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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 165

Date:- 28 August 2004

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Liverpool sets its sails for new horizons

ON Monday August 23 a new chapter was opened for Liverpool Sailing Club, as contractors begin to demolish their redundant clubhouse to make way for a new, state-of-the-art facility.

After years of vandalism and an arson attack in 2001, the clubhouse was closed to members due to health and safety risks and was a huge loss for the Sailing Club.

Thanks to investment from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) it has enabled the Liverpool Sailing Club committee to draw up plans for a new building that will be available to local communities. Now the dream will soon be a reality. As the wrecking ball swings against the derelict shell of the burnt-out club, it is hoped that the new clubhouse will not only become a major flagship facility for waterside recreation in the region, but also for the people of Speke and Garston.

Tom Workman, co-president of Liverpool Sailing Club, said:- "This is a fantastic moment for the club, and a momentous occasion both for our members, and the local community. 

Since the arson attack, the club has been a blot on the landscape, which has been depressing for everyone who sees it. Now we can finally lay the old club building to rest and see water-sports on Merseyside rise from the ashes to become a key factor in the regeneration of the region.

Rebuilding this club as a vital community resource and a centre of sporting excellence will be particularly important as Liverpool Sailing Club goes forward to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary, in 2008."

The building of a new sailing club and the creation of a coastal reserve is part of the Artery programme over a three-year European riverside regeneration programme that will create sustainable environments for local communities that have suffered from the effects of post-industrialisation. 

The Mersey Basin Campaign’s Claire Wilson, UK co-ordinator for the Artery programme, said:- "A new wave of waterside regeneration is to take place on the river Mersey, as part of the Mersey Waterfront Regional Park, and the building of the sailing club is only the beginning.

Speke and Garston Coastal Reserve will once again become a place of civic pride through the Artery programme and a new home for Liverpool Sailing Club will bring watersports enthusiasts and visitors to Merseyside from right across the Northwest.

This valuable community facility will deliver a big boost to the image of the area, and of the region, but will also help us contribute to a European partnership that is working to set a new benchmark for international waterside regeneration."

The Towering Menace of Student Halls!

AS THE Universities get ready for another influx of students this week "super halls"  that accommodate up to 3,000 students have been slammed as exercises in social engineering by a leading landlord organisation.

The Residential Landlords Association has criticised the blocks, which are appearing in cities such as Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Leeds, as a threat to traditional shared student housing.

"This is an attempt to move students to regeneration areas which could have devastating results for traditional student neighbourhoods. The impact will be equally important for bars, shops and food outlets"
warns Chris Town, vice-chairman of the RLA, whose members are responsible for over 100,000 tenancies, including private student accommodation, throughout the UK.

The RLA warns that City Councils in the UK are trying to solve student housing problems in a way that could result in a repeat one of the 60’s mistakes. 

Planning authorities are encouraging the emergence of towering new private halls of residence to ease the pressure in overcrowded student areas of university cities. Sadly, this idea has resulted in students moving into accommodation that taken the heart out of student life and is also making the cost of accommodation move skywards.

"Super Halls"
have already accounted for thousands of new bed spaces in Liverpool in response to a major increase in demand for student housing. New units have also appeared in Newcastle and more are planned in Leeds. He also warns parents to choose carefully before investing in buy-to-let property for their student children.

"This is not intended as a reactionary response," s
ays Chris Town. "But we are concerned about the scale of the developments. We want to encourage investment and refurbishment. Traditional housing is adaptable as it can be occupied by young professionals or families, as well as students, or sold to young couples as starter homes. Super-halls are only for students and could blight whole areas.

Some of the new halls are superb, with leisure and shopping facilities, but many others have no amenities to support students and these sterile blocks could isolate student communities. The halls with all included facilities also threaten local businesses who depend on the students year in year out."

If you are a student or a landlord, please let us know your views. Email our news desk at:- or send us a letter by snail mail to Southport Reporter, PCBT Photography, 4a Post Office Ave. Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0US.

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