Stand Up For Southport Blog by Andrew Brown
What an incredible view people are going to enjoy from the new The Cove Resort in Southport when it opens.
Owners of the ambitious £75 million attraction revealed today that they had managed to change their proposed site for the scheme from Princes Park to Southport Esplanade.
It’s one of the prime sites along the UK’s coastline and will create a sensational vista as guests look out over the beach and across the Irish Sea. They will have Southport Pier, the Fylde coast and Blackpool Tower to one side, and the Sefton coastline and towards the Welsh hills on the other.
It will have a real focus on ‘blue health’, focussing on health and wellbeing.
People will be able to experience multiple leisure activities including surfing, an extensive thermal spa and other facilities. A large 4-star hotel on site will complement the resort’s leisure offer.
It’s a much better site for the project and will create a real wow factor for Southport as a destination.
It’s quite a statement as we head towards the end of 2023, with work now taking place to create the new state-of-the-art £73 million Marine Lake Events Centre and Light Fantastic.
That’s nearly £150 million being invested in just two schemes alone.
How many towns or cities in the UK are seeing investment on that level?
They’re far from isolated examples.
‘The Northern Quarter’ of Southport is a recent phrase coined by Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Chairman Andrew Mikhail to describe the revolution his business is leading at the northern end of Lord Street.
Central to that is The Grand, the unique art deco landmark which has already seen £4 million investment, with the Sky Bar and Harry’s Bar to open next year. Even more investment will follow. They add to a MHALG portfolio which also includes The Bold Botel, Lord Street Hotel, Maverick’s bar, Punch Tarmey’s pub, and more.
At the other end of Lord Street, the extensive renovation of the Garrick building is taking place with more hotel rooms, apartments and commercial uses all included.
The Cove Resort, Marine Lake Events Centre, MHALG and Garrick schemes all have one thing in common – quality.
They are all elevating Southport’s offer, taking it back to the days of being a top class visitor destination – ‘England’s Classic Resort’ was a slogan used several years ago.
All of these schemes will attract people from across the UK and beyond, converting day trips into longer stays; making more reasons for people to stay in Southport, and to dwell here longer.
They can also enjoy a range of brilliant golf courses along England’s Golf Coast; they can come for superb events such as Southport Flower Show, Southport Comedy Festival and others.
Victoria Park continues to grow as one of the North West’s most ambitious events spaces, with huge potential to grow.
They will act as a catalyst for other investors and other schemes to follow.
It is brilliant to see a mixture of private and public sector schemes, with leading figures from both the private sector and Sefton Council working very closely together.
Southport BID meanwhile is galvanising the business community and developing initiatives to increase footfall and attract more investment.
Sefton Council has successfully delivered the transformation of Southport Market and is now creating the new Marine Lake Events Centre, with additional support through Town Deal funding from the Government and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Private investors such as Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group are delivering schemes such as The Grand, and others are sure to follow.
There is huge potential in Southport – now is the time for more investors to come in while they can.
Princes Park is now available again, which raises intriguing possibilities.
The proposals for Ainsdale, particularly Ainsdale Gateway, have yet to be drawn up, to maximise one of the most beautiful but under-utilised coastlines in the country.
There are sites such as the Waterfront Hotel, the Victoria building and others which have huge possibilities in the right hands.
Southport is putting itself firmly back on the map and it’s creating opportunities that will see investors kick themselves if they miss out on them.