BOOTLE: Plans for canalside shipping container market unveiled
Plans for a street food market and “urban garden” next to Bootle Strand have been unveiled as part of efforts to kick-start the town’s regeneration.
The canalside development will replace the old Bootle Post Office with a new “temporary events based destination” that Sefton Council hopes will stimulate the local economy and “transform the look and feel of the town”.
A planning application submitted by the council shows up to 10 shipping containers providing food and drink stalls alongside a space for events such as Christmas markets, outdoor film screenings and comedy gigs.
There will also be a climbing wall, a waterside events space and an “urban garden with flower, shrub and tree planting in containers with places to sit on bench seating”.
Cllr Ian Maher, leader of Sefton Council, said: “The plans for Bootle Canalside will transform the space in the interim, creating a multipurpose events space to kick-start the regeneration of Bootle.
“Bootle Canalside offers a fantastic opportunity for growth and recovery for one of our hardest hit communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am thrilled to see that the plans make full use of our natural landscape alongside the canal and will incorporate an urban garden and community space. It is great to see a regeneration project like this one, with local businesses, the local community and economic recovery at its heart.”
The project, funded by £1.65m from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, seeks to emulate successful temporary markets such as STACK in Newcastle and Pop in Brixton, which both used shipping containers to turn disused land into popular destinations.
According to the planning application, the council expects the market to remain in use for between two and five years and “signify the first phase of a wider development plan for Bootle town centre”.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Places like the Strand have always been at the heart of our communities – but too many of them have seen better days.
“Making our town centres and high streets places that local people can be proud of again is one of my key priorities.
“The last year has been incredibly tough, but we can start to see better days ahead and we’re investing £1.65m to help Sefton Council with their plans to revitalise the area and boost the local economy.
“Working together, we will breathe new life into Bootle Strand and make it a place for people to meet, shop and socialise again.”
Other projects being considered to help revitalise Bootle include a “flying theatre” attraction, which the council is hoping to fund with £20m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Members of the public can view plans for the canalside market on Sefton Council’s website, and the local authority aims to make a decision on the application by July 3.
Words: Chris McKeon, Local Democracy Reporter
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