Govt releases £33.3m for major Southport scheme
Whitehall has approved Sefton Council’s business case for the Marine Lake Events Centre, the banner project within its £37.5m Town Deal allocation.
With plans for the £73m project already submitted, Sefton Council has amassed £53.3m of the funding required: £33.3m from the Town Deal, and £20.3m from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
The council intends to borrow the rest.
“The Marine Lake Events Centre is a hugely exciting and hugely important scheme for Southport and Sefton,” said the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and skills, Cllr Marion Atkinson.
“It’s critical that, subject to planning approval, we can now get on and deliver for the residents of Sefton.”
The new development will provide a 1,200-capacity modern theatre space, a conference and exhibition centre able to accommodate a wide range of events, and café and signature restaurant.
Plans also include a new water and light show installation on the Marine Lake, with the working title of ‘The Light Fantastic’.
AFL Architects has designed the scheme, building on preliminary designs from HOK. CGIs showing how the completed scheme will look were released in May.
The project team also includes civil engineer Aecom, venue consultant IPW and Gardiner & Theobald as project manager and cost consultant.
Once complete and operational, MLEC is expected to bring more than 500,000 visitors to Southport per year, while generating an annual £18m for the local economy.
Sefton’s other Town Deal projects are the Enterprise Arcade, which will see Crown Buildings refurbished to create business incubator space for Southport’s creative, digital and tech sector; and Les Transformations de Southport, a public spaces and active travel project.