Lodge Lane – Toxteth Heritage Trail and Portas Pilot

I was delighted to be at the recent launch of the Toxteth Heritage Trail, which was officially opened by Mayor Joe Anderson at the Greenhouse Project in Lodge Lane.

The trail is covered by five separate mapped areas, a brochure, and pavement and bill-boards signage – signalling the most significant features and histories of the area.

More information can be found at www.liverpool1578.co.uk

Toxteth has a long and significant history stretching beyond that of the City of Liverpool itself. Some of its facts:

  • Toxteth appeared in the Domesday Book as Stochestede. Other spellings over the next 400 years include Tokestat, Toxstale, Tokstad and Toxstath
  • In the 14th century for 300 years, Toxteth was a Royal Deer Hunting Park
  • In the 17th century Puritans settled in the area. They appointed Richard Mather aged 15 as a schoolmaster
  • By the 19th century the area was densely populated with court housing, whose appalling conditions were graphically described by Dr Duncan, the first Public Health Officer
  • The Florence Institute – the Florrie – was the first purpose built boys club in the country when it opened in 1889
  • The area is home to many striking places of worship including St James in the City, St Patrick’s Chapel, the Welsh Presbyterian Church, Greek Orthodox Church and Synagogue.
  • Among the many people who have left their mark on Toxteth is Joseph Paxton who designed Princes Park, inspiring park design throughout the country.
  • A little known character from the area was José Arturo Castellanos Contreras who served as Consul General in a house in Bentley Road during the Second World War from where he saved thousands of lives by providing people with false nationality papers.
  • The Light Overhead Railway Station in the Dingle still has its underground platform and tunnel that can be walked all the way to the docks.

There has also been another great piece of recent news for Lodge Lane as it has been chosen by Government as one of 15 places from across the UK chosen in the second round of funding under the Portas Pilot initiative – named after entrepreneur Mary Portas – who has been asked by Government to review and look into reviving the UK’s high streets. There are now 27 Portas Pilots in the UK.

Led by the Tiber Young People’s Steering Group the bid, which has a strong level of local community support, focused on improving the local public square, and promoting business start-ups in the area – particularly through a new mentoring scheme.  It will also offer training to young people on becoming entrepreneurs.

As one of the pilots, Tiber Young People’s Group will now receive:

  • A share of £1.5 million to make their ideas a reality;
  • A dedicated contact point in Government to provide advice and support to encourage greater local business growth;
  • Free support from retail industry giants led by Boots, as well as Mary Portas’s team; and
  • Opportunities to meet and discuss lessons learned and experiences with fellow Portas Pilots

Congratulations to all at Tiber on this achievement. This will greatly benefit the local community in and around Lodge Lane.