The ongoing transformation of Bootle has taken a major step forward as work begins to transform the canalside into an exciting new events and entertainment space Sefton Council and its partners are working hard to ensure the Bootle Canalside on Washington Parade becomes a new staple destination in the social events calendar this coming summer. Work is now underway to transform a section of land adjacent to Bootle Strand Shopping Centre into a vibrant space to host a range of events from Summer 2021. Initial clearance works on the Washington Parade site has now finished allowing contractors to begin stage two of the project, which will see the space opened up to create a dynamic, multi-purpose venue that will sit alongside the waters of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. This would include a food and drink offer, new events spaces and an urban garden. Other enhancements in this area will also improve the environment and open up the canal, with vegetation clearance enabling use of that space. An exciting calendar of events is envisaged which, subject to restrictions at the time, would include a Food and Drink Festival later in the Summer, and a Christmas Market in December. The work, which is funded from the LCRCA Town Centre Commission and the LCRCA Strategic Investment Fund, is the first part of Sefton Council’s plans to invest in the improvement of the Bootle New Strand Shopping Centre. £370,000 of the funding is from the Local Growth Fund, which is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund. The hosting space will aim to bring new activity to the under-used land as the long term regeneration of Bootle develops; stimulating the local economy, transforming the look and feel of the town for residents, businesses and visitors and improving the quality of life for the community 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 kickstart the regeneration of Bootle Town Centre “The calendar of events will be diverse and exciting and after a long, hard year, it is great to be looking ahead to regeneration and recovery at the heart of one of our town centres.” Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “When I was elected, I promised that devolution would make a real difference to people’s lives and communities, and we can see that in projects like this. “Places like the Strand have always been at the heart of our communities – but too many of them have seen better days. Getting our town centres and high streets back on the up and making them somewhere local people can be proud of again has been one of my priorities. “The last year has been a tough one, but we’re investing £1.65m to help Sefton Council with their plans to revitalise the area. Working together, we will breathe new life into Bootle Strand and make a hub for people to meet, shop and socialise once again.” Planned events have been facilitated to work hand in hand with the slow easing of lockdown measures and aims to aid the economic recovery of those places hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. All efforts will be taken to ensure all events are safe and compliant with any necessary public health measures and will continue to be subject to lockdown restrictions being eased at the rate currently set out in the government roadmap.