The beautiful Marine Lake could be the key to Southport’s resurgence.
The area around the historic landmark has been earmarked for some spectacular new developments driven by the Southport Town Deal.
This follows on from substantial new investment which has already taken place in the area over the past few years including the £6million restoration of Kings Gardens in 2014, the £3.5million renovation of Southport Pier which was completed last year and the continuing redevelopment of Bliss Hotel.
The £2.5million Southport Townscape Heritage Project meanwhile aims to improve linkages between Lord Street and the town centre with the Marine Lake area.
Here are just some of the changes we could soon see:
1 – New waterside events centre
The closure of Southport Theatre and Convention Centre was among the first victims of the Coronavirus pandemic in March last year. .
Creating a new waterside events centre is the centrepiece of the Southport Town Deal board bid, ensuring the future of one of Southport’s cultural landmarks.
The new convention and events centre would house a 1,200-seat auditorium, exhibition halls as well as a cafe and co-working space.
This state-of-the-art facility has been designed for flexible use and targeted at attracting new types of events such as esports to the North West region.
It would also aim to be in use for a wide array of conferences, shows and events seven days a week and throughout the year, attracting an estimated 455,000 visitors a year.
2 – Southport Cove
A world class water attraction is set to be built in Southport.
Sefton Council has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Go Surf to create Southport Cove Resort, the development of an exciting, new, all year-round attraction with a world class surf wave pool at its heart at Princes Park.
Situated on the seafront, this spectacular project will also include water-based wellness and spa facilities, 4-star accommodation, casual dining (restaurant & cafés), and indoor leisure facilities.
A stunning 250m long beach coupled with a 360-degree boardwalk and planted gardens will mean that visitors can take in the pool’s surrounding landscape, for water users and non-water users alike.
Using the next generation of surf pool technology Southport Cove will make waves that can reach over 2 metres for accomplished surfers, to just 0.5 metres for those who prefer ‘fun’ waves.
3 – Southport Pleasureland
Southport Pleasureland has revealed plans for an exciting new Viking themed attraction that will be “nothing like anywhere in the UK”.
The firm has submitted plans to Sefton Council for a new Viking themed 18-hole adventure golf attraction with an associated ‘longhouse’ themed pub / eatery and parking.
Visitors will be able to enjoy an outdoor barbecue area in a circular format with a ‘Firepit’ in the centre of the building with terraced seating around a feature fire.
The design of each of the 18 holes is provided, split into four zones of Boatyard, Marsh, Village Life and Market Place.
It is a small part of very exciting plans to transform Southport Pleasureland into an all-year themed attraction with Southport Town Deal keen to help upgrade some infrastructure in the area.
4 – Immersive light and sound show
A spectacular light, sound and water show could soon be built on Southport’s Marine Lake.
The ‘Light Fantastic’ lake animation will be unique in the UK, creating a new visitor attraction that will be visible from the proposed new ‘Marine Lake Events Centre’ and surrounding developments (announced earlier this week), and from Lord Street, the heart of the Town Centre.
The attraction is expected to draw more than 180,000 visitors per year to see the spectacular show, bringing around £3.9m to the local economy every year.
The concept has been developed by the Southport Town Deal board, as part of the Southport Masterplan, working with LCI Productions, an industry-renowned design-led production and installation company.
5 – Marine Lake Village
A new ‘Marine Village’ could be created alongside the Marine Lake in Southport.
The scheme was one of the ‘Big Ideas’ put forward as part of the Southport Town Deal consultation.
If the Southport Town Deal bid is successful, then the lake could soon be thronged by a resurgent Southport Pleasureland, a new waterside events centre, a lights show on the lake and a Southport Cove world class surf facility.
The Marine Lake Village would provide opportunities for living by the waterfront, overlooking the Marine Lake to increase the number of residents and spending in the town centre (eg a Marine Village with views to the Lake, the beach and the Municipal Golf Course).
The Marine Village is only at the concept stage at the moment but is sure to be of great interest for potential developers.