Ainsdale Beach in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Ainsdale-On-Sea could be the focus of new investment through the Southport Town Deal. 

With a stunning beach, sand dunes, Ainsdale Lido, promenade and Toad Hall, Ainsdale was once a grand seaside setting which could have rivalled Southport as a seaside holiday destination. 

With the Southport Town Deal Wider Consultation now taking place, some people are calling for an ‘Ainsdale Beach Gateway’ to be included in a new Masterplan for Southport. 

People are being urged to view the Big Ideas and submit their views online at https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/futuresouthport/

Those without internet access can call the consultation hotline on 0808 168 8296. It closes on until Monday 20th July. 

The Masterplan proposes a series of projects which will help to build a local economy which is more resilient, diverse and which operates all year round.

Among the ‘Big Ideas’ suggested in the ‘Strong Economy’ section of the consultation is the option to invest in an Ainsdale-on-Sea Visitor Hub.

This would involved developing a plan for investment in the leisure assets in Ainsdale-on-Sea to create an enhanced visitor experience including, but not limited to:

Visitor reception facilities

Education / interpretation of the Sefton Coast

Food and drink offer

Cycle hub and facilities

Car parking

Ainsdale community champion Brenda Porter won a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Merseyside Women of the Year Awards last year for her tireless work in the area. 

She said: “Ainsdale already has so much, but it needs improving.

“While Southport provides what everyone would expect – shops, hotels, restaurants, beach etc from the tourism – aspect Ainsdale is an environmental gift.

Read More: 12 ways Southport town centre could be transformed through Town Deal

“The beach has easy access, areas of special scientific interest, a proposed nature reserve that the public can access, and provides so much rare plant and animal wildlife.

“In addition we have the quality restaurants and bars within a Village which is now recognised as worth visiting. I am slightly biased, but all facts that are true! 

“When I was a child growing up in Liverpool you either went to Southport – busy, and more money spent – or Ainsdale, which was quieter, but where you enjoyed the beach and nature with a Village nearby. Money was still spent, but it was a different day out.

“I remember when Pontins was going to be sold and the buyers supported me in placing a sculpture of an aircraft on the roundabout. They were wise. They intended to make Ainsdale an environmental centre, welcoming tourists from far and wide, which would have boosted our Village economy and Sefton’s finances throughout the year.”

Brenda loves the beach, but believes the asset can be improved. 

She said: “Ainsdale has a great beach with easy access but needs many improvements.

“It would benefit from a decent controlled entrance, and car parking facilities.

“The former Toad Hall and Sands pub buildings need to be sorted, and there need to be stricter rules in place for Pontins.

“Above all Ainsdale is, environmentally, a gift, with nationally recognised plant and animal wildlife, areas of special scientific interest and plans recognised in principle for a Nature Reserve.

Stand Up For Ainsdale….This is Ainsdale past and present and although our Village is quiet due to the current situation it will return to its former welcoming environment.What todays experiences has confirmed to us is that we are a community that cares for each other and will continue to do so. Take Care, Stay Safe,Stay at Home, Protect and Support thè NHS and Save Lives

Posted by Brenda Porter on Wednesday, 15 April 2020

“The reserve would be designed, we have a video, that all would be able to enjoy throughout Sefton and further afield including schools.

“Ainsdale provides an excellent  environment, a beach and a pretty popular Village.

“We need a bus service to our beach.

“Not many resorts can provide all year round facilities for tourism, but we can. There is something for everyone.” 

Others also supported the idea of more investment in Ainsdale. 

Speaking on Stand Up For Southport, Carina Baylis said: “Ainsdale Beach Gateway is such a missed opportunity.

“A decent food pub there would be a goldmine and Toad Hall turned into holiday lets with a nice cafe / bistro on the ground floor would be very popular.

“Could incorporate a shop selling beach wares, and decent loos with changing rooms. Refurb the existing loos as well as you can never have enough!

“Extend the car park at the old Lido so there’s adequate parking all year round with the beach also open in the Summer.

“Toad Hall and The Sands would be done with private investment so would not even cost the Council or the Town Deal fund much money.”

DO you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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