In a bid to transform both Southport and Bootle, two brand new frameworks are set to be discussed by Sefton Council’s Cabinet.
The proposals aim to re-imagine the two towns and help stimulate investment in line with the feedback from the recent Imagine Sefton 2030 consultation and engagement; creating jobs, improving the economy and boosting tourism.
The Southport Development Framework, created by Nexus Planning supported by Broadway Malyan, looks to reconnect the beachfront, with a revitalised Lord Street.
The proposals focus on major development opportunities along with complementary initiatives that will help strengthen existing assets and the visitor offer, encouraging discussion between the local community, business and potential investors.
It is hoped that any development of the town will create a more dynamic Southport, promoting opportunities for local communities, building on existing assets and, ultimately, stimulating economic investment and strengthening the role of Southport as a family friendly visitor destination.
Sefton Council commissioned commercial property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton, to develop the Bootle Town Centre Investment Framework; an ambitious document that will be the basis for discussions between the Council, the local community, businesses and potential investors on the vision for Bootle in 2030.
The proposals look to harness Bootle’s current assets, including the canal, Bootle Strand, Hugh Baird College and its proximity to Liverpool City Centre and the Port of Liverpool, to reshape the town into a desirable residential, educational and business location.
The framework has a particular focus on maximising the uniqueness of Bootle Town Centre’s Commercial Quarter, the substantial area of office space around Trinity Road, and Retail Quarter, the area surrounding Bootle Stand and Stanley Road.
Moving forward the proposals will be used as a steer for any future developments within the town, ultimately delivering growth, jobs, improved infrastructure, housing, retail opportunities, and culture and leisure facilities.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Both reports are vitally important as a guide for future development in both Southport and Bootle.
“Firstly, they further demonstrate our commitment to aims of the Sefton 2030 Vision and the feedback we have received following the consultation and engagement process, specifically around jobs and an improved local economy.
“Bootle and Southport are two completely unique towns within our borough with their own strengths and opportunities. We have commissioned two separate frameworks in order to ensure that these two towns have the best opportunity to develop and reach their potential.
“However, it is important that residents know this is not an overnight process and many of the proposals within the frameworks require large amounts of inward investment. Nevertheless, Sefton is a borough with fantastic assets and really is open for business.”
Peter Tooher Executive Director Nexus Planning Ltd, said: “Southport is a unique and classic seaside town that has real potential to build substantially on its brand – enhancing its profile and contribution to economic growth in the region, not least through the visitor economy.
“The Development Framework reflects the commitment of Sefton Council, Southport BID and other partners to work to realise long term ambitions through a co-ordinated approach to town centre management, unlocking sites, enhancing key heritage assets, improving the public realm and enhancing accessibility.”
Danny Crump, Director at Broadway Malyan, said: “The principle behind this project is physical regeneration enabling economic regeneration.
Adam Mirley, Director and Head of Lambert Smith Hampton’s North West Planning and Development Consultancy, said: “There is a huge amount of potential in Bootle which isn’t being fully realised at the moment. There is a need for an improved retail and leisure offer and more modern commercial business space in the town.
“The framework that we have produced, will encourage private sector investment and provide a platform for growth and development for the future, and take advantage of existing assets such as Hugh Baird College and The Strand.”