Sefton Council, in partnership with Historic England, have launched a set of new heritage trails for Waterloo and Southport.
This work has been part of the Heritage at Risk project in partnership with Historic England and the trails cover 5 of the Conservation Areas currently on the national Heritage at Risk Register.
The projects’ focus was to promote the fantastic heritage that Southport and Waterloo have and provide an opportunity for local communities to champion the conservation and enhancement of their local historic environment which in turn can help further boost civic pride and local involvement in heritage.
It is hoped the trails will help showcase the heritage assets that Sefton boasts while helping boost both domestic and international cultural tourism.
The trails have been formed in partnership with a number of groups who provided a wealth of local historic information in including the Waterloo Town Team, Friends of Groups and Southport Civic Society.
The trails are currently available in both print and digital from visitsouthport.com. It is intended to roll out paper copies more widely from local centres in the future.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said: “The historic environment which surrounds us plays a pivotal role in Sefton’s visitor economy.
“We will use the trails to help boost visitor numbers across the borough while helping showcase some of our hidden gems. Hosting The Open Championship in July gives us a perfect opportunity to showcase the borough to an international market and ties in closely with 2017 – The Year of Sefton’s Coast.”
Cllr Daren Veidman, Cabinet Member Planning and Building Control, added: “The trails project helps raise the profile of these much-loved historic areas. The local community’s input has been a critical part of this by allowing them to share their own knowledge and enjoyment of these areas more widely with residents and visitors alike.
“We hope this will feed into the wider Heritage at Risk work being carried out across the council and will help to attract more visitors and investment into these areas which will contribute towards their ultimate removal from the Heritage at Risk Register.”
Karl Creaser, Historic England Principal Adviser, Historic Places Team North West, said: “You only have to walk around Lord Street or the Parks and Gardens in Southport or indeed the streets in Waterloo to understand just why these places are special and held in great affection by local people.
“What we enjoyed with this project was that local groups and Sefton Council staff worked together with us to develop these trails. The next task is to use them as part of the promotion of Southport to a wider audience so that more people can enjoy the delights of this wonderful seaside town.
“We also believe that boosting visitor numbers by promoting the historic environment in this way will further support the local economy.”
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