Southport Market 2
The market will have room for eight food and drink traders

Vision revealed for Southport market

Sefton Council has unveiled proposals to transform the market on King Street into an enhanced food & drink offering and events space.

While the local authority reiterated the plans were at an early stage, it has shared images of what the market could look like, featuring self-contained food retail units, flexible market and event space, and an improved food & drink offer.

The council said the existing operating model “needs to be adapted to meet changing consumer and business demands”, and added it was “talking to current stall holders” about its future plans for the site.

Sefton added it was “totally committed” to keeping the market operational during any possible refurbishment as it looks to make it “a key visitor destination”.

The existing market is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Saturday, with existing occupiers including Blackhurst’s Butchers along with several craft and clothing stalls.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and housing, said: “We really value Southport Market but sadly it has become evident that many factors are making trading conditions extremely difficult and occupancy levels continue to fall.

“While we have been actively promoting it and trying to secure new traders along with other initiatives to help deliver a long-term sustainable future for the market, this has sadly not worked.

“As a result, and building on our former investment at the market, new plans are being developed to potentially transform the building into a unique offer that will only benefit the town and the wider borough.

“Nothing is set in stone and as we develop further plans over the coming weeks and months we will ensure existing traders are fully kept up to date and consulted on any final plans.

“While we totally understand how trading conditions have been difficult in the market for many months, we remain committed to supporting traders throughout this exciting process and will continue to do so.”

Southport Market 1

Your Comments

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Well if Altrincham and The Baltic success stories are anything to go by this could be good! Will it be dog friendly?

By Bob Dawson

Glad to see Sefton becoming more proactive. Looking forward to the plans! Let’s see them get a move on with Bootle Strand too. The whole Borough needs a much more proactive approach, and if people can see things happening maybe it will help stop the bickering about who gets what.

By Roscoe

Good news for Southport but would prefer it without the Sefton tag.

By Sandgrounder

There’s numerous eyesores in and around the town centre which should be prioritised before money is spent on new things. There is little sense in spending on new projects which are subsequently inadequately maintained thereafter just creating more eyesores. And who is helping those poor beggars littering Lord Street get some support, self esteem, and a little dignity back in their lives?
New projects are great! Once you have rectified the failures. Do that first.
As regards trade and business in Southport, I am afraid people need a bit more money in their pockets, a problem which is beyond the reach of any council. However, maybe if the business rates were a bit less, goods could be sold a bit cheaper, businesses would thrive a bit more, and then more businesses would be encouraged to open up, resulting in more tax revenue for the council which they could then use a proportion of to rejuvenate and maintain everything that is being neglected.
I don’t want to be too hard on the council. They have and are doing a lot of good things in Southport. However, it does need cranking up a notch.

By John Parry

Weeks and Months?!
Get your fingers out, and set your eyes on Southport for a change!

By Ruth

It sounds like a great idea it would be a nice if they perhaps closed of the portion of market Street between King Street and Eastbank street, pedestrianised it and put tables and chairs outside it would entice people in to that area. Then perhaps the old McDonald site would become a more desirable opportunity for a business to invest in. Sefton do need to realise though that high rent and rates have played a part in the decline of what was a bustling town centre. Small independent businesses need nurturing and encouragement. The food and drink festival is full of these types of businesses and with a little bit of give in the system that atmosphere could be recreated in and around the market area. Also Mr Parry the ‘ poor beggars littering lord street’ are human beings not pieces of rubbish!

By Sarah

I wish them well and no doubt something along those lines will have an effect. But it is always worrying when professionals merely copy & paste concepts from one place to another…it’s Starbucking a town all over again – just without the Starbucks!!

By A Developer

A good first step. You only have to look at Altrincham and Baltic to see the regenerative effects of a buzzy food hall.

Placemaking issues in the immediate area should be addressed so that the potential for rapid uptake of redundant space by independents keen to tap in to the vibe can be maximised.

As for concerns that this is just ‘cut and paste regeneration’, the varied nature of the independent retailers that would occupy such a space will mitigate against that. Take a look at the new Duke Street Food Market in Liverpool for evidence.

Well done Sefton Council – slowly getting your act together. Just need to up the pace now…

By Sceptical

Let’s hope it’ll be cheaper than Mackie Mayor. Eye watering.

By Dan

This is our concept, I can’t believe people are copying us again.

By Mackie Mayor

Actually, I the concept is Time Out in Lisbon…everything else is a copy.
Lets not pretend otherwise please…

By anonymous

Congratulations to the council for noticing the market is nearly void of stalls,it wouldn’t have anything to do with rent charges would it??

By A.Graham

@A.Graham There’s a solution to the ‘high rent’ issue. Tried, tested, proven and workable. It’s called Till Share.

All the new tenants must use the same EPOS (till and stock control) system, which is controlled by the landlord. The landlord charges a rent acknowledged as a given percentage below the prevailing market rent and then takes a percentage share of each trader’s income.

That way, both the landlord’s and tenants’ interests are completely aligned: they succeed or fail together. So they’ve all got to put a shift in on every single factor that can determine success, from marketing to customer service, product quality to estate management and more.

Not rocket science, and certainly something you’d hope Sefton Council will be looking at. Or, better still, outsourcing the market’s management to someone who knows what they’re doing, like the chaps behind the Duke St Food Market or the young lads at Independent Liverpool.

By Sceptical