Lake House operator looks to expand across Sefton

A business owned by Sefton Council that runs three hospitality outlets in the borough is looking to open further sites. Tony McDonough reports

The Lake House leisure venue in Waterloo
The Lake House leisure venue in Waterloo has been a success in its first seven months


A council-owned hospitality operator that operates The Lake House at Waterloo, a unit at Southport Market and the Beach House at Ainsdale is looking to expand.

Sefton Hospitality Operations (SHOL) is an ‘arms-length’ venture that is exploring the possibility of opening new outlets across the borough. This could include reopening the  White House Café in Southport and a new outlet at Bootle Town Hall.

Its biggest success story so far has been The Lake House in Waterloo. Located next to Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, The Lake House is home to a café and restaurant The Lake Kitchen. It also has 14 refurbished rooms as part of its accommodation offering and four conference and event spaces.

After a troubled development process that saw Sefton Council terminate its contract with the original contractor, The Lake House finally opened in August 2022. In September LBN reported the venue had already secured bookings as far ahead as 2024.

Since it opened it has served more than 20,000 teas and coffees, and received over 2,000 dog visits, many of which are regular canine customers. The Lake House has also created dozens of jobs.

As Sefton Council expands and improves facilities for visitors to Ainsdale Beach in 2023, SHOL will be providing food and drink through its Beach House pop-up. It also continues to explore longer-term options and opportunities for Southport Golf Links.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We are delighted that SHOL has met our aims by providing the customer experience that has made The Lake House so popular with visitors, while at the same time providing local people with first-rate employment opportunities.

“And I am excited to see the company now looking to build on its success by returning to its pop-up at Ainsdale beach over the summer, and explore options to create new hospitality offerings at Southport Golf Links.

“Plus, dog owners will be able to enjoy access to more areas of the Lake House which will no doubt result in even more happy customers and wagging tails.”

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