A brand new, 1200-seater, first class events space is being planned for Southport.
The Marine Lake Events Centre (a working title suggested by one of the 300-plus schoolchildren who responded to the targeted consultation on the project) will provide Southport with a flexible events space targeted at the mid-sized conferencing market, but with particular emphasis on the e-sports market.
As one of the Southport students said, “making Southport cool”.
Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “The existing Southport Theatre and Convention Centre has a long and proud history and is an asset that stirs great passion among Sandgrounders, in an incredible location in town, but in need of radical transformation of the building and its offer.
“But the venue closed earlier this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so this project would redevelop the site creating a new events complex with state-of-the-art technical facilities, to attract a wide range of different types of entertainment events and audiences to Southport.”
The auditorium will also be suitable for large conferences, supported by a fully flexible and sub-divisible spaces, a 1,500 m2 exhibition space capable of hosting over 3,000 people for major esports events, and designed to continue to accommodate the type of community-led events currently held in the Floral Hall.
A fully accessible new pier, extending the connections from the Upper Promenade, through the atrium to the Marine Lake, completed by a floor lighting feature at the end, will connect with the spectacular Light Fantastic installation also proposed via the Town Deal. These two spectacular projects together form a proposition and a destination unique to the UK leisure and conferencing markets, which it is hoped will drive increased visitor numbers, both day and staying.
Creating over 230 new jobs in the town (plus an additional 160 in its construction) the venue will bring a major boost to Southport’s economy, attracting more than 300,000 new visitors to Southport every year, including more than 100,000 from outside the Liverpool City Region.
Cllr Maher continued: “The project is the centrepiece of the Town Deal bid submitted to government on 30th October by the Southport Town Deal board, given the board’s recognition of its importance to the local economy and its prominence in the consultation and engagement feedback. It will also be a catalyst for wider investment and development, as evidenced by Go Surf’s vision for the Southport Cove project announced last week.
“Feedback on the Town Deal bid is expected in the New Year.”
A world class venue, with sustainability at its heart, the building will be BREEAM Excellent