Work on £75m Marine Lake to start this week

Investigatory works will begin this week on the £75m events and convention centre planned for Southport waterfront. Tony McDonough reports

Marine Lake
Image of proposed new events and conference centre on Marine Lake in Southport


Civil engineers will this week start investigatory works for the new £75m events and convention centre at Southport’s Marine Lake.

In the last few days Sefton Council has approved the business case for the scheme. Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC) will replace Southport Theatre and Convention Centre which closed in 2020.

It will include a 1,200-capacity auditorium and will also be suitable for large conferences. It will also offer a 15,000 sq ft exhibition space capable of accommodating more than 3,000 people. Also in the plans is a water and light show attraction.

MLEC is expected to cost around £75m. Southport’s £37m Town Deal programme will contribute around £33m while the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is chipping in with £22.3m. Sefton Council is proposing to borrow £20m to make up the shortfall.

Investigations are expected to take around four weeks, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm. They will involve assessing the underground conditions to progress the design further

Measures will be in place to minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and neighbours. Letters have been sent to local residents.

Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, Cllr Marion Atkinson said: “The centre is forecast to attract more than half a million visitors to Southport year on year and generate an annual £18m for the local economy so I am pleased to see work getting under way.

“We now need the Government to release the funding we need to make the centre a reality as soon as possible.”

Plans to hire a design and build contractor and an operating partner for the venue have also been agreed but the cabinet meeting. A detailed planning application has already been submitted.

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