How would you spend £25million to improve Southport?
What would be the first thing you want to see money spent on if we had £25million to improve Southport?
Now you can have your say, with your views making a difference in how our town’s future is shaped.
The Southport Town Deal Board met for its first full meeting on Tuesday, and will now begin the process of applying for funding from the Government’s Town Deal Fund.
Southport MP Damien Moore announced the opportunity last year, with Southport among a number of towns across the UK each nominated for the chance to bid for up to £25million funding.
As a town, we must do all we can to make sure we gain every penny – and make sure it works in a way to make genuine improvements, which should then attract further investment. We have to make this count.
With substantial investment currently being made in areas such as Southport Pleasureland and at Bliss Hotel and the Waterfront area, the Town Deal timing is perfect.
There are conditions. Local people have to be involved in the process, and give their views on where the cash should be spent.
The schemes put forward by the Southport Town Deal Board must then meet the government’s criteria of genuinely being able to boost growth, through innovative regeneration plans.
The schemes submitted have to be forward-thinking and creative.
What can Southport become? What will people value from our town in 10, 20 years time?
The Southport Town Deal Board now has to develop an impressive Investment Plan through engaging with local residents to ensure that the benefits of the Fund eventually reach everyone.
In March the engagement process will begin with people from across our town asked how you want to see the Fund being invested.
The Board comprises representatives of key industries, organisations and community groups within Southport including some of the most prominent and successful businesses and prominent organisations in Southport.
Rob Fletcher, Founder and Chairman of Fletchers Solicitors, has been appointed Chair of the Southport Town Deal Board. As well as 40 years’ experience and expertise running a UK Top 100 legal practice founded and headquartered within Southport, Rob brings a passion for the town having been born and raised in Southport.
Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Town Deal Board, said: “This will be a two-way conversation, with people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives. We are particularly keen to get ideas and feedback from young people and will be working with the schools and colleges to have this conversation.
“The Town Deal Board will bring together a cohesive vision for the future of Southport and ensure everyone in Southport has the chance to engage in respect of the town, its future, and their role in it.
“This is an exciting time for Southport. As well as the Town Deal opportunity, the Council has secured Townscape Heritage funding to deliver improvements to the roads linking Lord Street and the Promenade; we have a number of private sector partners progressing and delivering new and exciting projects across the town and, as part of Sefton, Southport is part of the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture, which will bring a range of new events and installations to the town in 2020.”
Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, wants to see the Town Deal help Southport become a thriving place.
She said: “We’re delighted to have a further opportunity to build on existing investment plans for Southport and work with local communities to create a better and more prosperous future for the people of Southport and deliver the Southport Development Framework.
“The Southport Town Deal Board comprises people who are passionate and committed to a promising future for Southport and who have created businesses and employment across many sectors, delivered important community services, taught our children and young people, looked after our residents’ healthcare needs and welcomed visitors to Southport.
“We’re excited to work with the Southport Town Board, our businesses and communities, to develop the Investment Plan and will engage with all communities and organisations, to ensure that the vision for Southport and the plans to achieve this, are determined by them.
“We want to drive economic regeneration of Southport to deliver long-term productivity growth and a resilient economy in which everyone contributes and benefits. We want Southport to be the town our residents deserve, a thriving place for people to live and work.”