A £1.4m project to transform a Merseyside Victorian market into a thriving food and drinks venue is will under way and a local wood-fired pizza brand has now signed up to take a unit. Tony McDonough reports
A £1.4m project to transform Southport Market onto a new food and drink venue has secured its first tenant.
Southport Market dates back to 1857 but had become tired and uninviting with empty units. In 2018, Sefton Council revealed a new plan for the market to turn it into a venue similar to outlets in Liverpool such as Baltic Market and Duke Street Food and Drink.
Work is already under way on the scheme, which is being supported by £900,000 from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Southport Town Deal acceleration fund.
It is aiming for a spring/summer opening and this week has announced it has signed up wood-fired pizza brand 600 Degrees for one of the 11 units. The units will be supported by fresh produce from Blackhursts Butchers.
Since 2017, 600 Degrees has been catering at weddings, private parties and corporate events across the North West. Founder Dan Johnstone said “It all started when I visited The Amalfi Coast and spent some time in Naples, the home of the Neapolitan Pizza.
“I already had a great passion for cooking, so this gave me the inspiration to perfect my homemade pizza dough and follow the authentic methods of cooking pizzas. Over the years I have loved entertaining and cooking for friends and family at home with the brick pizza oven.”
Each day, the dough will be freshly made in the 600 Degrees kitchen in the new market using Caputo flour, yeast, salt and water then left to prove for 48hrs. Dan added: “We can’t wait to serve the people of Southport and are excited to be part of this exciting journey.”
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said “Dan’s passion is truly evident, and I am sure 600 Degrees will be a great addition for Southport Town Centre. It’s really pleasing to see local business taking the opportunity to locate in the new market and creating local jobs.
“This is exactly how we want the market to work and will strive to work together with all the new traders to ensure the market is a success for Southport.”
Over the next few weeks several other traders will be announced, revealing the mix of food and drink offers that will make up the new market, supporting local businesses and people.