Sefton’s Hole In One – amazing golf-themed art structure at The Atkinson, Southport

An amazing golf-themed art structure will dominate the Southport skyline ahead of the 146th Open Golf Championship. 

With the Championship soon to tee off, Sefton Council has come up with a fitting way to engage with the local community and the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to the borough for the event.

The art structure, based at The Atkinson in Southport town centre, will stand over 10 metres tall and five metres wide – covering the entire height of the Atkinson façade – and is inspired by every golfer’s dream; a hole in one. 

Four giant golf clubs replicating the motion of a swing are placed at the top of the building, with 20 golf balls depicting the trajectory of the ball into a hole at ground level.  It’s hoped the piece of art will be a talking point and will prove a popular spot for selfies and snapshots by visitors and local residents. 

The artwork, commissioned by Wild Creations, is just one of many activities in Southport to herald the staging of The 146th Open on England’s Golf Coast having worked hand in hand with golf’s governing body, The R&A. 

During the week of the Open Championship, Southport will be running the fantastic FREE ‘Summer of Golf’ event. With interactive golf activities, golf exhibitions and lots more it will be a great place to spend some time, whether you’re a seasoned golfer or new to the game. It will centre around the Town Hall Gardens and The Atkinson, right in the heart of the town. This runs from July 15-23. 

From July 20-23, Rick Shiels and Peter Finch, golf bloggers and reviewers, will be there to give their thoughts on the day’s play. There is also a chance to win one of four lessons with them through visitsouthport social media. 

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“The hole in one artwork is a great spectacle and a great way to mark the onset of the prestigious Championship. 

“We are expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Sefton along with millions watching on TV for the Championship and the hole in one artwork is one of many initiatives planned to ensure everyone leaves our amazing borough with a great memory of The 146th Open. 

“Please get behind the Championship and really put Sefton in the global spotlight.” 

Johnnie Cole Hamilton, Executive Director of Championships at The R&A, said:

“We are delighted that Sefton Council have commemorated the return of The Open to Royal Birkdale with such an awe-inspiring mural in the iconic Town Hall Gardens. The Open is the one they all want to win and we are delighted that golf fans and local residents alike can celebrate the Championship coming back to Southport. 

“We have no doubt it will prove a popular tourist attraction throughout The Open for people of all ages and with The R&A offering free tickets to Royal Birkdale for all children under-16, we are confident watching the world’s top golfers can leave a lasting legacy in the area.” 

Matt Wild, Wild Creations Director, said:

“It was an honour to be invited to work with Sefton Council to create a build for The Open. 

“We knew that for such a prestigious event we would have to go big and so jointly we came up with the design of a supersize structure that couldn’t fail to catch the eye. 

“Our main goal was to create a static structure that had a sense of movement and for us the key really was in the detail so over a period of weeks every dimple of every golf ball was hand crafted with the finishing touch of the Sefton Council logo really bringing the sculpture to life.” 

Adult and Youth (16-24) season tickets are available to purchase for the 146th Open. Visit for full details. 

During the Championship please follow us on twitter @seftoncouncil @visitsouthport @TheOpen and follow #TheOpen, #OpenTravel #Southporttime for advice, information and travel tips.

Free golf lessons for children as part of the ‘Summer of Golf’

Free golf lessons are available for children at the Summer of Golf interactive village in Southport town centre.

The village, in the Town Hall Gardens outside The Atkinson, has been set up by Sefton Council and Southport BID for visitors and residents during the Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Special golf lessons just for children aged three and above are taking place with PGA professionals.

The lessons are from 11am-noon and 3pm-4pm on Thursday, July 20 and 10am-11am on Friday, July 21.

Just head to the interactive village to find out more.

Bootle Schools Come Together to Celebrate Local History

A digital map of Bootle’s captivating history has been developed by pupils of Bootle schools.

Each of the schools focused on a specific aspect of local history and found out about the history of their schools and their connections with famous people; they discovered about mysterious buildings on the Leeds Liverpool Canal, as well as Johnson’s dye-works.

The pupils did their own research and investigations into their chosen area, taking part in ‘History Days’, outdoor visits and engaging with re-enactors who brought aspects of the history to life in the classroom and provided artefacts for the children to handle.  For many it was the first time that they had been able to visit The Atkinson.

