‘Festival of Ideas’ seeks to breathe new life into Bootle

Backed by Sefton Council, the Festival of Ideas is part of the national ‘build back better’ movement and will be delivered by Make CIC and Kindred. Tony McDonough reports

Liam Kelly
Make CIC co-founder Liam Kelly


Social enterprise Make CIC and social economy business support community, Kindred, are delivering a ‘Festival of Ideas’ to help inject new life into Bootle.

Backed by Sefton Council, the Festival of Ideas is part of the national ‘build back better’ movement which seeks to invigorate UK communities in the wake of the economic and cultural damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It aims to inspire local people to share ideas related to five themes – making and selling; food and growing; music and culture; health and wellbeing and spaces for change.

After an initial programme to inspire people to think about their ideas, the organisers will support people to develop their ideas, which are then put forward for a share of a £6,000 development fund.

Bootle Festival of Ideas will also ask local people what they’d like to see in the area, creating citizen-led impetus for change. Make co-founder Liam Kelly said: “Bootle is brimming with ideas and this festival is an opportunity for people to bring their ideas to the table and tell us what ‘build back better’ means.

“The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated challenges faced by our region’s town centres and Bootle is no different. But we firmly believe that the people who live, work and socialise there are the ones who have the ideas to overcome the challenges.

“Some ideas may benefit from a small starter grant to give it a try. Others may find what they need by coming together to collaborate. We’re looking forward to celebrating everything boss about Bootle.”

Working with Make CIC, Sefton Council will be hosting a series of online events over a whole month from September 2 to October 2, with further events and exhibitions in the planning for after that.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, added: “The Festival of Ideas is a unique opportunity, amidst the chaos of the last few months, for Sefton residents to bring about positive changes to their own lives, to their communities and our culture.

“We are borough that offers it all, Sefton has something for everyone, and this festival is a truly exciting way of bringing people together to talk through ideas and innovations, share opportunities and feel inspired.”

Residents can engage with the project in the first instance by signing up for one of six introductory sessions. More details are available by clicking on the Make Liverpool website. For more information, contact Make CIC by email at hello@makeliverpool.com or by phone on 0151 601 8665.

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