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Publication date:- 2017-16-06

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 4.

Wirral's tourism businesses set for a huge boost

A new plan to increase Wirral's annual tourism revenue to ₤450 million is set to be agreed by Wirral Council.  The Wirral Visitor Economy Strategy; created by local tourism businesses, industry experts, the Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Wirral Council; will see new promotions, events and attractions developed, to increase the value of Wirral's visitor economy to ₤450 million, per year by 2020. Already the fastest growing tourism destination in the region, the new strategy describes how the borough will focus on increasing overnight visitors, targeting younger and family groups, and increasing the amount of corporate and conference business attracted to the peninsula.  

Cllr Phill Brightmore, Wirral's cabinet member for Environment which also covers tourism and the visitor economy, said:- "I think we all sometimes take for granted just how special Wirral is. We are surrounded by stunning coast and countryside, unique garden villages, fantastic food and drink and places to stay; including the only Michelin star restaurant and 5 star hotel in Merseyside and we are perfectly positioned between Liverpool, Chester and Manchester. It is about time we started telling people about Wirral, and encouraging people from all across the UK and Europe to discover our unique peninsula. This strategy will help us massively, it will attract thousands of new visitors to the borough and help our award-winning and dedicated tourism businesses create many new jobs for local residents." 

Paula Basnett, CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, led the group of industry experts who developed the strategy. Paula said:- "I would like to thank the many regional and national experts who gave us their time and expertise to develop this strategy. I would also like to pay tribute to the local tourism businesses which have done and will continue to do so much to develop our visitor economy. We are extremely lucky in Wirral. Our food and drink offer is second to none; great restaurants, award-winning producers and breweries offering some of the most diverse and locally produced food in the UK.  We have to capitalise on this, shout about Wirral's offer and make sure we promote what a fabulous place this is to visit and enjoy. This strategy helps us do it, and I am delighted to be able to lead its delivery." 

The Wirral Visitor Economy will be considered by the Council's cabinet, on Monday, 19 June 2017.  So what are your views on this?  Please email us to:- with your thoughts.

Extending the hand of friendship

 A woman from Skelmersdale has recounted how being part of a friendship group has been the tonic to her happy life. "When I lost my husband, the support I received from other members was tremendous. Knowing there were people around me who cared made all the difference..." said Brenda Lowe, aged 59. Brenda has shared her experience in support of her local Oddellows group's 'Get your 5 a Day, every day' promotional campaign; appealing for new members to come along and give the group a try.  Brenda, originally from Plymouth, became an Oddfellows member at birth after her parents were so convinced by the support it offered. She explained:- "I was down to be an Oddfellow before I was even born in Plymouth. When I left home I was able to join the local branch in Ormskirk and Southport. It made making friends in a new area much easier. My grandparents were also members so we are now into the 3rd generation of Oddfellows members. Being part of a friendship group has given me support in a number of ways. Rebuilding my life after losing my husband, Derek, was made easier by the care shown by other members; a number of them would come round to my house to take me out. It was a touching and a very welcome distraction at such a difficult time."  Brenda, who went to work in the x-ray department at Ormskirk Hospital when she moved from Plymouth 39 years ago, made contact with the local Oddfellows Ormskirk and Southport District Branch through a patient she got talking to at the Hospital.  She explained:- "From there, it was easy. I went along to a meeting and I had found friends again, lovely people. I'd say the same to anyone in a similar position, just give it a try. I believe the Oddfellows offers something for everyone. You have people all around you for support when you might need it. I've made many lasting friendships as a result of being part of a local community group. We get together regularly, there are trips away; you just have lots of opportunity to spend enjoyable times with others. I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking to get out and about more, or would like to meet new people," she added. For more than 2 centuries, the Oddfellows, with 310,000 members and 132 Branches nationwide, has been serving up a unique recipe of friendship and support to local members, with the 5 key ingredients of regular social events, care and welfare support, travel clubs, discounted offers and historical archive access. To find out more about the Oddfellows in Ormskirk and Southport, and to receive a membership pack and local events diary, contact Bonita Hesketh on:- 01695 424149, sending an email or by visiting:- OddFellows.Co.UK for further details. Annual membership costs ₤30 a year (or ₤28 by Direct Debit).

1st National Clean Air Day marked by funding announcement for City Region electric vehicle charge points

THE 1st National Clean Air Day (NCAD) took place, on Thursday, 15 June 2017 and was marked in the Liverpool City Region by the announcement of a ₤110K fund to supply and install electric vehicle charge points (EVCs) at business premises across the City Region.  Any member of Merseytravel's free to join Employers' Network will be eligible to apply for the grant of up to ₤5,000 for the supply and installation of electric vehicle charge points, provided for the exclusive use of their staff, visitors, company pool and fleet vehicles, with no match funding required.  This initiative follows the ongoing success of Recharge, a network of charging points at key locations to support electric vehicle (EV) travel throughout the Liverpool City Region. The most recent of which is due to be installed in Prescot within weeks, bringing the total number of publically available charging points across the region to 54. Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of The Combined Authority Transport Committee, which oversees the work of Merseytravel said:- "The Merseytravel Employers Network allows businesses to promote more sustainable travel choices to their staff, including public transport, walking and cycling, so being able to offer grants for workplace charge points is a great way to extend this support and encourage some drivers to switch to electric vehicles."

The funding has been made available through the Growth Deal via the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to support the region's low carbon initiatives to provide cleaner air and encourage greater use and purchasing of electric vehicles.  Further details about the grants can be found on the Merseytravel website.

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