Green light expected for £73m Southport marine centre
Sefton Council planning officers have recommended councillors approve the Marine Lake Events Centre, which they estimate will attract 288,000 visitors a year.
The MLEC’s application will be voted on during Sefton Council’s planning committee meeting Thursday.
If approved, the £73m project will see the redevelopment of the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre site on Southport’s promenade. The centre will be replaced with a 103,000 sq ft event complex comprising a 2,400-capacity conference venue, a 1,200-seat theatre, offices, production facilities, ticket office, café, restaurant, meeting rooms, and a shop.
Kier is already lined up to build the venue, with a projected completion date of 2026.
One of the most exciting proposed features of the MLEC is the water and light show that would take place six times daily from 5pm to 10:30pm.
Car access to the MLEC will be from the existing Promenade and Seabank Road roundabout junction. There will be 142 parking spaces for vehicles, including 15 designated accessible and 14 bays with electric vehicle charging points. There will also be 48 cycle spaces for visitors.
Planning consultant CBRE estimates that the MLEC will create 290 on-site and off-site operational jobs, helping stimulate the area’s economy.
The MLEC is designed by AFL Architects, who built upon original work by HOK. Gardiner & Theobald is the project manager and cost consultant for the scheme. Optimised Environments is the landscape architect.
The £73m MLEC project is funded in part by £33.3m from Sefton Council’s successful Town Deal bid and a £20m investment by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Sefton Council is expecting to borrow the remaining funds.
In addition to AFL Architects, CBRE, and Gardiner & Theobald, the project team for MLEC includes civil engineer AECOM, venue consultant IPW, transport consultant WSP, noise and air quality expert Hydrock, and daylight and sunlight guru GIA.
Tetra Tech is the project’s aquatic ecology expert, while Carcius is charged with the same task on land. Tyler Grange is the arboricultural consultant.
Burro Happold is the waste management consultant and TEP is the visual impact assessor. Turley is assisting on community engagement. Also on the project team: Graeme Ives Heritage Planning, Cotswold Archaeology, Blue Sky Building.
If planning permission is secured for MLEC, ASM Global will operate the facility.
You can learn more about the plans for MLEC by searching application reference number DC/2022/01391 on the Sefton Council planning portal.