Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has announced a potential £2.3 million to enable Sefton Council to carry out the next phase of project planning for a new multi-purpose Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport.
The proposal for pre-development funding is in a report that will be considered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority at its next meeting on Friday 26 November.
The new events complex would replace the existing Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, which closed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The planned centre, together with a sound and light show pier attraction leading into the adjacent lake, is at the heart of Sefton Council’s plans for Southport’s regeneration.
Speaking about the project, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“Our town centres have always been at the heart of our communities. They are the places where we meet, shop, relax and socialise but too many of our high streets have seen better days.
“Locally we’ve invested tens of millions of pounds to energise and improve our town centres. Despite the challenges the pandemic has posed, I want to safeguard Southport’s future and ensure that it can thrive for generations to come.”
The town has been awarded £37.5m from the government’s Towns Fund, with £30m of the total grant earmarked for a new events centre.
The Combined Authority’s funding, if approved, will finance the next phase of project planning, to achieve business plan submission in Spring 2022 and RIBA stage 3 design for the planning application.
Councillor Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said:
“As the largest investment project included within the Southport Town Deal, the Marine Lake Events Centre will provide Southport with an incredible events space with state-of-the-art facilities to attract a wide range of different types of entertainment events and audiences to Southport.
“We believe that attractions such as this will create a genuinely unique visitor experience and will only serve to strengthen our visitor economy.”
Councillor Janette Williamson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economy and Third Sector, said:
“Sefton Council has really exciting plans for Southport, to help restore this classic English seaside resort to its former glory. At the heart of those plans is a replacement for the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre. Our funding would help unlock that development, creating hundreds of jobs and attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town every year.”