Runners turn out in force
for Port Sunlight race day
Photographs in this report are by:-
ALMOST 1,800 runners took to the
streets of Port Sunlight, on Sunday, 1 March 2015, for its 4th annual race day.
The family event attracted runners of all ages and abilities across 2 races in
the picturesque village; 5K and 10K; which was then followed by a 1K Kids' Fun
The event was organised by BTR, in conjunction with Port Sunlight Village Trust.
The Port Sunlight races officially kick started BTR's growing portfolio of 10
events for 2015. Almost 400 runners took part in the 5K race, which was a loop
route taking in the sights of the village. This was followed by the 10K race,
which saw 1,200 runners race for two loops of the same course. All finishers in
the 5K and 10K races received a bespoke finishers' medal, T-shirt and goody bag.
The races were followed by a 1K Kids' Fun Run
attracting 200 enthusiastic youngsters who were greeted by Claire Bear, the
official mascot of Claire House Children's Hospice. They all received a medal
and a goody bag.
Deciding that one race in a day wasn't enough, almost 40 keen runners took part
in both the 5K and 10K races to be double racers on the day.
The day's most senior runner was familiar
face, 91 year old Eddie Mountford, from Wirral, who completed the 10K.
Unilever supported the event for the second consecutive year through Project
Sunlight; its movement for people everywhere who want to make the world a better
place for their children and future generations.
Unilever has enjoyed a strong connection to Port Sunlight since 1888 and
continues to have major manufacturing, R&D and IT facilities in the village.
Unilever had 50 runners taking part across the 5K and 10K races.
The event has previously been staged in May, but due to a large number of major
events taking place across the Liverpool City Region (Merseyside) in May,
organisers brought the event forward by 2 months.
BTR Liverpool is the leading independent
organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events in
Liverpool City Region. Its portfolio of 9 other race events includes the
Liverpool Santa Dash, Liverpool and Wirral Half Marathons, and Mersey Tunnel
BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell said:- "Port Sunlight is a fantastic
setting for race events and, once again, we have to thank Port Sunlight Village
Trust for hosting the event and Unilever for their support. We had an excellent
turn-out, which kick started our calendar of 10 events for 2015. We're delighted
with the numbers taking into account the change of date. It's a fantastic sight
to see new runners alongside the more experienced ones, while the youngsters
brought the fun element to the day. A massive well done to all the runners, and
not forgetting the volunteers who play such an important role on the day."
Katherine Lynch, Heritage Manager at Port Sunlight Village Trust, commented:-
"We were thrilled to welcome the 1,800 runners, their families and supporters to
Port Sunlight. The village is an ideal backdrop to host events such as this, and
we always look forward to the annual race day. The event went extremely well and
we are very grateful to the residents of Port Sunlight for their ongoing support
of our public programmes."
Unilever Port Sunlight Works Director, Andy Hinch, added:- "We were
thrilled to support the event for the 2nd consecutive year and it was a great
sight to see the runners enjoying the village. Port Sunlight is the historic
home of Unilever and we are proud to be involved. Well done to our 50 Unilever
runners who took part."
The BTR Port Sunlight 10K and 5K races were
the latest events in a year long joint fundraising partnership between BTR
Liverpool and its 5 official charities.
The BTR Footsteps Fundraisers initiative will bring the charities together to
benefit financially through BTR's key race events over the next 12 months by
encouraging participants to fundraise and support them.
The 5 BTR Footsteps Fundraisers official charities are:- Radio City's Cash For
Kids, Claire House Children's Hospice, Everton in the Community, Jospice, and
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. More details can be found at:-
The next race for BTR is the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon, on 29 March 2015.
You can find out more about this race and the many others on offer at:-
Help to Buy helps 2,000 buy
a new home in Merseyside
'HELP to Buy', the government's flagship
housing scheme, has helped 2,261 people in Merseyside buy a new home since it
was created, new figures have revealed.
Since the launch of the Help to Buy equity loan and mortgage guarantee schemes:-
► 80% of scheme completions have been made by 1st time buyers.
► The average house price has been £185,000, significantly below the national
► Over 80,000 people have bought a home through the scheme, including over 11,000
in the North West.
► 94% of Help to Buy completions take place outside of London.
► Over ½ of Help to Buy completions have been for new build homes.
► All part of the government's long term economic plan to help hardworking people
get the keys to their own home.
Did you know that:- 'Help to Buy' was created in 2013 to support hard working taxpayers who could pay
a mortgage, but couldn't afford the high deposits demanded by lenders in the
wake of the financial crisis.
Together with the government's 'Help to Buy - NewBuy' scheme; which offers 95%
mortgages for those buying new build properties, the number of new home owners
has reached almost ninety thousand.
The scheme also continues to benefit first time buyers overwhelmingly, with the
vast majority of sales outside of London and at prices well below the national
Help to Buy is also ensuring the long-term health of the housing market by
increasing housing supply, stimulating home building. Over half of the homes
bought through Help to Buy are new-build properties, helping to contribute to
the 37% rise in private house building since the launch of Help to Buy.
