Garrick Southport, P, planning docs

Sefton Council ha sapproved plans to turn the Garrick Theatre in Southport into a mixed use development. Credit: Planning docs

Historic Southport theatre to be transformed into 109-bed hotel

Redevelopment of the grade two-listed Garrick building on Lord Street in the town centre will include 12 apartments.

Change of use plans for the venue, submitted by developer Garrick Southport, and approved by Sefton Council’s planning department, also include a pool, retail units, gym, box office, and a bar and restaurant.

A theatre area and performance space are at the heart of renovation plans for the mixed-use scheme.

Having played host to the likes of Julie Andrews and Laurel and Hardy in its heyday the building was home to a Mecca Bingo until the Covid pandemic struck, but has been empty in recent years.

It was originally designed by architect George Tonge in an art deco style and has been an important landmark for Southport for generations, according to a planning officer report.

Original features such as the auditorium are to be brought back to life as part of the development with demolition work to be kept to a minimum. The rear of the stage and the fly tower will be used to house the nine-storey hotel element of the scheme.

The hotel reception, apartments, spa, event space and retail units will be at ground floor level.

Each of the one- and two-bed apartments will have open plan kitchen, dining, and living areas.

On the project team are Footprint Design, Absolute Services, Steven Abbott Associates, Arbtech, ADC Acoustics, SCP, and Rob Burns of Place and Context.

To view the plans, search for reference numbers DC/2023/00888 and DC/2023/00889 on Sefton Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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Great to see this – potentially – being brought back into use, but losing the fly tower/stage area seems a bad idea. While Sefton Council has been throwing money at the new theatre/events centre, and the Atkinson, which has many of the compromises you get with a conversion, they’ve had a fully complete and well-preserved theatre, of less than 100 years old, sat there for years mostly as a bingo hall and more recently empty. Cutting off the stage and former dressing rooms, and squeezing in flats unless they have superb sound insulation, would seem very much to limit what the auditorium can be used for. On the other hand, at least someone is trying…

By Lord Street

It would be nice to see the lovely pier opened again after all this time

By M clegg

Will any parking be available?

By Anonymous

When will the building be completed?

By Anonymous

I think it’s regrettable that this signature, well respected and characterful, purpose built theatre isn’t being restored to full scale theatre use, and don’t understand why Southport is planning to build a new one when such a fine potential home of theatre is already standing in the wings. I think this is a missed opportunity sadly, and one that would have helped restore vibrancy to Southport’s legendary Lord Street at the same time. Is it too late for a re-think?

By David Blake

Rather unusual for Bootle to do something, anything to improve Southport. A new station would be great though we are not Kirkby….yet

By John

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