Sefton pushes forward with Bootle leisure venue

Sefton Council is to push on with a new leisure venue in Bootle, despite missing out on Levelling Up funding, and has appointed DV8 Designs on the project. Tony McDonough reports

Bootle Strand
Salt and Tar will be a new leisure venue in Bootle Strand. Image from K2 Architects


Sefton Council will open a new entertainment destination in Bootle this spring despite missing out on millions of pounds in Levelling Up funding.

As part of regeneration plans for Bootle and Crosby, Sefton applied for cash from the Government. However, in January its bid was rejected and Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher said the borough had received “another slap in the face”.

However, the council has already committed more than £2.5m to a regeneration plan for the Bootle Strand area. On Tuesday it appointed design specialist DV8 Designs to its project to open Salt & Tar, a new entertainments venue.

DV8, which delivered the design for the the £1.4m Southport Market scheme, will be the lead designer for Salt & Tar. The name refers to the town’s historic links with the salt trade and the Brotherton’s Tar Distillery on Hawthorne Road.

It will offer a daytime, evening, and nighttime venue to the area through new leisure, food, and drink opportunities. Detailed plans are in place that include bars, food outlets and canal-side access.

A 2023 event calendar is already in place including a music festival with high profile headline acts, a food and drink festival, outdoor cinema screenings, community events and live music, markets, and beer festivals as well as a Christmas event programme.

Lee Birchall, managing director of DV8 Designs, said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity for the area, and we are proud to have been appointed once again as trusted concept designers for regeneration projects for councils.

“Our experience and expertise in this area has proven to be a strong conduit to driving revenue into the local economy.”

Cllr Ian Maher added: “This new Salt and Tar branding of the site combined with an exciting and developing programme of events for the coming year will help to cement the area’s role and contribute to the revitalisation of The Strand and wider Bootle town centre economy.”

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