How the new Marine Lake Events Centre venue in Southport could look

The architects chosen to design Southport’s ambitious new Marine Lake Events Centre say they “couldn’t have hoped for a more exciting project for the North West”. 

AFL Architects has been appointed by Sefton Council as the Lead Architect for the £75million scheme, which will replace the former Southport Theatre & Convention Centre which has been closed since March 2020. 

The new centre, overlooking the Marine Lake, will incorporate a 1,200 capacity Theatre, Conference & Exhibition Hall along with a waterside restaurant and cafe. 

The team will be providing architectural and interior design services for the £75million venue. The project is planned to feature a 1,200-capacity auditorium, exhibition space and co-working areas.

An additional water, light and sound attraction will draw visitors to the lakeside from across the UK.

The creation of the Marine Lake Events Centre is forecast to attract 515,000 additional visitors to the waterfront every year. It will also create 288 jobs, and boost Southport’s hotel and hospitality sector with nearly 60,000 overnight stays from conferences and events alone.

A total of £33million for the project has already been committed through the Government’s Southport Town Deal initiative, while the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has pledged to provide a further £20million. 

The proposed design of the new Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport

The proposed design of the new Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport

Sefton Council has now unveiled a team to drive forward the project which includes: 

–    AFL Architects (a Manchester based commercial architecture firm)

–    IPW (UK wide sports, venue & entertainment consultants)

–    Gardiner & Theobald LLP  (A property consultancy firm providing project & cost management services)

–    AECOM (A global infrastructure consultancy firm delivering a wide range of engineering services)

AFL was awarded the project through a competitive tender process.

Marcel Ridyard, Senior Associate, AFL Architects said: “We couldn’t have hoped for a more exciting and important cultural project for the North West.

“Our team feels a great sense of responsibility for the heritage of this world-famous promenade – the new multi-purpose centre will be a modern complement to this history, while establishing Southport as a vibrant visitor destination.

“It’s a very exciting prospect.”

John Roberts, Director, AFL Architects said: “We could not be more thrilled to be the chosen architects for this project, working with Sefton Council and their development partners.

“We believe people are brought together by shared experiences and active involvement in their communities.

“This project embodies both – a flexible, multi-purpose venue that is steeped in dialogue and engagement with the people who will benefit most.

“The sustainability of these highly flexible venues is borne out by the evidence – these are regenerative, revitalising developments that attract visitors and bring life back into town centres.

“We now have a massive responsibility to Southport and the wider Merseyside area to create something incredible and energising for Marine Lake.”

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