Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport CGI UPDATED Sefton Council p planning documents

ASM Global was appointed to operate the entertainment venue last August. Credit: via planning documents

Sefton greenlights £73m Southport events centre

The council is eyeing a 2026 delivery of the Marine Lakes Event Centre following its approval yesterday, which is expected to generate an annual £18m boost for the local economy.

The banner project of the council’s £37m Town Deal will see the redevelopment of the former Southport Theatre to deliver the 103,000 sq ft complex on Southport’s promenade.

A 1,200-seat theatre and 2,400-capacity conference and exhibition space will feature in the MLEC, estimated to attract 288,000 visitors a year.

Offices, production facilities, meeting rooms, and a ticket office will also be delivered, as well as a café, restaurant, and shop.

Perhaps most excitingly, the UK’s first light and water installation, ‘The Light Fantastic’, will be delivered for visitors to enjoy six times daily from 5pm to 10:30pm.

The existing Promenade and Seabank Road roundabout junction will provide car access to the venue.

A total of 142 car parking spaces will be available for visitors, including 15 accessible and 14 with electric vehicle charging points. There will also be 48 cycle spaces provided.

The £73m project is being funded by £33.3m of Sefton Council’s Town Deal pot and a £20m investment by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Sefton Council intends to borrow the rest.

ASM Global will operate the venue following their appointment last August, before Sefton Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and central government approved the project’s business case in December.

The MLEC’s approval follows Kier Construction’s appointment as contractor in March.

Also on the project team is planning consultant CBRE, AFL Architects, and project manager Gardiner & Theobald.

WSP is advising on transport, while Hydrock is advising on noise and air quality. Tyler Grange is the arboricultural consultant. AECOM is the civil engineer.

Stephen Watson, Sefton Council’s executive director of place, said: “This new events centre supports our strategic objectives of providing more reasons to visit, to stay, and to do so all year round – all of which support the creation of quality employment and career opportunities in the sector.

“From the moment we revealed this ambitious project the views and feedback of those living and working near to the site, as well as the wider community, were key to getting to this stage.”

Derek McKenzie, Sefton Council’s chief planning officer, added: “This is one of many fantastic examples of collaborative and dedicated working between Sefton’s planning department, an applicant, and multiple internal and external consultees.

“This pre-application support has undoubtedly been a vital factor in ensuring the approval of this development.”

More about the plans can be found by searching for application number DC/2022/01391 on Sefton Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

That’s great news…..but what about the rest of the Marine Lake.The concrete thats shoreing up the Promenade and the features that surround the lake at both ends need some major work done on them. Don’t just do half a job, give the whole of the lake a major overhaul.

By Anonymous

Why not make a new larger skateboard park very much needed

By Alma

What about the wildlife on the lake with lights going for hrs at night

By Julie

Brilliant news let’s put Southport back on the map and return it to its former glory . The shops in lord street should all receive a new canopy and all the hotels refurbished to a 21st Century look.

By Alan

Just get on with it quick before the town dies

By Billy bob

Great news but what about the disgusting state of the roads and dangerous pavements and the lack of keeping the whole of Southport litter free and weed free. It is shameful. What re we aying our council tax for ?

By Christine Taylor

142 parking spaces isn’t even 5% of the venue capacity, and as for 15 accessible spaces? That’s disgusting. Typical bad planning.

By JJ Leigh

This is going to be a game changer for the town and its future prospects! Hopefully this dovetails with further regeneration around the Promenade Conservation area and beyond. Smartening up properties frontages and the public realm is key to peoples perception of the place when they visit.

By Southport Swan

The Tory conference won`t come near Liverpool but they might be tempted by Southport with it`s new conference centre and sea air, the main problem would be rail connections.
It will have to be all change at Wigan .

By Anonymous

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below