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It was announced earlier this year that Sefton Council has appointed an experienced team, including leading architecture firm AFL Architects, to work on plans that will provide Southport with a first class events space and a new visitor attraction that will animate the Marine Lake.
The project has been named following feedback from local school children during the Town Deal consultation in 2020. The plans will provide a theatre space, conference and exhibition centre able to accommodate a range of events, and café/restaurant on the site of the existing Southport Theatre and Conference Centre. A water and light show is proposed to be installed on the Marine Lake.
The project will bring thousands of visitors to the town each year and provide a boost to the local economy.
The Marine Lake Events Centre and Marine Lake water and light show forms part of the Southport Town Deal which secured £37.5 million funding in 2021. The project has also secured further support from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Work on the Marine Lake Events Centre follows the success of Southport Market, which opened its doors last year and has helped to kickstart regeneration of the Market Quarter. The council has also recently consulted on plans to improve access to the eastern side of Southport and public realm improvements for the town centre.
The Marine Lake Events Centre team will start conversations with stakeholders over the next few weeks with public consultation planned to take place in May. A planning application is expected to be submitted in early summer 2022.
Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We are really excited that the project is starting to take shape. During the consultation on the Town Deal in 2020, the need for investment in the current theatre was something lots of people wanted to see and the “big idea” to animate the Marine Lake was widely welcomed.
“There are a number of aspects of the project that need careful consideration, so we have appointed an expert team to start having conversations and to help design and deliver this important project for Southport.
“We plan to undertake a wider public consultation on the plans in May, providing an opportunity for everyone to see and comment on the plans before a planning application is submitted.”
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