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Stunning images of Marine Lake Events centre revealed as consultation launches

Sefton Council is set to launch its public consultation on much anticipated plans for the Southport Marine Lake Events Centre and accompanying Water and Light Show.

The community will shortly be invited to share their views on exciting plans for a new, state-of-the-art theatre and entertainment space and a flexible conference and business events venue and water and light show attraction, which will greatly boost the town’s economic and tourism sectors.

Consultation events are being held at Southport Market in the coming weeks and a live webinar will take place to provide more information on the plans, which will be revealed when the consultation begins on Thursday 26th May when feedback will be invited via an online survey at https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/futuresouthport/ – with the consultation running until 10th June.

The MLEC will replace the former Southport Theatre and Convention Centre which closed its doors in 2020. The new development will provide first class theatre space, a conference and exhibition centre able to accommodate a range of events, and café and signature restaurant, providing facilities for both visitors and the community alike.

The plans also include a new Water and Light show installation on the Marine Lake. Designed to set Southport apart from other seaside towns, the show will attract thousands of additional visitors to the town each year.

The project forms part of the Southport Town Deal which secured £37.5 million funding in 2021 and follows the success of Southport Market, which opened its doors last year. The project has also secured £2.3 million funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Consultation events are being held at Southport Market on Friday 27th May between 11am and 6pm, and Saturday 28th May between 11am and 3pm.

A live webinar will also be held at 6pm on Thursday 26th May. You can register to attend the webinar in advance at https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/futuresouthport/ The consultation webpage will be updated on the 26th May with further details of the plans and an online feedback form.

Cllr Ian Maher , leader of Sefton Council, said: “The Marine Lake Events Centre is the latest fantastic opportunity for us to build on our successful bid for Town Deal funding.

“This project directly compliments the ongoing and continued investment Sefton Council makes toward improving the future of the town for our amazing communities and visitors.

“I would encourage everyone to join in with the upcoming consultation events, either online or in person, to find out more.

“We are looking forward to hearing feedback before a planning application is submitted.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Southport holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in our city region and beyond as being a family-favourite destination for days out and holidays alike. The town has been entertaining generations of visitors for as long as it has existed.

“We want to build on that legacy and make sure that Southport can continue to thrive and attract visitors for many more years to come, giving a massive boost to local businesses and creating good quality, secure jobs. We are working with Sefton Council to drive the town’s revival and start a new chapter in its story. I for one cannot wait to see what the future has in store.”

A public telephone line has also been set up via 0808 168 8296. This is a freephone consultation hotline where people can call to speak to a member of the project team and ask any questions, as well as share any feedback.

Could your home become a Sefton heritage site?

Sefton Council is asking local history lovers to nominate buildings and landmarks they feel should be given special heritage status.

The Merseyside Local Heritage List project, which covers Sefton, Knowsley and Wirral, seeks to identify buildings and assets that have significant local importance to its surrounding communities.

To coincide with the launch of the project, Sefton Council are giving residents the opportunity to nominate what they believe are important assets that are not yet protected but have significant heritage interest.

Currently there are more than 800 listed buildings and 25 conservation areas in the borough, meaning they have special protection status from development and alterations.

Locations that are being considered for inclusion in the Merseyside Local Heritage List are:

• Historic buildings
• Buildings of distinctive architectural or artistic style
• Buildings can be residential, commercial, industrial, militaria, leisure or with a strong presence in the community
• Built features such as; memorials, old boundary walls or bridges in local materials, water pumps, or historic street furniture

Councillor Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control said: “We’re delighted to have secured funding for the Merseyside Local Heritage List and the opportunity to build on Sefton Council’s existing heritage work in enhancing the historic built environment around the borough.

“The distinctiveness of our towns and villages is so important and maintaining our rich heritage helps keep our communities desirable places to live, visit and work.

“We believe residents are in the best position to identify those heritage buildings that positively contribute to the local identity and character of their area and hope that residents will nominate them for the local list project.”

Running from March 23, 2022 until March 31, 2023, residents can nominate assets via www.local-heritage-list.org.uk/Merseyside.

Here you will also find lots of help and guidance on the project and more information on the types of assets to nominate.

For more information on the Local Heritage List, and to register your interest visit Merseyside Local Heritage List or email: localheritagelist@sefton.gov.uk

Tickets for Southport Air Show 2022 now on sale with early-bird savings available

TA chiled on Southport Pier covering her ears as a biplane flies overheadickets for July’s Southport Air Show, including for the brand-new, exclusive Pier Viewing are now on sale.

Southport’s famous Air Show, which takes place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July, offer two full days of fun for all the
family. And if people booking now can take advantage of the reduced early-bird rate.

Under-16s free

This year for the first time, general admission for under 16 years is free while early bird general admission prices for adults are going on sale for just £8 and £7 at the group rate.

Also new for 2022 are exclusive ticket for the Pier Viewing area where visitors can watch the show from the best seats in the house. Pier View early bird tickets cost £18 for adults and £9 for children (5-15s).

To book tickets, people should visit www.southportairshow.com

Daring

Previous years’ Air Shows have featured thrilling and daring aerobatics and visits from a varied line-up of aircraft. They have ranged from majestic tributes by historical planes to the latest fastest, loudest and most powerful modern jets being put through their paces by the world’s top pilots.

