AFL heads project team for £75m Southport waterside venue
The Manchester-based architect heads up the team tasked with developing the 1,200-capacity Marine Lake Events Centre, to be part-funded by a £37.5m Town Deal award.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said: “AFL Architects will provide detailed and achievable designs, capturing the modern and sleek feel of the new-look centre, while preserving the surrounding heritage and history of the promenade to complement the versatility we want the centre to have.”
HOK Architects had drawn up preliminary designs for the scheme.
As well as AFL Architects, Sefton Council has appointed three other firms to lead on the development of the £75m project.
Specialist venue consultant IPW, project manager and cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald, and civil engineering consultants AECOM make up the project team.
“The Marine Lake Events Centre will provide Southport with an incredible events space with state-of-the-art facilities to attract different types of entertainment, events and audiences to the resort,” Atkinson added.
“That is why we need to work with the very best of the best to help deliver this project effectively and successfully from the very beginning. We chose firms that share our passion and ambition to transform Southport into a thriving and vibrant visitor destination.”
The plans feature a new venue with a 1,200-capacity auditorium, exhibition space and coworking areas. A water, light and sound attraction would also be delivered at the lake.
The council claims the creation of the venue will boost visitor numbers by 515,000 a year.
As well as the Town Deal funding, the project is being supported by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which has provided £2.3m in pre-development funding and has pledged an additional £20m.
Sefton Council is now on the hunt for a company to operate the venue and has launched a tender for the job, advertising a £9m, 25-year contract.