A consultation has opened on a masterplan for Southport that proposes new leisure attractions, investment in conferencing and theatre space, waterfront living, a transport interchange and high street regeneration.
The plans also include the possible development of a “marine village” on brownfield sites around the Marine Lake.
Infrastructure-related proposals include rerouting through-traffic to improve road users’ experience of the landmark Lord Street, including the reconfiguration of road space to create a mile-long cycle boulevard and give more space to pedestrians. A town centre multistorey car park is also proposed.
Turley has been appointed to lead on the Southport: Made for Living Well masterplan, with the professional team also including RAL Architects and Prime Transport Planning. Initial consultation is to run until 20 July.
The consultation will inform Southport’s bid for a £25m share of the Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund. A town deal board has been set up to lead plans, and work on attracting further funding and private investment to the town.
With a retail pitch affected by the departure of Debenham’s, BHS and Beale’s in recent years, Sefton Council is keen to diversify what it calls the Southport’s “destination core”. Proposals within the consultation include revivifying the shopping core with new anchor uses, including a digital & creative hub and artisan market.
It also floats the possibility of new uses for vacant department store buildings, including co-working space and apartments at Debenham’s, and a boutique hotel, cinema, dining and events space at the Beale’s store.
Rob Fletcher, chairman of the Southport Town Deal Board, said: “Stakeholders in Southport are passionate about their town. We want to harness that positive energy to make our bid to the Towns Fund a success and to unlock significant investment for the town.
“We look forward to hearing what people think of the proposals as well as sharing their own ideas for the future of Southport.”
Southport has allocated land for over 2,000 homes and further development potential at the Southport Business Park. The Towns Fund bid is expected to be submitted later this summer.