Announcements on what will be flying this year are expected soon.

Southport Air Show also feature a whole host of treats on terra-firma. This includes flight simulators, static aircraft to explore to climbing walls, assault courses and even a diving tank with a real-life Marine.

Hugely popular

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said: “Southport Air Show is a hugely popular event that attracts thousands of people to the town with many of them staying over to enjoy both spectacular days.

“Sadly, we haven’t been able to hold it for two years during the COVID pandemic, so I am delighted that along with our tourism partners we are bringing it back for summer 2022 with some new features such as free admission for Under-16s and the new Pier Viewing area.”

Hosting

In addition to the Air Show, Southport will also be hosting the Food & Drink Festival from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June and the British Musical Fireworks Championship from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th September.

Cllr Marion Atkinson added:

“Once again, entry to the Food & Drink Festival is free and tickets for the Fireworks Championship go on sale soon so watch this space.”

Southport Market re-opens sweeter after post-Christmas break

External picture of the refurbished Southport MarketSouthport Market re-opens on Wednesday (2nd February) after its post-Christmas break.

Delicious desserts

And when it does re-open it will be with a new trader on board in the form Cone Head, selling delicious desserts ranging from Cookie Dough to Warm Waffles & Ice Cream.

Chalkboard showing Conehead's menuAnother addition this week will be Thursday’s new Indoor Market in the Incredible Extravaganza space that is a chance for local traders and creators to showcase their wares. Visitors will be able to find local crafts, personalised products, candles, beauty products, jewellery, accessories, homeware, stationary, and more at the new, weekly market.

Events

Also, market customers will be treated to a brand-new calendar of events at the market, including weekly live music sessions, open mic nights, and an Easter extravaganza.

At the start of the Market’s temporary closure, Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said it would be a chance to “put the finishing touches and additional final refurbishments to the venue.”

Showcase

Announcing the new, weekly Indoor Artisan Market, Cllr Atkinson said it would provide traders with a fantastic opportunity to showcase their goods every week and for visitors to support local businesses.

Find out more about Southport Market and keep up to date with the latest events at the venue.   

Botanic Gardens lakeside mural to be repainted by its original artist Robert Newbiggin

Artist Robert Newbiggin has been given the green light from Sefton Council to create a replacement mural that will adorn the lakeside area of Southport’s Botanic Gardens.

The current mural was painted by Robert around 14 years ago and local students have added to it as part of their studies. It has weathered in the elements over the years and now Robert has offered his time, at no cost, to replace the mural. 

The new design will depict Victorian scenes within the park, reminding people of the history of the site and its inclusion on the Historic Parks and Gardens Register.

Pastel sketch of the proposed mural background. Victorian figures enjoying the scene will be included in the final design.
Pastel sketch of the proposed mural background. Victorian figures enjoying the scene will be included in the final design.

The initial concept and design have been signed-off by both Sefton Council and the Botanic Gardens Community Association (BGCA).

Robert will now begin the painting process in his studio across a series of boards, that once finished, will be put into position in the park. It is hoped that the project will be completed by spring 2022.  

The Council’s Green Sefton Service works in partnership with the dedicated volunteers of the BGCA to maintain the popular park. The materials required for the mural will be funded by the Association.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“I’m so pleased that we’re seeing another of the phased improvements planned for the Botanic Gardens lakeside area coming to fruition. The park has such a rich heritage and the new mural design will really showcase this to both visitors and park users.

“I’d like to thank Rob for offering his time at no cost to undertake the painting in his studio and to the volunteers of the Botanic Gardens Community Association for their contribution for the mural materials.

“I know that the community is very excited about the mural, as well as the wider park improvements, and can’t wait to see it take pride of place by the lake next year, which by that point will be fitted with new aerating fountains too.” 

Robert grew up in Southport and spent a huge part of his teenage years drawing and painting – often in the Botanic Gardens studying and sketching the flora and fauna. His career as a self-taught artist has taken him around the globe, but closer to home people may know him for his Southport town centre mural of Captain Sir Tom Moore that he painted last year.

Robert Newbiggin, said:

“I’m excited to start as I have the boards now, and the fact I’m the artist I am today will make all the difference.”

David Cobham, Botanic Gardens Community Association (BGCA), said:

“The Botanic Gardens Community Association volunteers have kept the existing mural going for the past few years with a new surround. But, time marches on and we are delighted that Rob has offered to carry out the artwork for free to add to his magnificent portfolio.

“The new mural will be far longer lasting, and we are equally delighted to fund the first-class infrastructure materials.”

The new and improved mural installation works follows last month’s news that two aeration fountains have been ordered as part of the first phase of lakeside improvements at the park.

The costs of the fountains have been met by recent fundraising efforts from the Make a Change for Ben group who have donated their funds raised to the BGCA for improvement projects and on-going maintenance within the park.

A longer-term vision to source a multi-million-pound investment for the park remains at the early stages of development. Next steps will include launching a public consultation in 2022.

Anyone interested in helping to shape the developing project, or would like to volunteer in the Botanic Gardens, can contact the Botanic Gardens Community Association at https://botanicgardensca.org.uk/

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