The planned redesign of the town’s market has been recommended for approval by the council’s cabinet next Thursday, a vital step towards progressing the project.
The proposed redesign and refurbishment of the town centre site, designed by Warrington-based studio DV8 Designs, would see the creation of a modern food and drinks space with space for eight food traders, along with a flexible events and market area.
It is part of a larger town centre regeneration roadmap unveiled by Sefton Council last month, called Southport Vision 2050.
The planned market revamp is expected to generate a six-figure profit for Sefton Council three years after completion, compared to a current overspend of almost £300,000, according to a report submitted to the council ahead of next week’s meeting.
Occupancy of the market is currently below 20%, resulting in a “significant overspend” on its £75,000 budget, the report noted.
The market’s annual profit target stands at £162,000 but if it was to remain in its current guise, it is forecast to make a £130,000 loss for the next financial year, according to the council.
Funding for the £1.4m market refresh has already been secured from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which contributed £500,000 and the Southport Town Deal acceleration fund, a further £900,000.
Work on the project could start later this year, subject to council approval. Under the plans, all market traders would be offered turnover rental agreements to ensure low risk to their business, the council report added.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said: “This project is a cornerstone of what the Southport Town Deal is all about and securing additional external funding to completely transform the building shows real commitment from Sefton Council.”
“There is a clear need to ensure this impressive venue evolves into a modern and stunning food and drinks space.
“This project will create opportunities for new business start-ups and job creation, and we have shown our full commitment to helping these businesses to grow by implementing a turnover rental model.”