An historic pumping station in Southport with stunning views across Kings Gardens and the Marine Lake will become a new community restaurant.
Today we can reveal the four options of what the prime-site building could have become.
Built in the 1950s, it is a split level building, being single storey at street level with a lower ground floor storey to the rear, with this lower ground floor opening out onto Kings Gardens.
A £5 million programme to transform Kings Gardens was completed by Sefton Council in 2014.
The property is not listed but is recognised as a ‘’Non-designated Heritage Asset’ due to its location in Kings Gardens, which itself is Grade II Listed.
Sefton Council put the building up for sale via Fitton Estates and had four bidders, all with different ambitions for the site:
- Storage of land train and future improvements and redevelopment works
- Gallery development and pop-up arts and events space
- Community restaurant
- Restaurant and Bar
The winning bidder was the business person keen to convert the site into a new community restaurant.
Proposals had been put forward a few years ago to convert the property into a restaurant, but planning permission lapsed.
The property was originally constructed as a former pumping station, but in the recent past has been used by Sefton Council as a storage facility. It is constructed to a primarily open plan concrete frame, with the north side facing Kings Gardens and the south side accessed at first floor level from the main road opposite Morrisons supermarket.
In a Sefton Council report, Executive Director Corporate Resources and Customer Services Jan McMahon said: “The former Pump House Building has previously been declared surplus to requirements from an operational perspective and is currently used on an ad hoc basis for short term storage of vehicles by the Council’s Parking Services’ contractor.
“Following instructions from the Executive Director (Place) a local Agent (Fitton Estates) was commissioned to oversee the marketing of the premises.
“As part of this process the premises were identified as being suitable for alternative leisure employment, office or retail uses, subject to the receipt of the necessary Statutory consents.
“Four submissions were received by the deadline set for the marketing exercise for a range of uses.
“Conversion to a community restaurant is in keeping with the aspirations for this area of Kings Gardens and the Southport Town Investment Plan.
A planning application to convert the landmark venue into a stylish restaurant and bar was submitted to Sefton Council in April 2017, and was subsequently granted, but this has now lapsed.
“Redevelopment will bring under-used premises back into productive use providing jobs and employment opportunities.
“Use of the premises will remove the repair, maintenance and holding costs from the Council’s budgets.
“All of the offers need to be considered in the context of the extensive level of remedial work required due to the existing condition of the building before any further redevelopment could be implemented with these costs likely to be in excess of £100,000.”
The guide price for the Pump House was £100,000, with offers invited.
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