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Lancashire, Bootle’s economy has been centred on the docks and their associated industries for decades. In the 18th century, it was known as Bootle cum Linacre. Liverpool in the early 19th century. Liverpool are located in the area known locally as ‘Bootle Village’. 1840s and Bootle experienced rapid growth.
Seaforth Sands to the north. The town became heavily industrialised. Bootle, formerly occupied by dock workers. These are built in distinctive pressed red brick. Bootle’s town hall and other municipal buildings were erected in the last quarter of the 19th century. The population of the town swelled during this period, boosted in large part by Irish immigration and the attraction of plentiful work on the docks.
The wealth to pay for the splendour of the town hall and the gentrified ‘Bootle Village’ area was generated by these docks. The skilled workers lived in terraced houses in the east of the town, while the casual dock labourers lived in cramped, dwellings near the dockside. Stories about three streets in particular caused great alarm. They were Raleigh Street, Dundas Street and Lyons Street. The last was the scene of a crime dubbed ‘The Teapot Murder’ by local press. Bootle was remarkable in other, more positive ways.
Sprakeling was appointed the first Medical Officer of Health, and was instrumental in improving sanitary conditions in the town. Tree lined streets surrounded magnificent open spaces, such as Derby Park, North Park and South Park. The town successfully fought against absorption by neighbouring Liverpool in 1903. Situated immediately adjoining the city of Liverpool, and the site of numerous docks, Bootle had the distinction of being the most heavily bombed borough in the UK. Bootle and the ship’s bell and flags signalling the General Chase can still be seen in Bootle Town Hall’s council chamber today. 1950s reduced Bootle’s connection to Liverpool. Bootle did share in the postwar boom.
The centre of the town was redeveloped and the ‘Bootle New Strand’ shopping centre was opened in the late 1960s. At the same time, new offices were built in the town centre. The local authority, and other ‘social’ landlords, saw to it that new housing was built and older stock renovated. Bootle did not go down the route of massive housing clearance, and many local communities remained intact. The borough celebrated its centenary in 1968 and civic pride was much in evidence. Bootle suffered high unemployment and a declining population. In the early 1970s local government reorganisation saw Bootle lose its borough status, to be absorbed into the new local authority of Sefton.
More fundamental than political change was economic change. The very reason for Bootle’s existence, the access to the Mersey, became almost irrelevant as the docks closed and the new container port required far fewer workers than the old docks had. This in turn affected practically every other industry in the town. The problems slowly gathered pace until Merseyside hit crisis point in the early 1980s.
Even by 2006 the area was one of the poorest in the country and had high levels of unemployment. Many old houses are being demolished to make way for new housing projects and lots of regeneration projects for existing properties and council buildings are ongoing. It is perhaps in this new spirit of optimism, that banners have appeared, adorning the town centre with the Latin motto of the former borough: ‘Respice, Aspice, Prospice. In 2008, the town centre management programme was introduced, via the Stepclever initiative, to support SME businesses and drive the regeneration of Bootle as a retail destination. The programme has delivered a new brand image, and a website, . 1980s has meant that Bootle is ranked as only the tenth worst area for unemployment in Britain, and all other parts of the region have lower unemployment—a stark contrast to the 1970s and 1980s when areas of Merseyside dominated the list of Britain’s least economically active areas.
The college delivers over 300 courses to more than 7,000 students with course levels from Entry Level to Level 3, A Levels, apprenticeships and university level courses and degrees. In January 2014, a multimillion-pound facility called the L20 Building located on Stanley Road was opened. This houses a dedicated University Centre with open-plan study areas for students studying University level courses. There are two railway stations served by frequent electric services from Liverpool to Southport.