First time buyers
As the latest statistics show, 'Help to Buy' is helping people who need it most, with
66,661 households having bought their 1st home thanks to the scheme.
This is 80% of overall 'Help to Buy' buyers, demonstrating that the scheme is
successfully targeting those who need help getting on the housing ladder,
despite only accounting for a small proportion of the mortgage market (3% for
both mortgage guarantee and equity loan).
Helping people across the UK
'Help to Buy' is helping people throughout the UK achieve their dream of owning a
new or bigger home.
With almost all completions outside London, the highest number of homes have
been through the mortgage guarantee scheme in the North West region. The equity
loan; a scheme for new build properties; is particularly high in the South
Figures for the mortgage guarantee scheme also show completions have been least
concentrated in regions where house price growth is highest. In London the
scheme makes up just 1.3% of all mortgage lending compared to an average of 3%
across the country.
Getting Britain building
'Help to Buy' is also supporting the country's economy by getting Britain building
again. Over ½ of homes bought under the scheme were new-build properties,
contributing to the sharpest rise in house building orders since 2003.
And it has incentivised growth in the construction industry; which has now been
growing for 21 consecutive months. Last year housing starts increased by 10%,
and they up more than 80% under this government. Both annual housing starts and
planning approvals are at a seven year high, with 537,000 new homes being built
during this parliament.
'Help to Buy' was designed to support responsible lending, and the Bank of England
made it clear in October that the scheme is:- "not a material driver of
house price growth."
This is demonstrated by the figures: the average house price for both parts of
the scheme, at £185,000 (£156,000 for the mortgage guarantee and £212,000 for
the equity loan scheme), remains significantly below the national average house
price of £272,000.
The average house price to income multiple under the mortgage guarantee scheme
is just over 3.5x salary, and capped at a 4.5x ratio to ensure responsible
The Prime Minister David Cameron said:- "Thanks to Help to Buy, this
government has helped thousands of hardworking people that otherwise would have
been locked out of home ownership get the keys to their own home and enjoy the
security that comes with it.
This is all part of our long term economic plan to secure a better future for
Britain; and, together with cutting Income Tax, lowering Council Tax bills and
freezing fuel duty, the government is backing those who work hard and get on
find the financial security they deserve."
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:- "It's great news that
the government's Help to Buy scheme has now helped almost 90,000 people across
the country achieve their dream of buying a new or bigger home.
We've only been able to help thousands of people in the UK because our long term
economic plan is working: through schemes like Help to Buy we're supporting hard
working taxpayers buy their own home, driving an increase in house building in
Britain, ensuring long term housing supply and creating jobs."
Home Builders Federation Executive Chairman Stewart Baseley said:- "Help
to Buy has helped tens of thousands of people onto the housing ladder who
otherwise would have struggled to meet their ambition of home ownership. First
time buyers in particular are taking advantage and the scheme is helping people
in every part of the country. The resultant rise in demand is allowing builders
to increase much needed house building levels. This is turn is creating tens of
thousands of jobs and boosting local economies the length and breadth of the
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:- "The 2008 housing crash locked
thousands of people out of the housing market, leaving them unable to fulfil
their dream of owning their own home.
That's why the Help to Buy scheme is a key part of our long term economic plan,
helping over 88,000 hard working households onto the property ladder with a
fraction of the deposit they would normally require, while at the same time
boosting house building. This, and our new Starter Homes initiative offering a
20% discount on newly built homes for first-time buyers, will continue to offer
a strong alternative to the Bank of Mum and Dad."
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:- "Help to Buy has
now helped almost 90,000 thousand homebuyers across the UK buy a new of bigger
home as part of this government's drive to create a fairer society. We have been
able to introduce this scheme; which is just one of the many ways that we're
helping people across the UK; because we've got the public finances and economy
on a stronger footing, as the fastest growing economy in the G7."
Letter to the Editor:- "Intention to stand
candidates in May elections."
"THE Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree, and
Formby Community Action Groups are joining together to oppose the current draft
of the Local Plan, which if it goes ahead in its current form will overwhelm the
infrastructure in Sefton Central. The level of development proposed for Sefton
is unsustainable and unprecedented in recent years. There are great concerns
even within the Council's own documents as to the viability of this plan as it
relies too heavily on private funding from developments to support necessary
infrastructural improvements and affordable housing. Since the 1st draft of the
local plan, projections of population have fallen significantly, in the face of
this the amount of green belt to be released has increased and the demands
placed upon developers for affordable homes has decreased. Many Councillors have
failed to represent the concerns of residents and have left them without a voice
throughout the Plan making process. In light of the above we feel that we have
no option, but to stand Community Action candidates against any Sefton Central
Councillor that votes in support of this un-amended Local Plan on Thursday, 22
of January 2015." Cllr Maria Bennett Chair of FRAGOFF, Mr David Brennan
Chair of Aintree Community Action Group and Mrs Patricia O'Hanlon Chair of
Maghull and Lydiate Community Action Group.