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Vision for a world-class theatre and conference centre in Southport revealed

Vision for a world-class theatre and conference centre revealed

New state-of-the-art venue planned to replace Southport Theatre and Convention Centre

 Sefton Council has today (17 July 2020) released plans outlining its ambitious vision for a brand new world-class theatre and conference centre on Southport waterfront.  The new state-of-the-art venue would sit on the edge of Marine Lake and replace the current Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.

CGI of how the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre could look


The waterfront is a key area in the town and an important part of what makes Southport an all-year round destination for visitors, with its further potential as part of a comprehensive redevelopment also recognised.  The plans for a new theatre and conference centre highlight Sefton Council’s commitment to investing in the future of Southport as a leading destination.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, says, “This project is a real game changer for Southport and The City Region and showcases a bright future for the town.  We understand the valuable role that having a theatre and conference centre plays and we want to ensure that Southport is on the map for having one of the best in the region, if not the whole county.

“This site offers a stunning location so, if we can match this with world-class facilities, we’ll be able to ensure that national and regional conferences visit Southport as well as giving us the opportunity to secure leading theatre shows; all of which bring additional investment and footfall into the town.  Having such an ambitious project in our sights is also an important part of how we’ll be trying to achieve an uplift for the local economy, as we all work in partnership to overcome the impact of Covid-19.  Furthermore, the new venue will play an instrumental and leading part in the wider regeneration of the waterfront area.”

A feasibility and design study has been commissioned for the new theatre and conference centre by Sefton Council as part of its commitment to investment and growth within the Borough.  The study evaluates a range of options including minor renovation works, as well as the ambitious vision, which may comprise either a full new build, or partial new build with retention of the Floral Hall. The work is being led by IPW who are experts in venues and facilities and supported by global architects HOK.

CGI of the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre from Marine Way Bridge

Southport’s Town Deal Board is supportive of the project, which could be integral to the Southport Town Deal bid.  The Town Deal centres on bringing into reality the master plan that has been created for Southport, which is being led by Southport Town Deal Board; made up of public and private industry leaders.  Later this year a bid of up to £25million will be made to central Government to support the delivery of this master plan. While consultation on the specific project will take place in due course, residents are encouraged to share their early perspectives, including on the range of options above, via the Town Deal consultation process at:

The existing Southport Theatre and Convention Centre remains closed at the moment due to the Government guidance for all theatres following the Covid-19 outbreak across the UK.  The previous operator, Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd, went into liquidation in May.  However, Sefton Council is committed to the venue in the short term as well as the long term, and will reopen the site when it is safe and viable to do so.  Further work to finalise the exciting plans for the new theatre and conference centre in more detail will take place over the summer.

CGI of the Lakeside

Sefton Reopens – A guide to safe reopening of businesses

As Sefton begins to open as Covid-19 is brought under control we will start to welcome our customers and staff back. We have produced a guide to help you create a safe, secure and sustainable reopening and recovery period.

This guide will focus on:

  • Government & Industry Guidance on Safely Reopening Businesses
  • Guidelines on Safe Reopening
  • Recommendations for our Businesses

This will help you create a safe and sustainable return for Sefton businesses, residents and visitors. Click on the image below to download your guide.


Discretionary funding support for Sefton Businesses

Sefton Council has just announced its plans to administer the Discretionary Business Grant Fund as part of the wider government support response to the coronavirus outbreak. This will be a small grants fund to support struggling local businesses who have fixed property costs that can be evidenced by a commercial lease, commercial rent or commercial  mortgage agreement.

The process to administer the £2.2m fund will be open towards to the end of the week commencing 8 June and allowing businesses to apply online.

The window to apply for a discretionary grant will be strictly limited, with the process closing once the anticipated funding levels have been met. The grant funding has a government guided eligibility criterion for businesses to check if they are eligible before they apply.

