The council wants to turn the historic Southport town centre building into a 15,000 sq ft start-up hub known as the Enterprise Arcade.
Enterprise Arcade is meant to provide a space for freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to work and collaborate. It is meant to offer both high tech and affordable workspaces.
The creation of Enterprise Arcade will mean the refurbishment of the Crown Buildings, which is adjacent to Southport’s Cambridge Walks shopping arcade.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, the council’s Labour cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said: “This is a key project for the regeneration and economic diversification of Southport’s economy…
“Nationally we are seeing a move away from traditional working environments and more and more people are embracing flexible and hybrid work opportunities,” she continued.
“Our Enterprise Arcade will be the ideal location for a whole host of start-up and growing businesses and individuals, whether they be in the early incubator stages of developing their brand or simply in need of flexibility and an agile approach to their working practices.
Liverpool-based architects K2 are developing feasibility designs for Enterprise Arcade. Sefton Council said procurement for detailed design work will begin later this year.
The project is part of the Southport Town Deal programme, which includes the Marine Lake Events Centre and creating 323,000 sq ft of accessible public spaces. Southport had been awarded offers of £37.5m by the government for the projects.
Sefton Council’s cabinet is expected to formally approve the Enterprise Arcade plans at its 7 October meeting.