Work is now underway on the future site of the Marine Lake Events Centre, in line with the programme schedule for the Southport Town Deal.
Hoardings are now being erected around the site, and service diversions are being undertaken, as Sefton Council and its partners begin the first stage of physical works to create the exciting, multi-use centre in the heart of Southport.
The works, carried out by the Local Authority’s appointed contractor Kier, will see historic assets from Southport Theatre and Convention Centre safely removed and preserved prior to the demolition of the existing building.
It is expected that demolition works will take a number of months, but first major utility diversions will be undertaken that will see critical work to water and electrical connections around the site.
Detailed feedback from community engagement carried out by Sefton Council and it partners has helped guide each stage of the Marine Lake Events Centre project.
Located on the site of the former Southport Theatre, the state-of-the-art, £73 million Marine Lake Events Centre will be a flexible events space. It is expected to bring more than half a million new visitors to Southport each year and generate an annual £18 million boost for the local economy. This will, in turn, lead to a significant number of job opportunities.
The Marine Lake Events Centre is one of the schemes being developed as a result of the successful bid for £37.5m of Town Deal funding for Southport. A significant proportion of this funding is for the Centre, as well as for the Light Fantastic, a water, light and sound show in the adjacent Marine Lake.
Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) recently approved £17.7 million of funding for the new Marine Lake Events Centre. This was on top of £2.3 million the Combined Authority had already committed to the pre-development work. Sefton Council will also provide funding of up to £19.7 million for the project.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said:
“Getting contractors on site is the start of our fantastic, shared vision for the future of Southport’s waterfront and tourism economy becoming a reality.
“By attracting attract more than 500,000 additional visitors to Southport year on year and generating an extra £18 million for the local economy annually, the Events Centre and accompanying Light Show will be transformational for the town.
“They support our key objectives of providing more reasons to visit, to stay, to stay longer, and to do so all year round. And all of these will mean the creation of quality employment and career opportunities in the area.
“From the moment we revealed this ambitious project, we have sought the views and feedback of those living and working near to the site, as well as the wider community.
“We are delighted at the overwhelming support and excitement that the Marine Lake Events Centre has generated, and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for this brilliant project.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:
“Southport holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in our city region and beyond. While we’re incredibly proud of the town’s history and heritage, I firmly believe that Southport’s best days still lie ahead.
“Building on its legacy as a tourist town, I want to ensure that Southport can continue to thrive and attract visitors for many years to come. Thanks to devolution, we’re committing significant investments into projects like to the Marine Lake Events Centre to help get Southport on the up again.”
Further updates will be provided before the commencement of the main demolition and enabling works take place.