To support the grant process, rigorous checks will be undertaken to ensure businesses meet the firm eligibility criteria. A systematic assessment method will be employed to determine need and funding award levels.

Due to financial constraints and to maximise distribution, grants will be capped with most grants expected to be less than £7,500. The Government has asked local authorities to give priority to groups of small businesses that are ineligible for current support, namely charities in receipt of charity rate relief, B&Bs which pay council tax, businesses in shared workspaces and regular market traders. Of course, other small businesses, not in these highlighted groups, will also be welcome to apply where eligibility is met.

Once the business has completed the online form, applicants will be given 7 days to submit all the required supporting information.  The date of application will be the date when all supporting information was received.  Businesses will be notified within 2 weeks from this date as to whether their application has been approved.

The application form will be live by Friday 12th June 2020 but the eligibility criteria and FAQs can be viewed here.

Sefton’s major events cancelled

Southport Air Show and British Musical Fireworks Championship

Cancelled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the UK

Due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the UK and the impact that it is having, Sefton Council has been forced to take the difficult decision to cancel the Southport Air Show (12 – 13 September) and the British Musical Fireworks Championship (25 – 27 September). The events will return next year (2021).

Each year these flagship events attract visitors from all over the UK and generate millions of pounds for Sefton’s local economy, supporting local businesses.


Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, says, “Every autumn we welcome thousands of people to Southport to enjoy these two major events in the town; the Southport Air Show and the British Musical Fireworks Championship. However, as the latest government guidance on the next stages of its Covid-19 response indicate, it will not be possible or responsible for large-scale events to take place.

“We understand this news will disappoint a lot of people, but we all have to work hard to protect the health and the wellbeing of our communities, and the safety of everyone involved including visitors, exhibitors, traders, staff, contractors, and the many more who contribute and play a part in delivering these much-loved events.  These are the factors at the very forefront of our decision.  We look forward to welcoming everyone again next year.”

Dates for some of the key events taking place in Southport in 2021:

  • Southport Food and Drink Festival – Friday 4 to Sunday 6 June 2021
  • Southport Air Show – Saturday 3 July to Sunday 4 July 2021
  • British Musical Fireworks Championship – Friday 24 September to Sunday 26 September 2021

With lots of vast beaches and park space, Visit Southport has been urging people to continue to follow UK government advice.  When it is again safe to do so it will ensure a warm welcome awaits visitors to Southport.

Information for workers who have been Furloughed

Have any of your family or friends been furloughed by their current employer?

Did you know even if they have been furloughed they can still access training and support from Sefton Community Learning service and Sefton@Work?

During the current coronavirus crisis Sefton Community Learning and Sefton@Work are on line and available to support individuals with a variety of services.

Sefton Community Learning are running several on line training courses and are constantly developing new training programmes, including:

  • How to apply for Universal Credit
  • Creating a CV
  • Refresher in English and Maths
  • Money Management / Budgeting
  • Spreadsheets
  • British Values
  • Hospitality & Catering
  • Digital Marketing
  • Starting you own Business
  • Making Face Mask’s

Sefton@Work Advisers and Employer Liaison Staff are working remotely with local individuals and businesses throughout the borough to offer Free, Confidential, Impartial advice, guidance and support with:

  • Job Search support
  • CV development and Interview skills
  • Assistance with job applications
  • Identifying transferable skills and career coaching
  • Advertising Vacancies for local employers, help with recruitment including pre-screening of applications and online/telephone interviews

If you would like to know more about the services Sefton Community Learning or Sefton@Work can offer please call us on:

Sefton Community Learning Service 0151 934 4546

Sefton@Work 0151 934 2610

Sefton@Work Employer Liaison Team 0151 934 2875

Alternatively you can email us at or

Employer Liaison Team

If you want to know more why not let us call you! Click here to request a Call Back!

For the latest updates, vacancies etc. keep an eye on the Sefton@Work website or follow us on Social Media via our Facebook and Twitter account @LearnWorkSefton

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