Sefton proceeds with £14m Southport Cultural Centre

Consultant Capita Symonds is advising Sefton Borough Council on a £14m tender brief for the refurbishment project involving the main cultural assets in Southport.

Southport Arts Centre and adjoining Atkinson Art Gallery and Southport Central Library will be modernised and linkages improved to create a new Southport Cultural Centre.

The listed 140-year-old buildings on Lord Street are seen as key to the regeneration effort in Southport town centre. The council hopes the improved facilities will attract higher profile exhibitions and performances with a view to increasing visitor numbers to the resort.

Funding for the project was agreed at the start of 2009 with the North West Development Agency, the Government's national Sea Change programme, Heritage Lottery Fund, and Sefton Council.

The work will include installing new mechanical and electrical systems, reconfiguration of theatres and library spaces, improved pedestrian flows and security to meet large 'blockbuster' exhibition requirements and a new café and other facilities.

Capita Symonds anticipates a 22-month build. A contractor will be named for the work in the New Year.

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