Market creates investment hotspot for independents

A previously ‘run down’ area of Southport town centre has become a magnet for new independent businesses since the launch of the £1.4m new market in 2021. Andrew Brown reports

Season, Southport
Season Coffee is one of several business to open in the market quarter


Southport’s Market Quarter has become one of the top investment hotspots in the town thanks to the success of Southport Market.

The facility opened last year following a £1.4m transformation that was led by Sefton Council. It was supported by funding from the Government’s Town Deal initiative and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Since then it has attracted new investors to a previously run down area. New independent local businesses opening on King Street and Market Street include Season Coffee, Bar and Kitchen, Eva’s Sewing Room, The Cake Box and a number of others.

German Doner Kebab is due to invest £500,000 into transforming the former McDonald’s site on the corner of King Street and Market Street, creating 30 new jobs.

New owners have also bought the former Coronation pub on King Street and are due to bring the venue back into use.

READ MORE: £1.4m market is a ‘catalyst’ for Southport

Sefton Council has also revealed proposals under the ‘Les Transformations de Southport’ initiative. This could see most of Market Street pedestrianised, which would allow more outdoor seating and new events, with more space on King Street as it becomes one-way.

In his report to councillors next week, Sefton Council executive director Stephen Watson said: “One of the objectives of investing into the market hall was for it to be a catalyst for further investment in the area and Southport.

“Most traders in the market are from the local area and have either established new businesses or expanded current businesses. This has created over 30 new jobs.

“The impact on the wider area has also been measurable, since the market has reopened several long-term vacant units have become occupied by new independent businesses in both Market Street and King Street thus creating business start-ups and new jobs.

“This includes four new businesses on Market Street, King Street has also seen vacant units that have stood empty for five years become occupied.

“There have been several instances where these new businesses have publicly stated that the market was the reason for starting their new businesses within the area.

“Furthermore there has also been substantial investment into other units and several sale purchases taking place. This is not showing any signs of slowing down and a number of large vacant units are now currently on the market and contracts are exchanging at a fast rate.

“Local commercial agents have communicated the area is one of the top investment places in Southport currently.”


Southport Market
Southport Market was launched in July 2021 and has been declared a success. Picture by Mark Shirley


Southport Market was repurposed by Sefton Council into a food, drink and events market and opened in July 2021 thanks to £900,000 funding from the Government’s Town Deal scheme and £500,000 from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The project delivered the refurbishment of 17,000 sq ft of mostly empty floorspace, created 10 new businesses and created 30 new jobs.

It has a central bar operated by Mikhail Hotel and Leisure surrounded by 10 food units serving food from around the world, with long-standing market tenant Blackhurst Butchers at the front of the building.

Since opening, indoor seating capacity at Southport Market has been extended by around 40 covers to keep up with demand.

A new outdoor seating area was designed and implemented, which has added around 100 extra covers to again provide additional seating in high demand areas.

A children’s play shed was installed in January, which has proved to be hugely popular and will continue to evolve.

The food outlets inside Southport Market are: Hector’s Mexicana; 600 Degrees; Down and Oot; Pitamu; Cone Head; Cake Corner; Pasta 51 Express; Kaizen; Allotment; and the Market Place pop-up stall. 

This article first appeared in Stand Up For Southport

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