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Have your say on future improvements of Southport's Hesketh Park

SEFTON Council's Green Sefton team has launched a public consultation to gather ideas and thoughts on ways to further improve the facilities at Southport's Hesketh Park. Residents across the Borough, as well as:- volunteer groups, visitors, and local businesses, are being asked to share their opinion on priorities for the park for the local community and visitors alike. Development ideas will be considering both recreational and heritage led improvements. They might include ways to improve play facilities, and opportunities for improvements to ground maintenance, planting and heritage features. New ideas are also welcomed to help form a new vision for the park.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:- "With more than 30 main parks across the Borough, we have a wide range of facilities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy spending time outdoors. Our Green Sefton team is always looking at ways to work with the community to enhance and improve our offer, so I welcome this opportunity for people to share their vision for Southport's Hesketh Park. All views and ideas are welcomed to ensure the Green Sefton team incorporates the community's ideas into any potential improvement plans."

This public consultation builds upon the work already undertaken by the Green Sefton team to ensure that the much loved park remains true to its past, but also stays fit for future generations to enjoy. The 1st phase of repair works on the Park's historic conservatory has now been completed. This was as a result of Sefton Council successfully securing a ₤22,000 grant from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund for stabilisation of the structure before a more extensive refurbishment of the building could be planned.

Green Sefton is working in partnership with the Hesketh Park Heritage Group to undertake the consultation. Together they want to hear from members of the local community, and visitors, of all ages and backgrounds, to ensure any plans and subsequent funding bids are as representative as possible for those that utilise the park.

This follows the news that the Council has been contacted by the executors of a local family who wish to donate in the family name a substantial sum of money to the development and improvement of Hesketh Park following the passing of a family member.

Other funding schemes will also be scoped out following feedback gathered from the consultation in order to bring to fruition the community's priorities. Cllr Moncur added:- "The consultation can be easily completed online and isn't very lengthy, so please do get involved."

The consultation is now open and will run until Wednesday, 15 September 2021. People can take part online and are encouraged to share the consultation with others that might like to share their thoughts and ideas. The consultation can be found at:- YourSeftonYourSay.Sefton.Gov.UK.

Race Events Are Back As BTR Liverpool Looks Ahead To Busy 2021 Race Calendar
Photo by Paul Hanley..

16 months since staging its last public event, independent race organiser BTR Liverpool is back with a packed calendar of real life runs. As Covid19 lockdown restrictions continue to ease as part of the Government roadmap, BTR Liverpool has held its 1st live race event since March 2020. The 8th BTR Tour Of Merseyside (TOM) marked the return of real life race events and what a way to comeback; a week long challenge of 6 races over seven days covering 52 miles. As participants crossed the finish line on the final day, they were presented with the coveted 52 mile medal and the honour of being able to call themselves a Tourist.

A busy events calendar for the 2nd ˝ of 2021 includes the BTR Liverpool Skyline ˝ Marathon in September, BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K in October, and the Appreciate Group Liverpool Santa Dash in December. Entries are open now for all events.

The BTR Tour Of Merseyside endurance event saw participants complete 6 races of varying distances and terrain across 4 areas of Liverpool City Region, with the race visiting:- Sefton, Wirral, Liverpool, and Knowsley.

The Tourists began their week of running as guests of Fylde Coast Running for the 13.1 mile Southport ˝ Marathon, with races throughout the week featuring 6 miles beach and trail terrain, at Thurstaston; and 10 miles on the Sustrans Loopline, in Walton.

After a mid-week rest day, they continued with 5 miles along the Liverpool waterfront, at Otterspool Promenade, in optional fancy dress; 6 miles cross country, at Stadt Moers, in Knowsley; with a final 12 miles out and back from New Brighton to Hoylake and back to New Brighton, including 1 mile across the beach, at Hoylake.

1st staged in 2013, the Tour was created by BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell and it has gone on to become a highlight in the North West running calendar.

During its inaugural year, just 73 runners completed the unique race. It is now an established sell out race capped at 500 participants.

