Senior councillors will meet this week to give their approval to the project which will see the market, which dates back to 1857, given a new lease of life. Tony McDonough reports
Work on the £1.4m transformation of the Victorian Southport Market could begin within weeks if Sefton Council’s cabinet gives the go ahead.
Senior councillors will meet on Thursday, September 3, when it is expected they will give their approval to the project which will see the market, which dates back to 1857, given a new lease of life.
Under the new plans, which will be funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Southport Town Deal acceleration fund, the market will become an all-year round attraction with space for up to eight delicious food and drinks units
Units will also be available for fresh produce stalls, including the popular Blackhurst Butchers, with all traders being offered turnover rental agreements to ensure low risk to their business.
If the plans are approved by the cabinet, it is hoped work will begin on the project in late 2020. And the latest restaurateur to sign up take space at the market says the plans will bring an “exciting new cosmopolitan vibe to Southport town centre”.
Paulo Teixeira runs the thriving Twelve restaurant on Princes Street, described as “a fusion kitchen fine dining experience”, which is currently rated by diners as the third best out of 243 in the town. Earlier this month he opened his new Paulo No Mercado street food venture inside Southport Market.
He said: “People we have spoken with are loving the idea. Our place is doing well and it is good to hear that a lot of good things are being planned. It is very exciting, making this area a place to go. I can’t wait to be part of something so big and important and part of this amazing town.”
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, welcomed the latest stage of the project, saying: “We know just how much of an important asset Southport Market is to the town.
“This ambitious and exciting project is a cornerstone of what the Southport Town Deal is all about and securing additional external funding to completely transform the building shows real commitment from Sefton Council.
“We fully understand the impact consumer habits and demand has on historical indoor markets and there is a clear need to ensure this impressive venue evolves into a modern and stunning food and drinks space.”