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Issue:- 02/03 June 2010

Plan To Ensure Access for All

PUBLIC consultation is starting on a document which will guide developers in designing buildings which meet the needs of all users.  Design for Access for All is a proposed Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), part of the Local Development Framework for Liverpool, which highlights the most important principles in designing inclusive buildings and the built environment.

The SPD aims:-

· To advise developers how to integrate inclusive design principles into their planning proposals, to promote a high quality and inclusive environment for all, irrespective of age, gender, mobility or impairment

· To set out the Local Planning Authority’s requirements on provision for disabled people in new developments

· To enable the needs of disabled people to be taken into account at the earliest stages of planning a development from their concept and before an application is submitted

· To indicate any likely requirements arising from Building Regulations and Highways legislation which may influence the design and layout of proposed developments about their provision for disabled people

· To draw attention to best practice in the design of the internal and external environment in terms of making buildings and external spaces accessible to, and useable by disabled people.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy. Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, said:- “We want a city in which disabled people or older people are never excluded from buildings because their design denies them access. 

This is a very important document which sets out guidance to developers on how their proposals can be designed to give access to all.  However, it is important that the proposed SPD is seen and commented on widely before the final version is adopted and I urge as many people as possible to consider and comment on it.”

The public consultation runs to 9 July 2010 and any comments on the contents of the document as to the suitability of the guidance on accessibility - with suggested alternatives where applicable – would be appreciated preferably by email.

The SPD, a questionnaire and a Sustainability Appraisal report- a supporting document which ensures compliance with a directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment,-can be viewed online.

Copies may be viewed at:-

· Millennium House, 60 Victoria Street, Liverpool L1 6JF

· Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW

· Liverpool Vision, 5th Floor, The Capital, 39 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9PP

Hard copies or alternative formats of documents can be made available on request. In addition, 2 workshops open to any consultee who may prefer to have a face to face discussion on any aspect of the SPD will be held at Millennium House, 60 Victoria Street, L1 6JF on:

· 21June 1.00pm – 4.00pm, Collingwood Room
· 2 July, 1.20pm –, Herculaneum Room.

Places have to booked for either date as spaces are limited.

Further queries about the consultation can be via email or by post to: Design for Access for All SPD, Development Plans Team, Liverpool City Council, Planning and Building Control, Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 2DH. Telephone inquiries to:- 0151 233 3021.

Pemberton Brass Band To Return

ON Saturday, 6 June 2010 sees the return of the ever popular Pemberton Brass Band. The Summer concert theme is the POP PROMS and tickets are now on sale from the club bar. £5.00 for members & £6.00 for guests. "They are playing a superb selection of music and it looks like being another great night. As everyone will now be aware last Friday night the club suffered a terrible set back when we were burgled. Now more than ever we need your support. Please come along to our events, show your support and help the club to move forward once again." said Andrew Worthington Club Manager.

New international centre for women’s enterprise to be built in Liverpool

A ground-breaking new international women’s business centre is to be built in Liverpool – the first of its kind globally.

The Women’s International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) is being developed by Train 2000, following a £2.4 million investment from the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme – part of a £5.2 million finance package.

Dedicated to women’s enterprise, the state of the art centre is being built in the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool and is expected to be complete by the end of the year, creating 70 jobs.

The centre will provide a high quality business environment for small start-up businesses and SMEs through the provision of 70 ‘incubation’ units. Train 2000 – an integrated part of WICED – will relocate to the centre from their current base in Wellington Buildings on the Strand.

The project is also supported by Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision and has also received match funding from the Office of the Third Sector’s Futurebuilders England Fund, managed by The Social Investment Business.

Cllr Flo Clucas, ERDF Programme Monitoring Committee Member & President of WICED, said:- “One of the key aims of the ERDF Programme is to support the growth of new enterprises and create new jobs. This investment will be crucial in supporting this, through encouraging the creation and growth of more female-led enterprises in the Northwest, ensuring that the region is in a strong position to capitalise on the huge economic potential of this key group.”

Maggie O’Carroll, Executive Director of Train 2000 and WICED, said:- "This centre will be the most significant development of its kind, not only in Europe but globally. It is crucial that society harnesses women’s enterprise and we must encourage women to start up and grow their own businesses. The benefits to this are numerous including greater financial independence for women and a reduction in family poverty."

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), said:- “Women have been identified as a key group for increasing enterprise activity – it has been estimated that if women started businesses at the same rate as men, the UK would see 150,000 more businesses per annum – and so it is vital that we provide the right support for female entrepreneurs to help them realise their economic potential in the region. This new centre is a groundbreaking project not just for the Northwest, but the UK as a whole, that will address the specific business support needs of this key target group and support the establishment and growth of more female-led enterprises in the region.”

The building will also house an International Research Hub, which will be of specific benefit to businesses operating within the incubation areas but also to the wider female business community. The hub will provide direct access to valuable research data, information and international links with other female entrepreneurs operating globally. The research hub will also observe, collect and analyse the incubation process, which will provide a greater understanding on effective female enterprise support needs.

Jonathan Lewis, Chief Executive of The Social Investment Business said:- “Our unique approach to investment in civil society organisations will enable the Women’s International Centre for Economic Development to establish itself as a viable enterprise, a community hub inspiring and supporting new women-led businesses in Liverpool. At The Social Investment Business it’s our mission to strengthen communities via loans, grants and business support to local organisations like this centre so that they can do what they do best – support their neighbourhoods and the people most in need.”

Cllr Joe Anderson, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said:- “This is an exciting development for which there is a clear need. It is important that women’s enterprises are given a much higher priority than they have in the past and this new centre will not only give a great boost to the city’s economy, but a much wider area.”

The project aims to address current barriers restricting the employment and business opportunities available to women. The economic activity rates for females (working age) for Merseyside is 68.8% compared against a Great Britain average of 73.7% (ONS 2008). These figures identify a market failure and the need for increased levels of entrepreneurship and business creation, which is a key priority for the project.

Despite the rise in the numbers of women involved in enterprise activity in recent years, only 14% of businesses with employees are led by women, with two men starting up in business to every one woman.

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