This year 270 Tourists completed the race due to guidelines and social distancing. Organisers BTR Liverpool also tweaked the format to calculate results on chip time rather than gun time as in previous years.

Finishers included 14 ever present Tourists who have completed all previous Tour Of Merseyside race events, including 3 women. They each collected their 8th prestigious TOM medal.

Knowsley Harrier Chris Pownell took 1st place in 4 hours 52 minutes 58 seconds. Chris was 2nd in 2019, but this year's win meant a hat trick after also taking the top honours in 2017 and 2018.

2nd place was Oliver Chadwick from Dockside Runners in 5 hours 4 minutes 11 seconds, with third position James Mackie from Wirral AC in 5 hours 13 minutes 28 seconds.

Carmel Edwards retained the top ranking for the female competitors in a time of 6 hours and 31 2nds. The win also made it a hat trick for Carmel after also taking the TOM female 1st place honours, in 2017 and 2019.

2nd place was Carol Paxton in 6 hours 5 minutes 37 seconds. Carol had also previously placed 2nd in 2018 and 3rd in 2019. 3rd place was Kelly Marrin from Knowsley Harriers AC in 6 hours 21 minutes 47 seconds.

Club represented included:- BTR Road Runners, Dockside Runners, Kirkby Milers AC, Knowsley Harriers AC, Liverpool Running Bugs, Liverpool Running Club, Penny Lane Striders, Pensby Runners, Red Rose Runners, Run Sandymoor, St Helens Striders, Wallasey AC, and Warrington Running Club.

Hoylake-based race organisers BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region. Its extensive portfolio also includes:- Liverpool Skyline ˝ Marathon, Liverpool Santa Dash, Mersey Tunnel 10K, and Port Sunlight 10K and 5K.

Following the return of the Tour Of Merseyside, the BTR team is now excited for the remainder of this year's race calendar.

Next up is the BTR Liverpool Skyline ˝ Marathon, on 12 September. This will be the 28th annual staging of the race, which starts and finishes on the iconic Liverpool Waterfront. The race also includes a 10 mile option.

On 26 September, participants have the rare chance to run underneath the River Mersey with the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K. Starting in Liverpool and finishing in New Brighton, this is the 15th staging of the unique race.

A treat awaits Everton fans, on 10 October 2021, with If You Know Your History 5K fun run. The route takes in Everton landmarks key to the club's history while supporting official charity, Everton in the Community.

It's off to Thurstaston, on 16 October 2021, for the Off Road 8, a new beach and trail race. It was due to the staged for the 1st time in 2020, but was also postponed like all other BTR events.

The Wirral 10 Miler and 10K is on 31 October 2021. A flat, fast course along the Wirral coastline, out and back from New Brighton.

Highly regarded as the City's kick start to Christmas, the much anticipated Appreciate Group Liverpool Santa Dash returns on 5 December 2021. Almost 2,000 Santas still got their Santa fix last year by running virtually. This year, the City Centre will once again be turned red and blue for this 5K festive fun run.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:- "The Tour Of Merseyside was the perfect way to welcome back runners to BTR events. We knew it was going to be special; but seeing their smiles, joy and overall relief to race once again was incredible. It was a week of memories, laughter, fun and real camaraderie. Many Tourists and volunteers found the overall experience very emotional after a challenging 16 months. Many people took to running to stay active during the Pandemic and it helped get them through the many challenges of lockdowns, and for some it is the 1st chance to take part in real life races. We're now busy and excited to be planning for the rest of the year. Our BTR race calendar highlights include a half marathon set against the iconic Liverpool skyline; racing under the River Mersey and through the Mersey Tunnel; and dashing round the City Centre dressed as Santa watched on by the Liver Birds. Come and join us for a BTR race in 2021, it's great to be back."

All BTR races will be organised and delivered in accordance with any Covid guidelines required at the time of events. Find out more about BTR races by visiting:- BTRLiverpool.Com.

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