Green light for partial Bootle Strand demolition

Sefton Council to demolish ‘small section’ of Bootle Strand shopping centre as part of its planned multi-million pound transformation of the site. Tony McDonough reports

Bootle Strand
How Bootle Strand looks today. Image from Google Earth


A small section of Bootle Strand shopping centre will be demolished early next year.

Planners on Sefton Council have given the go-ahead for the first phase of a project that will eventually see a multi-million pound remodelling of the site. In March, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt offered £20m for the transformation of the Strand area.

Approval of the plans means that work can begin to unlock the Strand’s potential by opening up parts of the centre to create more public spaces.

This will be achieved through work on the original buildings and their structures, instead of large-scale demolition and redevelopment. Work is scheduled to start early in 2024.

In 2017 the council took out a loan to acquire the 400,000 sq ft 1960s Bootle Strand shopping mall for £32.5m from London-based retail investor Ellandi and Avenue Capital.

However, in September 2021 council leader Ian Maher admitted its value had plummeted to under £15m.

Sefton sees the centre as a vital component of regeneration of the wider Strand area. In partnership with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority it has pushed forward with the Bootle Canalside project.

Design work for the redeveloped shopping centre is currently underway and a detailed planning application will be released shortly.

Residents will be invited to comment on the new plans before they are submitted early next year. These comments will then be taken into account during the design and building process.

Proposals for the Strand, which were awarded £20m from the Government’s Capital Levelling Up Fund, include bringing in new leisure, education and health services and introducing more green spaces to Bootle.

A retail offer will also be retained and new public spaces and routes will be created between Stanley Road, Salt and Tar, and Washington Parade.

Cllr Ian Maher, leader of Sefton Council said: “We have high ambitions for Bootle and I am delighted that we are moving forward with our plans to make our vision a reality.

“By removing a small part of the existing building, we can make way for the revitalisation of the centre with attractive public spaces, which meets the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.

“By broadening the use of space in the town centre, retail will continue to occupy the majority of the space, but we will also be introducing dedicated space for education, health and social care uses.

“We will also be improving the leisure and hospitality opportunities, and developing further community, cultural and creative spaces.

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“Through our regeneration plans, we aim to create a flourishing town centre, which caters to the needs of Bootle and its community.”

The Strand will remain open to the public while demolition takes place next year. Additional information and conceptual images of the redevelopment can be found at a dedicated information centre within the Strand.

The unit sits opposite Specsavers and shows an indicative timeline of the project up to 2030.

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