Sefton Council has learnt that it has been unsuccessful in the current round of bids for Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) of Townscape Heritage grants.
Bidding for a project in Southport was part of a two stage process: Sefton failed in a bid for a Stage 1 development grant of £67k which would have led to a later delivery grant of up to £1.5 million of HLF funding.
The Stage 1 funding is oversubscribed and nationally competitive. It would have allowed a detailed planning and action plan phase for improving the heritage of Southport by physical improvements to buildings, training and education along with the regeneration and strengthening links between the town centre and the seafront.
Despite receiving positive feedback from HLF about the application, Sefton just missed out in funding.
Labour Cllr Daren Veidman, Cabinet Member Planning and Building Control, said: “We submitted a quality bid following strong consultation and to miss out like this is hugely disappointing.
“Our bid was encouraged by both Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a significant amount of time and resources were devoted to it to assure it was the best it could be.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in submitting the bid and we will now look at the feedback provided by HLF and reflect on their comments with the view of submitting again in the coming year.”
Labour Cllr Marion Atkinson, Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, added: “We are totally committed to the overall development of Southport, and whilst this is a setback, it must be acknowledged that the areas the Townscape Heritage grant would have helped to secure intervention onto would have been the streets linking Lord Street and the Promenade.
“There are still many other exciting projects, grant bids, and planned investments, infrastructure improvements and initiatives for the wider Southport town centre planned.
“We had the whole hearted support of the local community for this along with the Southport BID team and while disappointing, we will continue to look for the best options for Southport which encourage further investment in the town.”