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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 13 February 2006

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CONTRACTS have now been exchanged in a deal which will bring new hope for vulnerable children in Merseyside and herald an exciting move for the indoor section of Great Homer Street Market known as St. Martin’s.  The deal will see the indoor market move across the road to a new temporary home in the former Netto unit in St Anthony’s Centre. The last day of market trading in the St Martin’s building will be March 18 with the new market building open for business on the following Saturday, March 25.

The St Martin’s market building will be demolished and a new NSPCC £2.4 million centre built as part of the £17 million Safe Place Appeal spearheaded by John Hargreaves, the head of Matalan. The new centre will provide a range of pioneering services including vital support for children affected by domestic violence and pregnant mothers affected by substance misuse.

Andrew Burnett, Chief Executive of Geraud Markets Liverpool Ltd, the company that manages the city council markets services, said:- “We are delighted to have played our part in this exciting new development. Great Homer Street Market has a special place in the hearts of Liverpool people. It has so much history and so many memories. But the good news is that there will be a new and reinvigorated indoor market to complement the Great Homer Street market.  Also, it is wonderful that an amazing new building will take its place which will enable the NSPCC to provide more help to vulnerable children.”

Jane Seymour, property manager for the NSPCC, said:- “We are incredibly grateful to Geraud Markets Liverpool Ltd and to Liverpool City Council for helping to make this happen.”

Liverpool City Council agreed the lease on the site last year and planning permission was granted for the new NSPCC centre subject to the relocation of the traders to a suitable new site.

Executive Member for Regeneration Councillor Peter Millea said:- “This is great news for Liverpool. The NSPCC Safe Place development will bring invaluable family services to the north area of the city as well as making a key contribution to the council’s wider improvement proposals for the area under its Project Jennifer district regeneration scheme.”

Demolition will start following the last day of trading on March 18 and building work is likely to start on the new NSPCC centre in mid May. It will open in February 2007.

Alex Leith, NSPCC Area Children’s Services Manager, said:- “This is wonderful news. The new building will house a bigger NSPCC team helping children and their mothers recover from the devastating impact of domestic violence. Another team which includes a midwife will help mothers-to-be who have drug and alcohol problems which can also damage and threaten the lives of children.  The services have been developed following a review of child deaths in Liverpool which found that domestic violence and substance misuse were common factors in many child deaths from abuse and neglect - so the services have been planned to have the maximum impact on child cruelty.  The building will also house a team of advisers running the NSPCC's website for worried teenagers -”

The new centre is being funded by the Safe Place Appeal which aims to raise £17 million over 10 years to cover the cost of all NSPCC services in Merseyside for that period. This includes the work of the NSPCC specialist investigation service which tackles the activities of paedophiles and the cost of dealing with calls to the NSPCC helpline from people in Merseyside with concerns about a child.

The Appeal was launched in September 2004 at the Matalan Ball in the presence of a host of celebrity guests including Kylie Minogue. It got off to a flying start with the announcement by John Hargreaves of a £6 million gift from the Hargreaves family and Matalan.  The Appeal has been adopted by the Liverpool Daily Post and is backed by an Appeal Board chaired by John Hargreaves and including leading members of the Merseyside business community.

Nick Glazebrook, Safe Place Appeal manager for the NSPCC said:- “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of business people, individuals and ordinary members of the public who have taken this cause to their hearts.  Big companies like Matalan and The Beetham Organization are huge supporters of the Safe Place Appeal, as well as a host of smaller local companies, and our thanks go to all of them.”

There are hundreds of ways to support the Safe Place Appeal and make a difference to the lives of children in Merseyside. If you want to get involved please call the Safe Place Appeal Fundraising Hotline on 0800 107 3790.

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HER ROYAL Highness The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) will visit Beatle John Lennon’s son’s old school on 1 March 2006.

Liverpool musician Julian Lennon was a boarding pupil at Ruthin School in north Wales in the late 1970s, where he excelled at art. His mother Cynthia ran a bistro in the medieval town.  Julian’s artistic talents were immortalised in Beatle history when he was just 4 years-old. He showed his father a painting of a friend he had drawn, describing it as “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”. John subsequently used the title for one of the Beatles’ best loved hits.

The Princess Royal’s visit will mark the official opening of Ruthin School’s £1 million sports hall which amply caters for a range of indoor leisure activities, including badminton, basketball, 5-a-side football, tennis, netball, archery and other sports and is the largest capital project the school has ever undertaken.

Headteacher John Rowlands said:- “Sport is becoming an ever more important part of daily life to keep children healthy, so we firmly hope these new, state-of-the-art facilities will inspire the next generation to enjoy getting active.  The school is committed to the health of youngsters and from a very early age there is active participation in sport,” he adds. “Many who first ran round the school field at the age of 4 now take part in the annual Hill Fort Run which has grown to encompass 90+ runners!”

She will meet pupils, local dignitaries and politicians and be presented with daffodils, as well as learn a brief history of the school. Elizabeth I’s illuminated and sealed Royal Charter, displayed in a case in the school lobby, will be shown to the Princess at the start of her short tour before she unveils a plaque of Welsh slate to open the new Sports Hall.

Royal links with Ruthin School are something of a tradition: it was granted its Royal Charter by Elizabeth I and both The Princess Royal’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II and her brother, Prince Charles, have been entertained there in recent years. Princess Anne will be shown the Charter on 1 March when she opens the new sports hall.

Ryanair New Routes Take Off

GOOD news for Liverpool as Ryanair on Thursday 9 February 2006 commenced three new services from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Bergerac, Carcassone and Londonderry.

The Airport Company and Ryanair helped to celebrate the launch of these new services with the now customary complimentary food and drink for passengers prior to boarding.

In addition, twenty lucky passengers checking in for the first new route to depart to Bergerac were surprised with a complimentary pair of return tickets for their next trip to the French City, courtesy of Ryanair.

Famed as “The Gateway to the Dordogne” the historic City of Bergerac is becoming immensely popular as a low cost destination. Bergerac offers some of the best value properties for those looking for a second home in the South West of France, as witnessed this morning by the large number of passengers traveling to ‘second homes’ in the region. The area is also home to a vast choice of attractions, vineyards and gastronomical delicacies!

Ryanair’s new flights are once again proving popular with passengers from the North West and beyond with passengers checking in on the first flights from as far afield as York and Harrogate.

Karl Hogstadius, Deputy Head of Sales & Marketing, North Regions, Ryanair said:- “We are delighted to start operations from Liverpool to Londonderry, Bergerac and Carcassone. For the first three months of flying we already have more than 20,000 passengers on these routes and this year we expect to carry 2.4 million passengers on our routes to and from Liverpool”.

The launch of the new routes follows the celebration of the 4 millionth Ryanair passenger to travel through Liverpool, last month. Ryanair now operate 18 routes from Liverpool, with 2 additional services to Seville and Porto commencing later this month.

Neil Pakey, Managing Director of Liverpool John Lennon Airport said:- “We are delighted at the growing range of destinations that Ryanair serve from Liverpool. The variety of destinations is a massive boost to the airport and the region, bringing an increasing choice for both business and leisure travellers”

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