Well Sefton lights up Oriel Road's underpass

The Oriel Road rail underpass, in Bootle, has undergone a major transformation thanks to the collaborative work of Well Sefton and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

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The Oriel Road rail underpass, in Bootle, has undergone a major transformation thanks to the collaborative work of Sefton Council, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Safe Regeneration.

Forming part of the Well Sefton project, which aims to create a better Bootle, the regeneration aimed to breathe new life into the underpass which had fallen into a state of disrepair.

Well Sefton is a collaborative programme that is working to improve the health and wellbeing of the people living and working in Bootle by creating a vibrant and connected community, living in a more pleasant environment. The collaboration is made up of Sefton Council, Safe Regeneration, Regenerus, YKids, Sefton CVS and the South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group.

Volunteers from Safe Regeneration joined forces with service users from Mersey Care’s substance misuse service, Ambition Sefton, to revamp the public walkway between Oriel Road and Canal Street. The volunteer team cleaned and stripped graffiti from the tunnel walls before repainting and decorating with unique designs under the expert direction of Stella Lang, creative artist at Safe Regeneration. Each piece of artwork tells a story and shares an experience of the volunteers and artists involved in the project. Sefton Council’s highways maintenance department ensured that repairs were made to lighting and drainage systems.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The work to transform the underpass is truly outstanding and it will certainly help to create a safer community, especially for those who use the walkway.

“I would like to thank the council’s highways maintenance team for ensuring all repairs were made and of course all of the wonderful volunteers from Safe Regeneration and Mersey Care for their fantastic work.”

Brian Dawe, CEO at Safe Regeneration, said: "SAFE Regeneration has been delighted to work in partnership with Sefton Council and Mersey Care to transform a dark, threatening area into a light, welcoming walkway.

"The spectacular result is a true work of art and a real tribute to all those involved, showing what we can all do together to make a positive improvement to our community!"

Joe Rafferty, chief executive at Mersey Care, added: "This project is a terrific example of small scale inter-agency activity that makes an immediate difference.

"Local artists have smarted up and created stunning designs in what was, to be fair, a dark and intimidating railway underpass. The underpass provides a much needed route to Ambition Sefton on Canal Street and thanks to the transformation, service users now have a safer path into treatment."