AMBITIOUS £50million proposals to regenerate Southport have been welcomed by the town’s MP Damien Moore.
He says he is excited by the Southport Town Deal submission which will kickstart a wider £400m investment in the town and bring 1,250 additional jobs to the area as a result of the initial projects. It includes a new convention and events centre on the site of the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, which closed earlier this year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The waterside events centre would house a 1,200-seat auditorium, exhibition halls as well as a cafe and co-working space.
The plan also aims to regenerate the town centre and drive business growth. Lord Street, the town’s grand boulevard that inspired the Champs Elysees, would be restored to its former glory and a new events space created. A business incubator is proposed in one of Southport’s vacant town centre buildings providing much needed space for the town’s digital and creative businesses. A larger Enterprise Store would also be developed in a former department store building to provide scale-up accommodation for growing businesses. An immersive water, light and sound show experience is proposed on the Marine Lake. The existing Southport Pleasureland would be transformed, partnering with a globally recognised brand to create a themed indoor attraction open to visitors all year round.
Mr Moore said: “The projects put forward as part of the Southport Town Deal submission are really exciting news for Southport. The scope of these projects is huge, and they will unlock millions of pounds in further regeneration funding and create hundreds of new jobs.
“As MP for Southport, I was delighted to be able to secure the opportunity for Southport to bid for this £50million in vital regeneration funding through the Town Deal process. The initial aim was to bid for £25million in support, but we have now submitted proposals for projects totalling £50million.
“Southport needs to build back stronger after this Coronavirus pandemic. “The first £1million of Southport Town Deal funding has already been released by the Government. £900,000 of that has been agreed so that work could begin on November 2to transform Southport Market into an exciting new food, drink and events hub.
“A further £100,000 is going to Southport BID in match funding to provide decorative lighting along Lord Street.
“Residents and businesses in Southport want to see positive change happening and this is the start of many good things to come.”
The Southport Town Deal projects aim to attract further investment into Southport, as private firms realise the possibilities happening in the town. That has already been seen in the news last week that Go Surf is eager to invest £40million in creating 120 new jobs at the brand new Southport Cove resort on the seafront. Mr Moore said he has recently been speaking to other business leaders who are also keen to develop new projects in Southport. He said: “Although it is early days, the Southport Town Deal is already proving to be a catalyst for growth and attracting major investors to Southport.
“We are already seeing very exciting plans develop with Norman Wallis and his Pleasureland site.
“We are also seeing other plans with schemes such as Techedia creating 70 new jobs at their new premises on Corporation Street and JSM Company group’s transformation of the former BHS building into 30 new apart hotels alongside five shops and a pub on the ground floor.
“There is massive optimism in Southport at the moment. There are other things I am engaging with, so hopefully there will be even more good news to come very soon.
“Over the next 10 weeks I will be working night and day to ensure that the Southport Town Deal, and the projects which will be submitted as part of that, will have a substantial impact on the future of Southport.”
Southport Town Deal Board, which Damien Moore is a member of, has submitted its ambitious £50 million plan for regeneration as part of the government’s Town Deals Fund, developed to ‘level up’ and drive the economic regeneration of towns across England.
Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Town Board said: “Our plan has been informed by the biggest conversation that the town has ever had about its future. We’ve had 7,000 pieces of individual feedback from residents, business and visitors. 700 school children from the town have also put their ideas forward. Our plan is designed to provide opportunities for our current residents and future generations.”
Dwayne Johnson, chief executive at Sefton Council, said: “The Town Deal process has raised the profile of Southport with investors and we can already see the positive effect it is having. For example, Sefton Council has just announced an exclusivity agreement with GoSurf to create The Southport Cove Resort. This £40m privately financed investment will bring a unique surf wave poo