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MP Damien Moore has criticised Sefton Council for refusing to provide brown tourism signs for Wesley Street in Southport Town Centre

THE Southport Conservative MP has been campaigning for 2 years for the signage to be provided to encourage more visitors to use the local businesses in the area. Wesley Street is known locally as:- 'the Village within the Town' and is famous for its brightly coloured buildings, its excellent collection of independent local shops and cafes and its popular community events.

However the MP's latest request for signage has been refused by Sefton Council Highways Management Manager Dave Marrin, who write to the MP to say:- "As you know, Wesley Street is pedestrianised for most of the day, and vehicular direction signage would be directing drivers to an area which cannot be accessed by vehicles."

Mr Marrin added:- "The primary reason for brown and white tourism signage is to direct vehicular traffic to an attraction and that they should not be used as an advertising medium."

Brown tourist signs are traditionally designed to safely guide visitors to a tourist destination along the most appropriate route for the final stage of their journey. They also indicate attractions or facilities that a tourist would not reasonably expect to find in that location.

Southport MP Damien Moore said:- "I'm disappointed by Sefton Council's refusal to provide simple signage to guide people towards our famous Wesley Street area of Southport. Local independent businesses are the lifeblood of our Town and they need support more than ever after the devastating impact of the Covid19 Pandemic. For Sefton Council to say that the Wesley Street area of Town cannot be accessed by vehicles is baffling when it is just a few seconds' walk away from not 1, but 2, on street car parks, both owned and operated by Sefton Council itself. They are in addition to a large multi storey car park above the Sports Direct development which faces Wesley Street. I wonder sometimes just how well our Council officials really know Southport. Drivers used to be able to drive down Wesley Street too until Sefton Council pedestrianised Chapel Street nearby and restricted access to Wesley Street. That should encourage more support for this area from the Council, not less. There are already signs in place on our roads, quite rightly, for locations including Ocean Plaza, so denying something similar signage for Wesley Street will come as a real blow for the hard-working business owners we have down there. I have asked Sefton Council to urgently reconsider this decision and to instead show some much needed support for our local businesses."

Work begins on Liverpool's 1st purpose built film studios

Screen City Liverpool is aiming to provide a complete wrap around package to film makers with its 1st purpose built sound stages (On site Lynn Saunders, Manager of Liverpool Film Office, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Cllr Wendy Simon, Acting Mayor of Liverpool)

WORK has begun on Liverpool's 1st purpose built film and high end TV stages. The contractors for Liverpool City Council have broken ground on land adjacent to the famous Littlewoods Building, off Edge Lane, to create 2 20,000 sq ft sound studios. The studios, which received planning permission earlier this month, are seen as critical to Liverpool's strategy to cement its reputation as one of Europe's premier film and TV production hubs.The City Council has appointed contractor Morgan Sindall Construction to build the facilities, which are ideally located being just a 10 minute drive from the City Centre and the M62.It is expected that the sound stages, which have received funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, will be operational by Spring 2021.

Liverpool City Council's Film Office, the 1st of its kind in Europe, is overseeing the scheme and is already in talks with major global production companies over the use of the stages from next year. Liverpool is already 1 of the major film destinations in the UK and despite the Covid19 Pandemic the City hosted 212 productions in 2020, which consisted of 670 filming days boosting the local economy by nearly ₤13.5 million.

The City is currently hosting illustrious productions such as Netflix's Munich 38 and Sky's COBRA, as well as recently welcoming blockbusters such as Warner Bros' The Batman, and high end TV drama such as:- Netflix's The Irregulars and The English Game, ITV's Viewpoint and Sky's Tin Star: Liverpool.

Councillor Wendy Simon, Acting Mayor of Liverpool, said:- "Liverpool's film and TV sector has flourished in the past decade and these purpose built sound stages symbolise how far the City has come as one of Europe's leading go to locations. Being adjacent to the future Littlewoods Film Studios, these high end facilities means the city will be able to provide the industry with a complete support package and I can't wait to see them welcoming their 1st productions. There's already a huge amount of interest to book these studios, which underlines their value, but they will also prove to be a fabulous asset for training and nurturing talent in Liverpool."

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "It's exciting to see these brilliant film and high end TV production facilities in person. These studios give to the film and TV industry yet another reason to work with us here in the Liverpool City Region. I know that we have the talent and people here to complement the facilities and really make the best of this fantastic opportunity and see new productions made here for years to come."

Richard Potts, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said:- "These new film studios will form a vital part of driving forward the Liverpool City Region's economy for many years to come, and it's a privilege to be part of such an important part of the City's future. Liverpool's creative industries are a source of great pride to everyone in the City, and as part of our delivery of the project we intend to work with our Regional supply chain and develop training and skills programmes to ensure as many local people as possible can benefit from the creation of these brilliant new sound stages."

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