Southport Town Deal’s consultation and engagement process has been shortlisted for a prestigious Planning Award.
‘A Whole-Town Engagement: Southport Town Investment Plan’ has been shortlisted in the Award for stakeholder engagement in planning (plan-making or pre-application) category.
Engaging with thousands
In partnership with Turley’s, Sefton Council led the largest recorded response to a single consultation in the town, engaging with thousands of local people, securing thousands of pieces of feedback. Much of the consultation was successfully delivered during 2020 with Covid-19 requiring an innovative approach to virtual engagement, through partners such as Stand Up For Southport.
The feedback generated formed a significant part of Southport’s Town Deal Bid, resulting in £37.5 million being awarded to Southport.
Town’s biggest conversation
Dwayne Johnson, Chief Executive of Sefton Council, said: “The Plan we submitted was informed by the biggest conversation that the town has ever had about its future.”
“We had 7,000 pieces of individual feedback from residents, business and visitors; over 1,000 young people from the town also put their ideas forward. The breadth and quality of consultation and engagement with all ages no doubt helped us to secure one of the largest Town Deals that the government has agreed nationally and across 101 towns.”
The Awards presentation will take place on Wednesday 9 & Thursday 10 June.
What is the Town Deal?
The Town Deal Fund seeks local communities to determine how the money should be spent to boost growth, through innovative regeneration plans.
The Southport Town Deal Board, convened by Sefton Council, has been working to develop the investment plan and engage with local residents to ensure the benefits of the Fund reach everyone.
The Board comprises a range of industry leaders from both the public and private sectors, including some of the most prominent and successful businesses and key organisations in Southport.
How important is the Town Deal for Southport?
Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: "We want to drive economic regeneration of Southport to deliver long-term productivity growth and a resilient economy. We want Southport to be the town our residents deserve, a thriving place for people to live and work.”
“We’re delighted to have a further opportunity to build on existing investment plans for Southport and work with local communities to create a better and more prosperous future for the people of Southport and deliver the Southport Development Framework.”
Outcome of our Bid
Southport is set to receive £37.5m in government funding for a range of exciting projects across the town centre and sea front, following submission of a Town Investment Plan in October 2020.
The £37.5m awarded to Southport is one of the largest Town Deals that the government has agreed nationally and across 101 towns.
This success is a clear sign of confidence in the town, the quality of the projects put forward as part of the Town Investment Plan, the involvement of local people and businesses and the work of the Town Deal Board over the last year.
The funding will help to invest in existing attractions and the creation of new all- weather attractions in the sea front area, as well as the creation of new enterprise hubs to help attract and grow businesses in the town centre. The Town Deal will ultimately help create over 1,000 new jobs plus more than 300 construction jobs and an extra 1 million visitors per year are expected to visit.
Following a hugely successful consultation and engagement process, the largest conversation ever had with those who live or work in the town, a Town Investment Plan was submitted reflecting many of the priorities that residents, business owners and visitors consider vital for the regeneration of the town.
This funding will allow Southport to positively tackle the economic challenges faced as we emerge from the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Town Deal Board said: “The hard work of Town Deal Board has been rewarded in this funding announcement. The Board has ensured that the views of the many have been included in the submission.”
“We are pleased with the announcement and are now looking forward to continuing to work with Sefton Council, who will be responsible for delivering a remarkable range of projects which will support our communities, business and young people and make Southport the place to be.”
Following the announcement, Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “After an incredibly hard year for the town’s businesses and residents, the announcement of this funding is a really positive way to start 2021. The Council, working with Town Deal Board and its partners, are ready to get started on many of the key projects as soon as we can.”
“We will continue to seek further public and private investment to the Town to ensure the Town Deal is the catalyst to unlock many new opportunities.”
“I would like to thank the Chair and all Town Deal board members for their hard work and support, and I would also like to recognise Cllr Marion Atkinson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, for her contribution and close collaboration with all board members.”
Sefton Council and the Town Deal board are now turning their attention to making sure that projects are ready for delivery and able to access the funding allocated as quickly as possible. Further updates will be provided on the exciting projects supported by the Towns Fund during 2021.
Where does the town deal cover?
The Town Deal Boundary covers more than just Southport Town Centre.
It stretches from the RSPB nature reserve in Marshside to the beach at Ainsdale on Sea taking in all the full coastline, communities and neighbourhoods across that area.
It also reaches far out into the east of the town's limits to include key housing and employment sites.