A US events and venue management firm that operates across the world signs deal to run the new £73m Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport. Tony McDonough reports
Global events and venue management firm ASM Global has signed a deal with Sefton Council to run the new £73m Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC) in Southport.
LBN reported in August 2022 that Sefton Council announced California-based ASM as its preferred partner to run the facility. On Wednesday the authority announced both parties had now put pen to paper.
In April Sefton Council gave the go-ahead for the MLEC which, when open, will see the creation of 290 jobs. It will replace the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre which closed in 2020. In August main contractor Kier started work on the project.
Offering a theatre as well as exhibition and conference facilities, the MLEC is expected to bring more than 500,000 extra visitors to the town each year and will include a spectacular light show on the water.
It is one of a number of schemes being developed as a result of the successful bid for £37.5m of Town Deal funding for Southport.
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has approved £17.7m of funding for the centre. This was on top of £2.3m the CA had already committed to the pre-development work.
ASM, part of the Legends International Group, already operates a network of more than 350 venues around the world, which host 20,000 events every year.
They include the ICC Sydney Convention Centre, Avicii Arena in Stockholm, OVO Arena Wembley in London, Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, and State Farm Stadium, among many others.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “There’s only one word for it – wow.
“To attract such a huge name like ASM Global to Sefton shows unequivocally our ambition, determination and passion towards delivering this incredible MLEC project.
“It also reflects unwavering industry confidence in the project and a firm belief that it will be a resounding success.”
Chris Bray, president of ASM Global Europe, added: “The Marine Lake Events Centre is a unique leisure, events and cultural destination, diverse enough to host everything from live music, theatre shows and conferences and exhibitions – the potential is enormous.
“It’s a hugely attractive development which is set to drive over half a million visitors to Southport all year around.
“We are pleased to move ahead today towards an exciting future alongside the local council and their design team, who we will continue to work collaboratively with to develop the best possible venue for Southport.”