Yesterday (Wednesday 15th March) Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced, as part of the Spring Budget, a £58 million fund for “Levelling Up Capital Projects”, of which £20 million has been allocated to the first phase of repurposing the Strand shopping centre and wider transformation of Bootle Town Centre.
Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) has also shown its commitment to supporting Sefton Council with its vision for the future of Bootle Town Centre, by awarding a further £2 million of funding to enable the Council to carry out further pre-development work to bring forward a Full Business Case for future phases of the project.
Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher, said: “Of course, we were naturally disappointed about the outcome of our bids for Levelling Up funding in both #Bootle and #Crosby. However, we are delighted to have received notification of the intent to award Sefton Council £20m of capital funding for the first phase of the repurposing of the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle town centre."
“This award reflects the quality of the Levelling Up funding bid submissions we made to Government, the vision we developed for the future of the town centre, and the strength and breadth of consultation and engagement with stakeholders and communities across the town."
“It also reflects the need in Bootle for such funding, given the continued economic challenges the town faces, that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis in recent years.”
Big step in the right direction
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Devolution has given regions like ours the opportunity to chart our own course and invest in projects that will make a genuine difference to people’s lives."
“Despite some setbacks and disappointing decisions via the Levelling Up Fund, today’s announcement is a big step in the right direction and it is fantastic to see that Sefton’s ambitions for the future of Bootle Town Centre are finally being realised. This is the difference devolution makes – we are helping to open doors to projects that are rejuvenating parts of our communities which have been starved of funding for decades. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for Bootle Town Centre.”
Sefton Council’s vision for Bootle aims to create a thriving town centre that works for all people, brings investment and interest to an area filled with opportunities and builds a happier, healthier, more resilient population.
This vision has been developed, and will continue to be progressed, in close consultation and engagement with stakeholders and communities across Bootle, building on local pride in our town and passion for its exciting future.
Private sector investment
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “£20m will help us to deliver phase 1 of this project, and we believe, will unlock millions of pounds of private sector investment bringing many benefits to Bootle’s economy."
“By broadening the use of space in the town centre, we will be able to keep some retail space, but also be able to allocate space for education, health and social care uses, an enhanced leisure and hospitality offer, and the development of further community, cultural and creative spaces and offers in the town centre."
“We’ve said it before, Sefton Council is unashamedly ambitious for our communities and our people. We have ambitious plans for Bootle and are committed to delivering the vision for the future of the town centre, which can now progress at pace with this financial support. We’ve also made similar commitments to the revitalisation of Southport Market, the opening of the Lake House in Waterloo, and the exciting range of projects that form the Southport Town Deal – not least the new £73m Marine Lake Events Centre!"
“Sefton truly is ‘Open For Business’!”