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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 19 March 2007

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Dr John Pugh MP (Lib Dem, Southport)

MEMBERS of Parliament from England and Wales pledged their support for British tourism at Westminster on 14 March 2007.

40 MPs took time out from Prime Minister’s Questions to sign a postcard and lend their support to the inaugural British Tourism Week which takes place this week from 12 March 2007 to 18 March 2007.

Stephen Dowd, chairman of British Tourism Week, says:- “This is a welcome show of support with MPs from all parties recognising the value of Britain’s £85 billion visitor economy. Their commitment further highlights the critical importance of tourism, not only to the national economy but to local areas and constituencies around the country.”

Many MPs are also visiting tourism attractions and businesses in their constituencies on Friday 16 March 2007 to gain a first-hand understanding of a variety of tourism experiences and the issues they face.

Under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales, British Tourism Week celebrates Britain’s vibrant tourism industry and highlights the contribution it makes to the economic strength and well-being of the nation and the many thousands of individuals who work within it. It is organised by VisitBritain and UKinbound, working with Reed Travel Exhibitions and with the support of the Tourism Alliance, Tourism Society and Britain’s national and regional tourist boards.

Stena Line generosity ‘nose’ no bounds

STENA Line, Europe’s leading ferry company, is pushing the boat out in an attempt to raise a company record £5,000 for Comic Relief on its Stena HSS crossing from Belfast to Stranraer.

As always, the fun loving Stena Line staff have gone ‘overboard’ to help raise the cash and with loads of fundraising activities on board, the company hopes to beat its previous best Comic Relief total of £4,000.

Kids entertainers, cartoon characters, red noses galore and raffles to win the Captain’s hat have all been part of the fun and games on board the Stena Voyager, also the crew perform their duties in fancy dress!

The company is now well on its way to achieving its target, as Route Marketing Manager Ian Baillie explains:- “So far, we’re on track for our best ever total, having raised almost £2,000 by the end of  last week.

Our staff and passengers have always been very generous when it comes to fundraising for charity and I’m pleased to say that the past few weeks have been no exception.”

£10million Ferry Terminal gets green light

A new £10million ferry terminal building at Liverpool’s Pier Head has been given the green light by Liverpool City Council’s planning committee.

Subject to the decision being ratified by the full council, work on demolishing the old terminal building – an outdated tent structure - will start in June.

The new three storey building will open in June 2008 and will take Merseytravel’s investment in the Mersey Ferries business in the last nine years to around £40 million.

Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, which owns and operates the Mersey Ferries said:- “This is great news. Our plans will leave a lasting legacy from 2008, Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year. The new building will offer much better facilities for ferry passengers, commuters and the hundreds of thousands of visitors using the ferries every year.”

Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel said:- “The Mersey Ferries are the most popular paid for attraction in the region and we want to ensure that continues to be the case. We are determined to continue to improve facilities across the Mersey Ferries business and want to begin the improvement works as soon as possible.”

The materials used on the new terminal building will complement the surrounding buildings and the low-rise design has been developed to retain the spectacular view of the Three Graces from the river and the views of the river from Water Street and Brunswick Street.

Designed to be one of the most environmentally friendly buildings of its type, everything about the new building and its operation is aimed at reducing the impact on the environment.

The new terminal will have improved café and retail facilities, new waiting areas, easy access to a new landing stage and a river viewing area.

Meet the Robinsons in 3D

MEET the Robinsons, a computer-animated film based on the characters and events in the illustrated book A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce comes in 3D to Vue West End and Cheshire Oaks.

From 23 March 2007 onwards, Vue audiences will be donning their state-of-the-art, polarized 3D glasses, truly getting close to the animated characters.

Tickets are on-sale now, available online  or via the box office 08712 240 240.

Meet the Robinsons is the 46th animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Meet the Robinsons tells the story of the brilliant inventor Lewis with a surprising number of clever inventions to his credit. His latest and most ambitious project is the Memory Scanner, a machine that will help him find his birth mother so they can become a family. But before he can find her, his invention is stolen by the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical hat and constant companion, Doris. Lewis has all but given up hope when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson whisks our bewildered hero away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy in a showdown that ends with an unexpected and unbelievable twist of fate.

Voices starring in the film include:- Spencer Fox, Jordan Fry, Gary Oldman, Harland Williams, Steve Zahn, Denzel Washington, Tom Kenny, Steve Anderson, Kelly Ripa, Tom Selleck, Angela Bassett, James Earl Jones, Wayne Knight, Andre Benjamin, and Jill Talley.

Rachel Hook, (Vue, Local Marketing Manager) said:- “After the success of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D, it is great to have another high calibre film in our state of the art 3-D cinemas in the West End and Cheshire Oaks.”

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