AFL Architects designed the Marine Lake Events Centre. Credit: via Sefton Council

New images released for Southport’s £75m waterfront venue

With a public consultation beginning on Thursday, Sefton Council has unveiled additional CGIs showcasing what the future Marine Lake Events Centre may look like.

Manchester-based architect AFL designed the space, which would boast a café, restaurant, theatre, entertainment space and conference venue. The auditorium would have a capacity of 1,200 people.

The centre would also have a water and light show attraction, which the council hopes will attract thousands of visitors each year.

Funds for the project have come from the Towns Fund and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Credit: via Sefton Council

AFL’s work on the scheme draws from HOK Architects’ preliminary designs for the centre. The project team also includes civil engineers AECOM, venue consultant IPW, and Gardiner & Theobald as project manager and cost consultant.

The £75m project is funded in part through Sefton’s £37.5m award from the government’s Towns Fund. Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has contributed £2.3m to the scheme.

It centre’s auditorium will have a 1,200 person capacity. Credit: via Sefton Council

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Southport holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in our city region and beyond as being a family-favourite destination for days out and holidays alike. The town has been entertaining generations of visitors for as long as it has existed.

“We want to build on that legacy and make sure that Southport can continue to thrive and attract visitors for many more years to come, giving a massive boost to local businesses and creating good quality, secure jobs.”

Rotheram described the Marine Lake Event Centre as starting a new chapter in Southport’s history. “I, for one, cannot wait to see what the future has in store,” Rotheram said.

The centre will replace the old Southport Theatre and Convention Centre. Credit: via Sefton Council

The Marine Lake Event Centre would replace the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, which closed in 2020. It would be located off The Promenade by Marine Lake.

The consultation for the Marine Lake Event Centre runs from Thursday through 10 June. More information can be found at

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They need more quality and budget hotels to support the development.

By Anonymous

This is great, bring it on.


Well done, Sefton Council. I look forward to the day when Liverpool city council returns to being pro-development, pro-investment, pro-private sector and generally proactive.

I shall not hold my breath.

By Sceptical

What I can’t understand is L/pool is giving £2.3m and Southport wants nothing to do with Merseyside in the future so where is the logic.

By Alan Thurley

Looks like a 1960s car park

By Anonymous

Err.. when did Southport say it didn’t want to be part of Merseyside?

By JohnD

All talk this won’t happen, another publicity stunt by Sefton council

By Anonymous

It looks fantastic, but sefton never seems to get it done, just get on with it

By Douglas Roberts

Looks good. Now full steam ahead

By Trevor Willis

Southport needs to reestablish itself as a resort destination, funding cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing streets, hotel improvements and other tourist focused businesses. Pretending a few dad rock concerts are going to revatilise Southport shows Sefton officials’ lack of imagination and understanding of the area.

By Kenny Loggind

Well done Sefton Council its about time investment came to Southport instead of the towns equity being invested elsewhere, but there should be a Southport Borough Council within the Sefton Area

By Me2you

It’s looks fantastic.

By Mike ale and beers st helens

I hope that the pavements will be cleaned from bird muck also dog excrement, its disgusting having to step around this. It should be jet washed at night as they do in France. The amount of foreign visitors must return home with a terrible impression.

By Jennifer Jenkins

Although it’s a great idea, how is it justified?. You need local infrastructure, to support it. Parking, transport, hotels, restaurants. Southport is dear to my heart, this is a great idea, but will be poorly implemented

By Jaime Glenn

No images from the front side of the building facing the road. Surely that’s the side most people will see. I suspect they haven’t resolved the scale…

By Anonymous

Need to spend the money on doing up lord Street and get it back to what it used to be like..
So many empty shops!!

By Anonymous

Im quite disappointed that with a £75 million budget none is earmarked for Southport beach. The beautiful beach that once existed has grass growing on most of it. Im saddened the natural beach had disappeared due to the poor decision of the councillors. What a shame families will not be able to enjoy the sand and the sea any more. Surely clearing the beach would attract holiday makers and create more revenue. Unfortunately I believe Sefton council will continue to ignore the problem and the beach will be Southport eyesore.

By Claire

This looks amazing. It will give Southport the boost it deserves.

By Gordon Keen

Looks about as attractive as Preston Bus Station!
Not very in keeping to the local area’s historical architecture. Maybe some more Art Deco style would be of benefit to improve it? Can’t understand what is so “amazing” about it? To me it looks ugly and I am all for investment and improvements but what will happen to the historic floral Hall? Can the interiors be saved and moved to elsewhere in town to be incorporated into a new building if the rest is to be demolished?


There is nothing wrong with the current Theatre we have at the moment. Just cleaning up repair the current theatre reopen it’s doors. The new plans are to ambitious. The money would be better spent 1. Putting in the Burscough curve and having direct trains from southport to both Preston and Ormskik to improve transportation links to the town..2 use that money to clean up the buildings on Lord Street 3. Tear down the ugly 1960s entrance to southport Station and build a front to make it more appealing. 4. Use the money to clean up the town centre and repair things in disrepair and preserve the Victorian heritage in southport

By Anonymous

Great..Another Bland Plastic Box..No Wait..Que up and Let’s Pretend it’s Beautiful..

By John Lynn

How about Lord St. Once such a beautiful place for people to enjoy shopping and spending money in our town. Baskets of flowers all along the covered walkways.
Quality shops, windows tastefully dressed.
Now all empty, pavements filthy an unpleasant unpleasant embarrassment to those of us who live here. Get your priorities right!

By Anonymous

Looks very nice and maybe very good for the town, but I can’t help thinking Lord Street used to look good but not a lot of people can afford to run their businesses there anymore, let’s hope for a better outcome.

By Mike. From Southport

Be great if it visually fit in to the historic Victorian resort instead of looking like it could be from anywhere in the world…

By Anonymous

Great for the Liverpool City Region


It would be nice to see it open again but what will make it any different to its previous use with a 75milliin price tag, so why was is shut and could it not have been made over at a smaller cost to struggling councils
How is it known that it will be used anymore???

By Alison Bell

I must say that the artist’s impression designs are modern, impressive & thought of a new Lake Events Centre in the resort is nice to hear that money is being spent to improve the aspects of the resort and provide benefits for certain types of people. But I strongly feel this is not something Southport needs at this moment in time.

Because the purpose of this development is to attract tourists to the resort from far and wide to attend events & watch light displays on the lake & listen to music. But when visitors & tourists intend on visiting Southport to attend these events in the future traveling from far & wide they will likely be wanting somewhere decent to stay over.

Due to hearing complaints about the quality of service that some of these local big hotels provide & the states of disrepair they’re in will certainly not impress people to visit here.

Also because it’s causing unnecessary costs to make way for this development & should be stopped as it isn’t needed at this moment in time.

The current site should be saved from demolition, used as something else if renovation is needed then so be it.

The council should take responsibility for other areas especially affected areas & prioritize them first.

By Andrew N

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