The Atkinson has supported this project as part of the programme of activities linked to the museum development, which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery.  This has enabled the schools to work with leading web designers Fuzzy Duck in creating the Bootle History Website – which means the schools are able to digitalise the map and add new important discoveries  all the time.

The Strand Partnership is a collaborative of 24 schools in South Sefton, who work together to improve the training and development of staff, programmes for pupils and to develop collaborative working across the sites.

Every year the Strand Partnership schools come together to work on a project and this year we are delighted that it was with The Atkinson, who were able to help them develop this incredible  map of historical events and places for their local area. This new digital resource will be added to for years to come and act as an educational resource to teach local heritage in schools whilst helping to instil a real sense of pride of place in their home town.

David Atkin – Strand Facilitator said:

Everyone agreed that the project was a great success, but we also agreed that it was just a start!  There was plenty of work left to do, much more research to undertake, many more things to be discovered!

The Strand Schools Council History Project, ‘Our Bootle History’ has engaged pupils and staff across South Sefton and created a very modern new resource which will benefit our schools forever.”

Emma Anderson, Director, The Atkinson said:

“This has been a fabulous project for us to be involved in. The schools have worked incredibly hard and have developed something very special and that they can be proud of and develop further. Bootle has such an interesting and varied history that it is important that local pupils learn about it and can feel proud of where they come from.”

The Bootle History Map is being launched on 6 July at a special event at Bootle Cricket Club for everyone who has worked and been involved in the project.

To see what the pupils discovered check out the digital map at

The Atkinson, Southport, launches Comedy Club 4 Kids

Comedy is always a big pull for The Atkinson and this May they are starting a Comedy Club 4 Kids – which they are aiming will be a great way for all the family to have a laugh together.

Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children (aged 6+) and their families… but without the rude bits!

A decade later, the company has expanded from one London residency to being countrywide, running shows and workshops all over the UK from Peebles to Portsmouth, even producing a book on how to write and perform stand-up.

The show is family friendly, but without any patronising idiocy. In fact, it’s just like a normal comedy club, but it’s on in the day, kids are allowed in, and thus there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like “why is that your face!?”

Comedy Club 4Kids takes place at The Atkinson on Saturday, May 27 at 2.30 pm.

Comedy Club 4 Kids will be back at Christmas with Comedy Club 4 Kids Christmas Cracker on December 16.

For more information about the event or to book, visit or call Box Office on 01704 533333 or buy over the counter during opening hours.

Atkinson wins top family friendly award

THE ATKINSON, Sefton’s family arts venue won the Most Family Friendly Venue award at the 2016 Southport Ambassador Awards.

The venue, run and managed by Sefton Council has been working hard to put families at the heart of its offer, for residents, visitors and tourists to the region since opening in 2013 after a major redevelopment.

As a destination it offers a holistic family friendly offer with an interactive Museum and Discover Ancient Egypt Gallery, Exhibitions, a Children’s Theatre programme and a welcoming Children’s Library.

The recognition has come just weeks after Linaker Children’s Centre recently started delivering its family services from the Children’s Library in The Atkinson, strengthening the offer and support for families even further.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member Communities and Housing said: “This is a great result for The Atkinson. They work with many partners across Sefton to deliver a great offer for families and the work it does is important to the region. I hope that lots of new families will now be encouraged to see what the venue has to offer.”

Emma Anderson, The Atkinson Director, added: “This demonstrates that The Atkinson is a fantastic place for all families to have a wonderful time together here. My team has done a brilliant job in developing this offer and we are delighted that Linaker Children’s Centre is now part of this.”

The Atkinson will continues to develop its family offer with the launch of the new Star Wars exhibition; May The Toys Be With You opening on Saturday November 19 and sponsored by Chris Tinsley Estate Agents (Christmas Light Switch On Day), the Arts in Libraries project and the fantastic year round children’s theatre programme .

It is also in the process of launching its Schools Membership Scheme which we hope will encourage relationships with schools to visit and make the most out of the support the venue and its team can offer with onsite learning, creative play and local history.