Crown Buildings on Eastbank Street in Southport

Southport’s new £1.5million Enterprise Arcade aims to deliver a new Creative, Digital and Tech led district in Southport town centre. 

Our town’s first ever purpose-built workspace for start-up businesses will be situated in Crown Buildings on Eastbank Street in Southport town centre.

Sefton Council wants to create a high tech, collaborative and affordable workspace for small businesses. 

The ambition is to diversify Southport’s economy, provide a greater number of skilled jobs, and create more opportunities to allow young people to stay in their home town. 

The project will utilise upper floors which were previously occupied by the council, as long as The Gallary cafe bar and grill and the former Friend Mobile shop on the ground floor. 

The project is being made possible through £1.5million funding through the Southport Town Deal. 

Key objectives of the project include:  

  • Support the diversification of the local economy  
  • Deliver refurbished floorspace to create a business incubator and meet the needs of new and growing businesses through flexible, experiential workspaces  
  • Increase the number of business in the target sector(s)  
  • Support new business starts and encourage entrepreneurship  
  • Support business and provide the right space for them to expand  
  • Support the creation of new jobs and training opportunities  
  • Act as a hub for businesses and innovation in Southport
  • Drive private sector investment and help to deliver a new Creative, Digital and Tech led district  
  • Help retain younger people in Southport  
  • Help ensure greater integration between education and business

In his report to Cabinet, Sefton Council Executive Director (Place) Stephen Watson said: “Following the successful submission of Southport’s Town Investment Plan, under the government’s Town Deal funding, Southport has been allocated £37.5m for a range of projects. “One of the projects agreed and allocated £1.5m of funding is The Enterprise Arcade. 

“The Town Investment Plan set this out as the regeneration and transformation of Crown Buildings into Southport’s first flexible office space; designed to act as an incubator and flexible/co-working space for start-up businesses with the purpose of nurturing the growth of the creative digital and technology led business base which already exists in the town but currently has no identifiable geographic focus.

An artist's impression of The Enterprise Arcade in Southport

An artist’s impression of The Enterprise Arcade in Southport

“In a break away from traditional office space and embracing the move towards flexible and hybrid working The Enterprise Arcade will be a ‘Place for Pioneer’s’, playing a part in Sefton’s and the City Region’s Economic Recovery Plan. 

“Since the submission of the Town Investment Plan officers have continued to develop and refine the scope of the project in order to be able to maximise the outcomes and add greater viability to a potential operator.”

The council believes that the project will appeal to “a wide range of potential operators”. 

If approved, the Property Lease will be drawn up and advertised with a view to agreeing the Lease before the end of the year. 

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “This is a key project for the regeneration and economic diversification of Southport’s economy.

“Nationally we are seeing a move away from traditional working environments and more and more people are embracing flexible and hybrid work opportunities.

“Our Enterprise Arcade will be the ideal location for a whole host of start-up and growing businesses and individuals, whether they be in the early incubator stages of developing their brand or simply in need of flexibility and an agile approach to their working practices.”

Liverpool based architects K2 have been appointed to develop the feasibility designs for the Enterprise Arcade space.

Procurement for detailed design work will commence later this year.

Sefton Council’s Cabinet will meet on Thursday, 7th October to discuss the proposals and next steps for this exciting project.

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