Plans for the £73m project were lodged in July. via Sefton Council

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. 

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Interesting strategy, the business case for an events venue in Southport must be challenging, music and other entertainment where visitors are willing to travel to see entertainers sounds a driver.


I am glad that Southport is having the improvement because it has been left going downhill for a while, this will bring holidaymakers back to the town.

By Anonymous

wow. and i thought they had already been multi million pounds of investment on the southport waterfront where there is already hotels a functionable theatre etc. What is the occupancy rate of all this now. Oh and the other mere matter of the demise of Lord street with no rescue plan and where even Weatherspoons is today announced its closing. mmmm

By Bill McGarry

This project looks fantastic and will bring a much needed boost to footfall and buzz in winter. Southport just has a perception problem – people living in the past and talking the town down. There’s so many great venues (places like The Bold, The Grand, The market hall) and things to do in the town – and continued investment means the future is bright.

By Anonymous

Not interested in new building it’s the PIER that everyone wants fixed not a light show

By Ada Price

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