Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is investing £650,000 to enable Sefton Council to clear land adjacent to Bootle Strand Shopping Centre as part of the regeneration plan. Tony McDonough reports
Sefton Council is to start on the next stage of its plans to regenerate the Bootle Strand and Stanley Road area.
It has secured £650,000 from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to clear and make good the land adjacent to the Strand and the adjacent Leeds Liverpool Canal. This is in addition to the £1m from the CA in December 2019.
The council embarked on a major plan to reshape the area when it acquire the Bootle Strand Shopping Centre in May 2017 for £32.5m. The 1960s mall comprises 357,000 sq ft and has recently undergone a £3.4m modernisation programme.
Work announced today 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 its plans for the town centre.
Engagement, including a Festival of Ideas, is under way 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.
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.
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.”