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Historic fog bell in Southport restored thanks to community grant

The Marshside Fog Bell, located on Marshside Road in Southport, was originally built in 1869 after seven Marshside men sadly lost their lives on the Ribble Estuary due to thick fog and rising tides.


The Fog Bell was transferred over to One Vision Housing as part of a housing stock transfer from Sefton Council, before being gifted to North West Heritage CIC. One Vision Housing is part of The Sovini Group, an integrated supply chain solution for the housing sector, that generated £48.8 million in social value during 2022/23.

Through a grant from One Vision Housing’s Community Development Fund and support from fellow Group members, North West Heritage CIC were able to restore the building using materials donated by Sovini Construction and Sovini Trade Supplies.

One Vison Housing also sponsored a public open event to celebrate the building’s restoration, as part of the Heritage Open Days Festival.

The event was a special day for Marshside’s residents, including Gladys Armstrong, who told Paul Sherman, leader of the restoration, that it was her dying wish to see it conserved.

Gladys Armstrong, local resident, commented:

“I think it’s wonderful – it’s absolutely amazing! The emotion is because my predecessors used this building on a regular basis. And to be back here after so many years is just incredible. I can’t thank Paul enough. It is an extra special day today. We are so lucky to have people like Paul and his crew doing things like this. I would encourage people to come and not just see it but also to understand why it’s here and what its purpose is going to be now.”

Ian Mitchell, Managing Director at One Vision Housing added:

“As part of The Sovini Group, we are committed to creating opportunities and changing lives. We are honoured to have supported the Marshside Fog Bell project, which supports our vision of forging a better future for the communities we serve, by restoring a piece of local history. The impact this restoration has had on the lives of residents is unwavering.”

Using the HACT Social Value Calculator, which was formed following extensive research to measure the positive impact of social initiatives, One Vision Housing were able to determine that over £85k of social value has been generated through the restoration project.

A total of £15,000 is available each year for voluntary and community groups through One Vision Housing’s Community Development Fund. Applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year.

To learn more about the fund and how to apply for a grant, please visit

To learn more about the project, please contact Paul Sherman: