The planned transformation of the market has taken a step forward after the council bagged a seven-figure grant, enabling the project to complete this financial year subject to approval of a business case being submitted in September.
A total of £900,000 of the Government Acceleration Grant would be spent on the market and the remaining £100,000 would go towards lighting improvements on Lord Street, Southport’s main retail area.
Last August, Warrington-based studio DV8 Designs was appointed to lead the redesign of the market.
The vision for the redesign will draw on the successes of European food markets and incorporate a cultural model that encourages social eating and sharing, local partnership and collaboration, and supporting local producers and small businesses.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said the money would go towards achieving the council’s long-term vision for Southport.
“Southport Market is part of our Southport masterplan and we recognise how important such a social space would be to the local economic and tourism sector.
“It will bring a market culture experience to the town that some cities across the UK have successfully introduced already and which European towns and cities have become celebrated for.”
Mark Lawler, managing director of Baltic Creative and member of the Southport Town Deal Board, said: “As a seaside town that is renowned for its great food and drink offer, we think that [the market] will be the perfect complement to Southport’s already impressive social offer, which is already recognised for championing independent businesses.”
Sefton Council is also seeking a larger grant of £25m from the Government’s Town Deal Fund to progress a wider regeneration of Southport town centre.
The plans include includes a £70m theatre, a waterfront residential development at Marine Lake and the possibility of co-working space and apartments at the former Debenham’s, and a boutique hotel, cinema, dining and events space at the Beale’s store.