Sefton Council has been recognised by English Heritage in relation to all the positive work they are doing for ‘at risk’ conservation areas across the borough.
Last year the Council carried out a proactive review of all assets across the borough which involved Sefton’s conservation experts undertaking surveys of all privately and publicly owned assets and notifying English Heritage of those areas identified as being ‘at risk.’
New additions to the register included the conservation areas of Lord Street, the Promenade and North Meols in Southport, and Christ Church and Waterloo Park in Waterloo.
Ince Blundell Old Hall, the scheduled monument of Sefton Old Hall and the West Birkdale conservation area also remain on the list from previous years.
Funding has since been secured to create a ‘Heritage At Risk’ post dedicated to pro-active work in these areas, with Jenny Tunney starting her role in April.
It is hoped her appointment will help to identify exactly what the issues each conservation area is facing and try to work on solutions for them.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Environment, said: “Through this new post it will enable us to prioritise heritage work, build community understanding, and maximise opportunities for alternative sources of future funding through heritage-led regeneration initiatives.
“Despite us facing further cuts in government funding, we remain committed to the heritage and built assets of our borough. Therefore we have managed to set aside funds for dedicated officer who will work closely with local communities, owners of buildings and our partner organisations – including English Heritage – to address specific issues and hopefully ensure sites are removed from the at risk register.
“We look forward to working closely with English Heritage in addressing this important issue.”
The creation of the post has been welcomed by English Heritage who are using Sefton Council as an example of best practice.
Karl Creaser, English Heritage Principal Advisor, North West, said: “We warmly welcome this proactive approach to managing heritage.
“We hope this can be an inspiration to other local authorities and demonstrate the benefits of putting heritage at the heart of regeneration in these important historic places.”
Jenny Tunney added: “I’m very much looking forward to working at Sefton Council and focussing on Heritage at Risk. As part of the role I’ll be identifying opportunities for positive change in the future and protecting our many great assets.”
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