside location, with an emphasis on food & beverage at this end of the site. Sefton said that introducing meanwhile measures will mean decommissioning certain areas of the centre, which may hit rental income.

Although the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will inevitably damage this year’s figures, the Strand made an operating surplus in the 2019/20 financial year, which Sefton said had been added to previous balances and enabled the investment of £1m to help fund other council services.

Leader of the council Cllr Ian Maher said: “The Strand and Bootle town centre remain central to the area’s regeneration and this is an opportunity to explore other uses for them.

“We want to transform the space so that it is more open and integrated with the surrounding community. It will be a beautiful public space hosting a wide range of uses and facilities, including retail but also food and drink and leisure opportunities..”

“In particular, we have an ambition to link The Strand to the canal, which can provide not only an attractive environment and space for leisure, but also ‘a green transport corridor’, for walking, cycling and travel by water. This would link The Strand with other parts of the borough, including the proposed new Everton stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.”

Sefton’s consultation process will, it said, include a “Festival of Ideas” in September.

New Strand Bootle 2

The local authority is looking to introduce a leisure offer to the canalside area

Your Comments

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I watched the Strand being built as a boy in 68/69. It was ahead of its time then. Bootle needs imaginative plans again to take it forward. I congratulate Sefton Council, for once, for taking this on. This will make such a huge difference to Bootle and to confidence in South Sefton. I’d like to see maximum use of the canal side location for leisure. Canal transport to central areas of Liverpool, and through Litherland, Crosby, Aintree, Maghull and Lydiate would be wonderful. Let’s get this moving as fast as possible. There are tourism opportunities here too. The city end of the canal at Stanley Dock is a World Heritage Site! It should be possible to spread the visitor economy to areas around Oriel Road with the right imagination and planning.

By Red Squirrel

Sefton MBC thinking out the box, what next!! They need to make this more than just a shopping centre; a mini-mini Liverpool 1 might work, with a cinema and associated leisure / food / bars; together with some open space. A better range of retailers, and get rid of those tacky stalls. Footfall has to be increased to cover the evening period, a shopping centre that closes at 5;30 is of no use. Sounds good, but there may be an issue with residential Strand House.

By Billy

Nothing will ever come of it because they want everyone to spend all their money in Liverpool one.

By Anonymous

Who are “they”, surely Sefton want to attract punters to its shopping area?

By Anonymous

Don’t go often but it doesn’t look too bad right now actually. Like everywhere else it just needs a few more empty shops filling

By George

Sefton once again focusing on Bootle etc, and disregarding Southport, when is money going to be spent on Southport, it is a total disgrace. Shame on you.

By Sea,

It suits Liverpool for its surrounding boroughs to have no shopping because then everyone will have to spend their cash in Liverpool. That is why this will not see the light of day. Basically thats all I can say really.

By Oscar

You’ll have to increase footfall and the number of shops. You’ll also have to consider the effect on the area of HMRC leaving the area and the knock on effect this will have on Bootle. If there’s no one buying things or eating out there or using the amenities then it’s a non starter.

By Paul Dobbs

@Sea,

What’s the point of spending money in Southport it will be underwater in 100 years

By Anonymous