A ‘green’ grant scheme that provides funding to help Bootle residents carry out local environmental improvements is making a positive difference to life in the town.
The first projects to receive support from the Environmental Improvements Fund are now complete and demonstrate the benefits the scheme can bring to the area.
The fund offers between £250 and £1,000 to new projects developed by local people in Linacre Electoral Ward, encouraging projects which promote volunteering and also create opportunities for new friendships.
The funding for the grants has come from Sefton Council, and the scheme is managed by Bootle-based community regeneration specialists Regenerus.
One of the completed projects has seen Safe Regeneration Ltd, Bootle Action Group, Hugh Baird College and local volunteers clean up the corner of Strand Road and Derby Road on the busy A565 gateway road into Liverpool.
The overgrown land has been tidied up and landscaped, a wildflower patch has been created and wooden planters have been added to the site to make it a much more attractive welcome to the town.
In addition, striking artwork on the adjoining wall points residents and visitors alike in the direction of information on the #destinationbootle regeneration initiative.
Another project has been completed by the Independence Initiative, a Bootle-based organisation which helps people in addiction recovery to rebuild their lives.
The project has involved the organisation’s clients improving their general wellbeing by clearing overgrown plots, establishing new garden spaces and in doing so learning new horticultural skills.
As part of this process the Independence Initiative’s own gardens have been given a makeover to provide a green and pleasant area for clients to relax in.
Meanwhile, other projects supported by the Environmental Improvements Fund are still in progress.
For example in Bootle’s North Park the Gateway Collective and its team of volunteers are planting fruit trees, veg plants and herbs to develop a community ‘pick your own’ project.
They are also creating wildflower areas in the park, and around the bases of trees in surrounding roads, to provide colour and beauty in the area.
And homeless charity Emmaus Merseyside has also received a grant to support its work on a community space on the previously overgrown Seaforth Green.
The grant will pay for measures to protect the much-improved site which has been plagued in the past by joy riders in cars and on motorcycles.
More recently grants have been awarded to projects that will install planters to brighten up Knowsley Road and Strand Road in Bootle, and also renovate the local Martin’s Garden memorial.
Commenting on the success of these projects, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, Cllr Trish Hardy, said: “Improving the natural environment, by greening up our kerbsides and local spaces, not only creates an area we can all be proud of, but also contributes to Sefton’s clean air strategy as urban forestry plays a crucial role in tackling polluted air by reducing CO2.
“Each successful environmental improvement project is helping to improve air quality, which in turn has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of local residents.”
Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Environmental Improvements Fund. More information and an application form are available here.