In order to raise additional cash for the beleaguered metropolitan borough of Sefton, vast tracts of sand in Southport are set to be used for advertising.
"It's perfect," said Bill Bored, councillor for advertising in Sefton. "There's about three hundred square miles of sand there that nobody uses. We plan to make the adverts large enough to be seen from planes flying over Southport."
Plans are being drawn up for exactly what form the adverts will take, and attract potential advertisers. With space not an issue, as the sea rarely gets within a nautical mile of the promenade.
"The route over Southport is the main flight path for planes coming in from America heading for Manchester," said Bored. "We're hopeful that this will allow us to attract advertisers of the calibre of hardly-alcoholic beer and fast food restaurants our colonial cousins are comfortable with."
Several hotel chains are said to be interested in the plan, as the over-sized adverts would allow them to attract visitors to the English seaside resort looking for cheep hotel deals.
"There are a couple of ways we could create the adverts," said Bored. "We could paint them onto the sand, or build large hoardings with the adverts on, or finally, we could draw them into the sand. There are about five hundred children who would do that for nothing, but they are not very artistic and the adverts would have to be renewed daily when the wind blows the sand into the grooves."
There are downsides to the other approaches too.
"To create a wooden sign would use all of the wood at every DIY store in Sefton," said Bored. "While painting directly onto sand would also need regular renewal. We also have to consider the three days a year that the sea becomes visible from the promenade. On those days the adverts would not be visible."
This latter issue is a sticking point for potential advertisers.
"Ideally," said Madam Payne, who runs one of Southport's more popular bed and breakfasts, "we'd want our advert visible all year around."