Thwarted Sefton tries again with Lottery bid

Sefton Council is pushing forward with a £1.7m bid for National Lottery Heritage money to support its plans to integrate Southport town with its seafront, a project which was previously rejected for funding in 2016.

In this latest application, Sefton has made it through the first round of bids and is through to the second stage, where the Southport Townscape Heritage Project will compete against other projects nationally to win funding. The result will be announced in September.

The project focuses on areas between Lord Street and the Promenade linking the town centre and the seafront. In 2006, HLF funding was used to restore King’s Gardens, restoring properties in Nevill Street, Seabank Road and Scarisbrick Avenue. In 2017, the pier received £2m from the Coastal Communities Fund.

The goal is to increase economic activity in the area, and reduce the number of vacant or underused properties.

The total combined funding pot for the scheme is £2.5m, which would include £1.62m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for planning and building control, said: “Since we submitted our first round bid, a lot of work has been undertaken to fully develop the project including the adoption of the Conservation Area Management Plan, discussions with building owners, building property surveys and valuations, further public consultation and workshops with project partners.

“If approved we really believe the money will enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas.

“The project also aims to increase local knowledge and appreciation of Southport’s rich heritage and inspire future generations featuring specialist educational courses on traditional building methods, the innovative use of digital technology, as well as a mix of complementary heritage-focused activities.”

If successful the project will be delivered over the next five years up until 2024.

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Townscape Heritage Initiatives rely on the buy-in of property owners to get these grant schemes off the ground. They’re much more successful where upper stories are brought back to use as residential, as this gives the property owner an incentive.
The route through to the seafront unfortunately includes Britannia’s Scaresbrick Hotel: enough said; you’ll struggle to get them involved. I do hope an initiative can be brought forward in tandem with the THI, however, to regenerate the old BHS building. THI funds are limited and I expect they’d be swallowed up with that one.
This is the right sort of start for Southport though; to create more confidence, and nurture a heritage-led revival.

By Roscoe

it is about time some one realised that spending should not always mean liverpool city centre Liverpool is thriving well the rest of merseyside decays The best move forward would to see southport out of sefton and merseyside.

keep on telling yourself that building up liverpool helps the whole city region because you know it is a lie

By Sea Monkey

Sea Monkey – I don’t think Sefton could afford to let Southport go – the revenues and Council Tax earned keep the rest of Sefton going.

By ChesneyT

And your from @Seamonkey… Nowhere near the sea I’ll bet!
Revenues and Council tax receipts are a lot higher in Formby and Blundellsands, and parts of Maghull, Crosby and Hightown. You could just as well say these areas subsidise parts of Southport but that would be a pointless exercise. Most metropolitan boroughs contain poorer areas. Some like to sew division for their own agenda. I live in the Southport zone of Merseyrail ticketing but am more than happy that some if my Council tax should help poorer parts of the Borough. That is as it should be.
Southport by the way has done very well in the past out of Merseyside funding programmes. Its pier was rebuilt; its sea defences reinforced; and the new bridge linking the town to its waterfront was constructed to name but a few!

By Roscoe

These new city centre apartments and hotel on the right side of the Mersey will benefit the whole Liverpool city region blah blah blah. Yeah I believe you.

By Bing Crosby

The old ‘‘it will benefit the whole of the LCR’ cliche is something we hear a lot of. You’re not alone in your thoughts Sea Monkey. It has to give way and cannot carry on forever.

By Lower Heswall

Get Southport out of Sefton and Mesrseyside. We were and would be better with own council within Lancashire. Southport has been overlooked and forgotten about for far too long. Merseyrail is a private run company, but for some reason, seen by many as an indicator of where the Liverpool boundary starts and stops.

By Sandgrounder

Merseyrail should terminate at Formby and let Southport go, we’re only interested in the Red Squirrels there, after that it’s where people go to die.

By Anonymous

Same person with 4 names! He picks names he thinks are associated with the outer areas of Liverpool to sew discord and split us up. Whom he does this for I know not. Certainly not us! Doesn’t deserve a response but worth pointing it out.

By Roscoe

The County Borough of Southport asked to join the new metropolitan county back in the early 70s, by the way. Almost ancient history now!

By Roscoe.

Merseyrail encompasses all of the trains overseen by Merseytravel through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It includes Merseyrail Electrics which is a franchised operator. Merseyrail is one of the most extensive and intensely used suburban rail systems in the country and functions as a hybrid metro system with about 6 miles of underground track, underground stations on both sides of the river, including the oldest deep-level underground line and stations in the world. The use of the network has grown exponentially and the pressures to expand are enormous with new stations proposed at the Pier Head, St. James and Vauxhall North Shore.
I personally use the northern line nearly every day. This is what has cemented a single economy within the Liverpool city region and one of the factors that unites our communities up and down our coast.

By Roscoe

Southport’s best hope of being successful is that Liverpool becomes strong again – which is starting to happen (as evidenced by all the recent building there).

A strong city centre core with a growing business centre helps the entire region. It is why the new office schemes are so important. (I also think that some type of innovation fund should be set-up to kick start business growth; not sure if the metro mayor funding pot allows for this though).

By Chris

I grew up in north Liverpool and Southport was the default destination back in the day if you wanted upmarket shopping. You could make a day of it and enjoy its lovely boulevards, etc.

Liverpool ONE, along with the shift of the city’s axis towards the waterfront that it delivered, has transformed the city centre’s performance and you can probably chart Southport’s decline from its opening date. Merseyrail means the Formby, Blundellsands and Crosby set can reach LIverpool quickly and cheaply and, let’s be honest, the city centre is mustard these days and makes a great day out.

Just as Liverpool had to re-invent itself, so does Southport. It’s not a given that its decline is forever. After all, who would have thought, thirty years ago, that Liverpool would become one of the UK’s top 5 city destinations?

By Sceptical

When you say something scousers don`t like It seems to be very common to be told you are the same with many accounts of others who agree similar. @ Roscoe – You wont need me to tell you which comment I wrote as its easier to just think all of them. This is not anti Liverpool, it is just the thoughts of some who think as a separate entity.

By Anonymous

Look at the renaissance in Altrincham alongside the rejuvenation of central Manchester, both can feed on each other. A strong Liverpool can make for a strong Southport.

By Rich X

Umm… nice arguments guys. Of course no one mentiones that the funding in the article is applied for by Sefton Council and judged by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The pot was equally open for Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley… in fact ANY authority in England to apply for. Its got b*gger all to do with Merseyside or any regional body.

By Anonymous

Thwarted? Strange headline, 2016 is old hat. Surely more recently being successful with the Stage 1 TH bid, and being encouraged to submit the Stage 2 by the HLF, Historic England, the local civic society, community, business community and politicians would rather give rise to a more appropriate headline reference such as expectant, committed, dogged, bold, collaborative, confident…..etc?

By Stuart Barnes, Head of Economic growth and Housing, sefton Council

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