Dr Eric Lybeck (left) at The Engine Room at Wayfarers Shopping Arcade in Southport with David Booth and Carran Waterfield. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Tickets for the official launch of a new creative co-working and digital hub in Southport have sold out – so organisers have now released extra tickets due to the large demand. 

The Engine Room is situated in space on the first and second floors of Wayfarers Shopping Arcade on Lord Street in Southport. 

The launch will take place on Thursday, 21st March 2024, between 4pm and 7pm. 

People can book spaces here: www.arcade-project.com/launch

They will be able to chat with founder Dr Eric Lybeck and enjoy have a look around the new facilities 

Ian Parry of the Southport Learning Trust and Michelle Brabner from Southport Education Group will be the guest speakers, sharing insights into how supporting the development of new and existing skills in the town aligns with the Engine Room project. 

Within an iconic Southport town centre location, the collection of units to Wayfarers Shopping Arcade’s first floor will offer co-working desks, creative studios, workshops, meeting spaces and facilities for photography, podcasting, language learning, performance and more. 

Schools, colleges and independent educators will also be invited to use the space for teaching craft and artisan skills.

The launch event will include open viewing of the facilities, refreshments, nibbles and a cash bar. 

Dr Dric Lybeck said: “We’ve sold out of our first batch of tickets for our launch event.

“But we’ve got room to grow – so we’ve added more spots for you! 

“But make sure you book in now to avoid missing out.”

Developed by CivED CIC, a Community Interest Company focused on activating disused spaces, The Engine Room will be instrumental in regenerating Wayfarers Arcade and its neighbouring Lord Street area. 

The initiative is also focused on the retention of creative individuals and businesses in the Southport area, providing an alternative to commuting or relocating to Liverpool or Manchester to work. 

‘Youth flight’ is a concern within the town, and it is hoped that by providing a space for honing skills and working remotely this issue can be minimised.

The project is led by Dr Eric Lybeck, a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Institute of Education, and Director of CivED CIC. He has been working closely with partners that include Southport BID and Southport College to bring the project to fruition.

Dr Eric Lybeck said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming many creative individuals, businesses and education providers from the town to the launch event. 

“This is very much a local project and we’re excited to share our vision for the facilities and how useful they will be to a wide range of individuals, educators and businesses. We’re also keen to hear ideas for the space from our visitors!

“The launch is, of course, also a great networking opportunity and a chance to find out what is happening within Southport’s creative space.”



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