Southport could enjoy a real “renaissance” as a destination for families and business delegates if a £50million bid for Town Deal funding is successful, says MP Damien Moore.
The Southport Conservative MP was part of a bid board which submitted its proposals to the Government on 31 October with the aim of kick-starting the redevelopment of the seaside resort.
The plans include the creation of a new waterside events centre, an immersive light and sound show in the Marine Lake, infrastructure funding to support the transformation of Southport Pleasureland into an all year attraction and the conversion of empty town centre space to provide incubator space for new businesses.
Mr Moore is calling on Ministers to back Southport’s Town Deal bid, which he believes is essential to help the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ ambitions while also helping the resort to build back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “If the Town Deal submission is successful then it will secure the biggest single investment in Southport in generations.
“It then has the potential to unlock an estimated further £350million of private investment.
“Southport has suffered over 20 years of neglect which we must work hard to reverse.
“In the same week that we submitted the Southport Town Deal proposals to the Government, we saw Sefton Council enter into an exclusivity agreement with Go Surf to create a world class Southport Cove Resort in Southport. This is a £40million all year round attraction which would create 120 new jobs, and is a great example of the type of investor interest Southport will attract if our Town Deal bid is successful.
“This Government is keen to help ‘Level Up’ the UK. To do this successfully it has to support investment in towns such as Southport and not just big cities.
“The Towns Fund was set up to invest £3.6 billion into over 100 towns, including Southport, as part of the Government’s plan to level up our regions.
“This is a Conservative Government which has created this initiative and is giving Southport and other towns the opportunity to bid for this funding.
“With that level of funding, the Government cannot simply write a blank cheque and hand it over. It has to ensure that any bids for funding will demonstrate the potential to give value for money and to have the potential to attract further private investment.”
During 2020, a Southport Town Deal bid board consulted widely with local people, businesses and other stakeholders in Southport as they put together their funding proposals.