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Monday, 28 March 2011 (3013541)
Rotten Row ripe for funding boost
by Natasha Young

SOUTHPORT'S Rotten Row is to be returned to its former glory, thanks to a £50,000 boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Birkdale Civic Society applied for the cash boost during autumn last year and, having now been told the bid was successful, it's calling on the local community to help revamp the site.

Ralph Gregson, chair of the civic society, told the Champion: “Rotten Row was the one place everyone used to walk down, but over the years it has not been given the right treatment.

”It's lost its herbaceous glory, there used to be plants for every time of the year.“

The society is also hoping to secure £10,000 of Section 106 funding from Sefton Council, which can be used for off-site tree planting and the proviosion of green space, to allow a £60,000 refurbishment of the area.

According to Mr Gregson, the funding will pay for mechanical work to remove the current plants on the seaward side of Rotten Row, making the ground fit for replanting and adding new plants. Small fences could also be installed.

He added: ”We've been looking at what it was like in the past and we're trying to recreate that.“

One condition of the for the HLF funding, which can only be spent on this project, is that the members of the public must be able to get involved in the work, and Sefton Council are also required to provide technical support to make sure it goes ahead properly.

Half of the agreed HLF grant has been awarded now, and the other half will be given once improvement can be shown as a result of the project getting underway.

The grant must be used by 2012.

Mr Gregson said: ”We hope the public will realise its state and will want to get involved. Whether they're gardeners or not it doesn't matter as there will be roles for everyone.“

A public meeting will be held in the council chamber of Southport Town Hall on May 11 for anyone who is inetersted in getting involved. For more information on how to help, contact Ralph Gregson on 01704 566254.


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