Techedia opens £1m Southport base

IT services firm Techedia opens its new £1m office in Southport town centre with new jobs in the pipeline. Andrew Brown reports

Matthew Townson
Techedia owner Matthew Townson outside his Southport HQ. Picture by Andrew Brown Media


In a boost for Southport’s growing digital sector, IT services firm Techedia has opened its new office in the town centre.

Techedia, which specialises in IT in the professional services sector, moved from its base in Crosby as it continues to expand. The firm has experienced year-on-year growth since its formation in 2013.

There are 40 people currently employed in the  6,000 sq ft Cloisters Building with the ambition of growing that to 50 by the end of this year and 60 next year.

Formerly a Victorian era school building – occupied by Christ Church School – the site was previously occupied by Taskers Sports. It has been divided into two units.

The unoccupied section of the building next to Techedia will soon host another professional services firm, with Techedia in discussions with law firms, architects and accountants.

Later this year the new Southport Enterprise Arcade is due to open nearby on Eastbank Street. And work is due to begin soon on converting the former BHS department store on Chapel Street into 30 new apartments, with retail and leisure units underneath.

Techedia owner Matthew Townson is a born and bred Sandgrounder. He studied at Larkfield Primary, Birkdale High School and KGV Sixth Form College before heading to university.

He already invests heavily in the town by sponsoring Southport Football Club, with Techedia’s name appearing across the front of shirts at all levels.

Mr Townson has fond memories of visiting his granddad, Douglas Tinsley, who was a director at the famous Broadbents & Boothroyds department store on Lord Street in the 1970s and 1980s.

He is delighted to be able to look out of his windows in his office at Techedia and see his grandfather’s old store, now operating at Beales department store.

“The Covid pandemic got in the way of our plans! Design work started on this project two years ago,” said Mr Townson. “It has cost well over £1m to redevelop the Cloisters building.

“There has been nothing easy about this process. But we are very proud of what we have achieved. We have got something that is really amazing here.

As a proud Sandgrounder, I am grateful for the opportunity to bring such an important building in the town back to life after being empty for three years.

“We are keen to attract local people to work in the building and perhaps more importantly retain that talent, which in the past has moved elsewhere, as well as help fuel the local economy. I took a chance on this project, but if you don’t take a chance then you are just standing still.

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“It would have been much cheaper and easier to knock down this building and build something new from scratch! But this is a beautiful, historic venue which is really important to Southport.

“We have spent a huge amount of time and effort in uncovering and restoring original features. The stained glass windows to the front have been boarded up for the past 50 years, now they are back.

“There is not a day that goes by without someone walking past telling me they used to go to school here, or how much they have enjoyed seeing the site being restored.


Cloisters Building
A window in the Cloisters Building in Southport now occupied by Techedia. Picture by Andrew Brown Media
Cloisters Building
The Cloisters Building in Southport now occupied by Techedia. Picture by Andrew Brown Media


We have kept the outside of the building in its original form as much as we could. On the inside we have created a modern, quality office environment.

“Greenmount Projects in Wigan have carried out the development work for us. They were the most local company I could find which could really do this project justice. It is so important to thank Sefton Council for their support over these past two years.”

This year will also see work taking place to see the other half of the building occupied.

Mr Townson added: “The old retail side of the Cloisters building, which was previously occupied by Tasker Sports, will be redeveloped over the next 12 months.

“I don’t want to see such an important Southport building become another Tesco or another Sainsbury’s. This is the central building for Southport town centre, it was due to become the town hall many years ago.

“It’s important that it will be utilised by the professional services sector, bringing real benefit to the town. This will then become an even bigger professional services building.

“I have been in discussions with law firms, accountants and architects about moving into the space here. There is lots of interest. Whoever moves in, we would provide the IT for them.”

This article first appeared in Stand Up For Southport

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