U-Boat Story celebrates double
MERSEYTRAVEL'S popular U-Boat Story attraction
has celebrated its 2nd birthday by passing the 100,000th visitor
barrier - well ahead of schedule.
The record was broken by pupils from Greengate Junior School in
Cumbria, who visited the U-Boat Story as part of an educational
trip; they also visited Spaceport at Seacombe and took a Ferry
‘cross the Mersey.
Since opening in February 2009, the Woodside based U-Boat Story has
become a resounding success with visitors, capturing the imagination
of people of all ages, from across the world as well as from around
Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, whose father was a
merchant seaman, said:- "I think the interest associated with
U-534 stems from people recognising its importance in the history of
maritime warfare, especially the gallant role our seamen played
during The Battle of the Atlantic. I am particularly pleased to see
the growing number of schools who are visiting our unique
U-boat story offers access to an inspiring story of living history,
broadening knowledge and understanding of a range of topics
including World War II history and The Battle of the Atlantic. With
fascinating facts about a typical day on board a U-boat, a visit to
U-534 can develop many areas of the curriculum from Design and
Technology to Maths and Science, improve authentic problem-solving
skills by learning to send messages in Enigma code, make a submarine
dive or identify potential hazards to navigation using sonar.
Greengate Junior School teacher, Mrs D Ditchfield said:-
children have been learning about World War II over the past months,
so bringing them to see the U-Boat in so much detail has been a
really good way of bringing history to life for them and to find out
that we’re record breakers was the icing on the cake!"
U-Boat Story has achieved several prominent awards including Visit
England’s prestigious Visitor Attraction Quality Marque, The Mersey
Partnership Annual Tourism Awards 2011 Small Visitor Attraction of
the Year, was highly commended in the Royal Institute of Chartered
Surveyors North West Awards and shortlisted in the inaugural North
West Awards for Coastal Excellence.
Merseytravel Director, Frank Rogers added;- "U-534 is one of
only four u-boats left in the world, it is unique in the UK, and I
am delighted to see it growing in popularity."
The U-Boat Story is open every day 10.30am to 5.30pm, last admission
at 5pm. Pre bookable guided tours are available. For further details
telephone 0151 330 1000.
New start for
THE long awaited
multi-million pound transformation of a run down Liverpool estate is
about to become a reality. Demolition work is underway at the
Stonebridge Cross site, off the East Lancs Road. It paves the way
for a £200 million regeneration scheme which will revitalise the
area. The Stonebridge Cross scheme will deliver 500 new homes,
new retail and commercial development and a new park.
Plans for the site, which was once occupied by the Gillmoss estate,
also include the relocation of St John Bosco School and a new health
centre. The start of the demolition work; which is managed on
behalf of the council by 2020 Liverpool; is a major milestone for
local residents, who have seen a number of proposals for the area
fall by the wayside in recent years.
The Stonebridge Cross Stakeholder Group was set up to drive forward
the community-led redevelopment of the site. Following extensive
consultation, the preferred option for a comprehensive, mixed-use
development was endorsed by the group in March 2010.
Stonebridge Cross, at 98-acres, is one of the largest council-owned
development sites in the city. The ambitious plans will be delivered
by the council’s groundbreaking ‘asset-backed vehicle’, called
Inliverpool, which sees the council provide the land and private
sector partners paying for and delivering the project.
Council Leader Joe Anderson said:- "This investment in
Stonebridge Cross is long overdue, and I’m very pleased that we are
now making it a reality. It is one of the key regeneration schemes
taking place in Liverpool over the next three years and will benefit
thousands of people for generations to come. We’re absolutely
determined to drive forward the regeneration of our communities, and
this fantastic development is proof that by working imaginatively
with the private sector and local people we can deliver real,
significant improvements, despite the difficult economic times."
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for
Housing and Community Safety, and chair of InLiverpool, said:-
"I’m delighted work is starting at Stonebridge Cross – it’s
fantastic news for local people. Improving our housing stock
is a major priority for us, but the current economic challenges mean
we need to do things differently. This development is a great
example of how by taking an innovative approach, through our asset
backed vehicle, we can transform communities and deliver the type of
good quality, affordable homes people have told us they want."
The Stonebridge Cross development forms part of the council’s
Housing Delivery Plan for 2012 to 2015, which was launched at the
end of last year. It includes plans to build 2,000 new homes across
the city over the next 3 years; a major drive to bring empty
properties back into use; and the introduction of a mortgage support
scheme to help first-time buyers.
The city council hopes to generate a total investment of around half
a billion pounds, which will be achieved by releasing council-owned
brownfield sites at no cost, making available a £20 million housing
fund and working with private builders and Registered Providers to
deliver new homes.
Nick Kavanagh, the council’s director for regeneration and
employment, said:- "The InLiverpool partnership is presenting
really exciting opportunities for us to build a better future for
our city, and the Stonebridge Cross development is a prime example
of the great things we can achieve using this approach. We are
working effectively with private sector partners to generate huge
investment which will transform the area and drive up the quality of
people’s lives. Just as importantly, we are working effectively with
residents, listening to their views at every step of the way and
ensuring this is a true community-led development."
A planning application for the site is expected to be submitted
during the summer of this year.
Davies backs MEP cost cuts
NORTH West MEP Chris Davies is calling for
Euro-MPs to face an expenses freeze until 2014. The Liberal Democrat
wants the European Parliament to reject an inflation-linked increase
in its administration costs, and says that MEPs should accept cuts
in the value of their expenses budget. He said:- "To anyone
who has served on a local council, or who has run their own
business, it is stark staringly obvious that the European Parliament
could achieve big savings in its budget without affecting its work."
Davies claims that a huge saving of up to £200 million a year could
be achieved by ending the rotation of the Parliament between
separate buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg. He added that:-
"I have no doubt that a majority of MEPs want to put an end to the
'travelling circus' arrangements, but the decision rests not with
the European Parliament but with national parliaments. Change may be
blocked by France, but until the issue is put on the agenda the
arguments will never be properly heard."