£37m Southport waterfront centre moves a step closer - what new Marine Lake Events Centre will look like
Revamp of Southport Marina area could bring in £18 million annually to the local economy.
Thousands of extra tourists could soon flock to Southport to enjoy a brand new Marine Lake Events Centre and Water Show project (MLEC) if plans are approved.
Sefton Council submitted a detailed planning application for the creation of the new muti-million pound facility this week.
The project is part of the Southport Town Deal, which secured £37.5 million of funding in 2021. It follows the success of Southport Market, which has already opened.
If the plans are approved MLEC could bring more than half a million visitors to Southport every year and generate an annual income of £18 million for the local economy.
MLEC will include a theatre space, a conference and exhibition centre, a cafe and a restaurant. It will replace the former Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, which closed back in 2020.
The planning submission follows a public consultation process which was held by the council. Their consultation found that 84% of residents and businesses in the resort are in favour of MLEC being created.
Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, Cllr Marion Atkinson said: “These exciting and innovative designs will help attract a diverse range of quality events to the town all year round.
“The public recognises our ambitions to boost Southport’s cultural offer and visitor economy, as well as ultimately to support local businesses and increase spend.
“Our plans for MLEC directly compliments the ongoing and continued investment Sefton Council makes towards improving the future of the town for our amazing communities and visitors.”
One unique aspect of the project is the light installation on the Marine Lake - currently titled ‘The Light Fantastic.’
The show will attract thousands of additional visitors to the town as nothing else similar can be found anywhere else in the UK.
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “Southport holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in our city region and beyond as being a family-favourite destination for days out and holidays alike.
“The town has been entertaining generations of visitors for as long as it has existed. We want to build on that legacy and make sure that Southport can continue to thrive and attract visitors for many more years to come, giving a massive boost to local businesses and creating good quality, secure jobs.
“We are working with Sefton Council to drive the town’s revival and start a new chapter in its story. I for one cannot wait to see what the future has in store.”