Authority approves £650,000 to support Strand redevelop

Authority approves £650,000 to support Strand redevelop

by Henry James (October 2020)

LIVERPOOL City Region Combined Authority has approved £650,000 to support Sefton Council’s plans to redevelop the Strand shopping centre and Bootle town centre.

The funding is in addition to £1 million approved in December last year to enable Sefton Council to secure full site ownership and enable them to press ahead with regeneration proposals for the Strand and Stanley Road.

The £650,000 will be used to clear and make good the land adjacent to the Strand and the adjacent Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

This work is the first stage of plans to re-animate the town centre by bringing interim uses to the currently unused areas in and around the Strand, which the council sees as a cornerstone of Bootle town centre’s regeneration. It will also contribute to the town’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

Engagement, including a Festival of Ideas, is underway on how the space could be used.

Among the ideas that have been suggested for consideration are food and beverage venues, ‘Pop-up’ markets, artists’ studios and craft workshops.

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Screenings and performance spaces are already among these interim proposals. Education and training facilities and a community hub, exercise and sports spaces, that could include a cycle hub and possible gardens or even an urban beach have also been put forward for discussion.

A partnering arrangement with the Canals and 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.

The new activity is being developed to stimulate the local economy, transform the look and feel of the Town for residents, businesses and visitors and improve the quality of life for local people.

Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Since I was elected, I have highlighted the many and complex problems our town centres are facing with changing consumer habits.

“This is even more important in the light of the impact Coronavirus has had on them.

“We invested £1m in Bootle last December and are continuing to invest and work with Sefton Council to help see the area revitalised.

“Town centres are at the heart of our communities, providing a hub for people to meet, shop and socialise but sadly too many have seen better days. Sefton have some really exciting plans to breathe new life into the area and make Bootle town centre thrive.”

Cllr Ian Maher, leader of Sefton Council, said: “We have already started engaging with local people and businesses as well as other stakeholders to shape the details of proposed interim uses.

“This engagement includes the Bootle Festival of Ideas which was launched at the beginning of September.

“If my council colleagues approve this spending when we meet next week, it will be the first stage in making possible the exciting ‘Meanwhile Uses’ we have planned for The Strand and Bootle town centre.

“The interim plans will transform the space in the short term while we continue to develop our ambitious, long-term plans for Bootle, which include attracting new private sector investment to create a town centre that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.”

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