Lee Durkin at Bedford Park in Birkdale in Southport

A Southport businessman is calling for the creation of an Eco Park to be created in our town, which would be the first of its kind. 

Lee Durkin, who has worked in the family business MD Joinery since 1997, is eager to see the transformation of Bedford Park in Birkdale. 

Consultation is currently taking place over Southport Town Deal, with people being encouraged to submit their views on what should be included in a ‘Southport Masterplan’ which will guide the initial projects submitted for £25million regeneration funding. 

People’s views are being sought online until July 20 at:  https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/futuresouthport/

A number of ‘Big Ideas’ have already been put forward which include reinvesting in Southport Theatre & Convention Centre, creating a new ‘Marine Village’ around the Marine Lake and building a new rail, bus and cycle interchange. 

But Lee Durkin, who has lived in Birkdale since 1998, believes the Town Deal board needs to look beyond schemes in the town centre. 

Read More: Botanic Gardens would love a lake revamp, bridges restored and new water features under Town Deal

He said: “Seeing some of the Town Deal ideas, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. From Ainsdale to Marshside, it is a great opportunity to improve the area.

“Whilst I appreciate this funding is great for Southport town centre, I would like to add my plan for Birkdale too.

“My plan would incorporate redeveloping Bedford Park, a well-known community area with potential to convert it into an Eco Park, the first of its kind. My guide estimate would be around £2million to £2.5million of the fund. For this we could see Bedford Park transformed into a true attraction for locals and people from afar.”

Mr Durkin’s suggestions would include: 

A wildflower section to help the struggling bee population

Underground water collection units for watering flowers and flushing toilets

Solar power and wind power to cut costs and create a Green Zone

Buildings would be environmentally friendly using timber and other green materials

A butterfly dome

A café which would offer jobs to adults with learning difficulties, which would then support funding to maintain the park long-term.

A new children’s play area similar to the one at Kings Gardens.

An education room for local infant schools to use for environmental education.

Greenhouses for the local In Bloom teams to use so flowers we see around the town can be grown with ease.

A purpose built track / path for Parkruns and other fitness activities 

A meditation garden for relaxation

New 5 a side football pitches

A sensory room for children with disabilities

A car park with fair charges

A mini show area for flower shows, street entertainers or community shows .

Lee Durkin has lived in Birkdale since 1998 and has worked in the family business, MD Joinery, since 1997. 

He said: “I have been there and looked into facts and figures. I feel this is achievable. 

“I have spoken with a number of local residents and they feel the Town Deal funding should come to the people and help with matters such as local jobs, children’s education, children’s development,  adult social care, our environment and it would turn a local community area  into a way forward for Birkdale.”

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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