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Southport Reporter

Edition No. 76

Date:- 29 November 2002

Report By Julia Brough.

AThe organisation charged with developing Southport’s reputation as a leading resort destination has set out its blueprint for the future.

Southport Tourism Business Network (STBN), the public/private sector partnership of tourism stakeholders in the town, has just unveiled its first official constitution.

Lord Fearn, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said:-

 “Since its launch the STBN has continued to grow and thrive. We want to underpin the great work already achieved and feel that the day-to-day running and procedures of the network should be formalised so that the STBN is sustained over future years.

For the first time all the factors involved with the success of the STBN and how its operates have been brought together in one document so that all members can work together and in the same way to make Southport thrive.”

The new constitution outlines the structure and management of the STBN, meeting procedures, various levels of membership, subscription fees and rules.

The key aims and objectives are: To encourage members to provide the highest possible standards of service in order to protect the sustainability of the tourism industry; to market Southport as a high quality, broad based tourism destination throughout the year, optimising the visitor experience for all and to take a holistic approach to tourism and visitor management in Southport, via partnership working.

NWDA welcomes new Creative Industries Manager.
Report By Lisa Margis.

THE Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) welcomes the appointment of Andy Lovatt as Creative Industries Manager within the Cluster Development team. Andy will assist the NWDA in developing and delivering a creative industry strategy for the region; highlighting a vision to ensure the Northwest maintains its position as the best region for creative industries outside London. 

Andy brings with him over 3 years experience as the Director of the Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS), an initiative that he formed. He was also one of the co-founders of City Life Magazine in 1984, before moving on to the Manchester Institute of Popular Culture as a researcher.

Andy Lovatt, new Creative Industries Manager, NWDA:-

“For the past 40 years the Northwest region has been the driving force for creativity in the UK. From music and popular culture through to advances in science, technology, and the arts, the creative energy and talent in this region has led the way. 

“Creative Industries Manager is a new and vital post at the NWDA. It recognises the Creative Industries as a major driver for regeneration across the region and it is our job to make England’s Northwest the place to do creative business. The creative talent in the region already has a world-class reputation and we can now provide the environment and the support needed to capitalise on this.” 

Report By Julia Brough.

MORE than 1,000 magicians from throughout the world will converge on Southport next year for a five-day celebration of magic.

The British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians has just announced that it will be staging its 67th annual convention in the resort next September. Top stars from the magic world will be invited.

Bob Hayden, public relations officer for British Ring, says the convention provides a yearly opportunity for professional and amateur magicians, magic enthusiasts and collectors of magic apparatus to get together to practice magical effects and discuss latest topics.

Bob, who first met Paul Daniels when the convention was last staged in Southport in 1985, said:- “We like to go back to towns that meet our requirements for facilities and Southport is definitely one of those. The entire staff of the Tourism Department’s Conference and Sales Section afforded us their 100 per cent co-operation and do their utmost to ensure we have a successful and trouble-free convention."

More than 25 countries will be represented at the convention which will also include the dealers’ magical trade fair to view the latest and best in magic, magic variety shows, star lectures, competitions and awards ceremony and annual general meeting.

This all takes place behind closed doors because, as expected, magicians are secretive people but a Children’s Showtime will be staged for the youngsters of the town. The public are also invited to join the magicians at the final International Show.

During the convention groups of magicians will be visiting local hospitals, convalescent homes and special schools to provide magical entertainment.

Conference business is booming in Southport with £9 million generated this year. Next year already looks like being a record breaker with the magicians convention alone estimated to boost the local economy by more than £1 million.

Lord Fearn, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said:- “Naturally we are delighted to be able to welcome the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians back to Southport. It has been quite some time since they were last here so we hope they will be pleased with the improvements to the main conference venue and hope they find time to take advantage of the other new attractions and facilities in the town. There is no doubt that we have one of the best conference teams in the country.”

More than £2.5 million has been invested in upgrading the Southport Theatre and Floral Hall Complex, the largest venue on Merseyside, and more than £150 million has been invested into Southport’s regeneration, including the new £35 million Ocean Plaza leisure development at the seafront.

The International Brotherhood of Magicians, with headquarters in St Louis, USA, was founded in 1922 and has more than 300 rings worldwide. The British Ring, founded in 1928, first held its convention in Southport in 1938 and has since returned on eight occasions.

The International Brotherhood of Magicians will be in Southport from 20-28th September 2003.

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Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2002.