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All eyes on the enterprise in Southport

Southport is set to have its first purpose-built incubator spaces for start-up businesses.

Forming part of Southport’s Town Deal Bid, Crown Buildings, located within one of Southport’s famous grand shopping arcades, Cambridge Walks, is proposed to undergo extensive refurbishment.

Repurposing an historic, empty property to create a new business incubator space to support Southport’s emerging creative, digital and tech sector, the working title for the space is the ‘Enterprise Arcade’.

The Town Deal bid proposes to acquire and repurpose one of the town’s former department stores. The ‘Enterprise Store’ has been designed as move-on space from the Enterprise Arcade, supporting further growth and diversification of Southport’s economy, and bringing new footfall to a declining area of Southport’s town centre.

The near 3,000m2 flexible workspace, allowing for event and networking space to encourage cross collaboration, innovation and business growth, can house around 54 Creative, Digital and Tech focused SMEs in co-working and private office spaces.

Artist impression of what te outside of the arcade may look like

These two distinct and exciting projects will support the development of a focused Creative and Digital District in the town to play host to a vibrant cluster and community of businesses and like-minded individuals.

The redeveloped Southport Market, near to the Enterprise Arcade, will in turn benefit from custom generated by the new business hubs, playing host to informal meet ups and socials which are known to be vital to the success of these collaborative business spaces.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “I’m delighted that, as part of the Southport Town Deal Bid, we will be able to repurpose and fill key empty properties in the Town Centre attracting more people to work in the town, supporting the retail and hospitality sector and providing more reasons for young people to stay and work in Southport.

“The Enterprise Arcade and Enterprise Store will offer a space for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, creating a community for our existing and future talent.

“The designs won’t be like any other traditional workplace setting and will capture Southport’s distinctive entrepreneurial character.

“Together with the redevelopment of Southport Market, all three projects will work in tandem bringing new uses to underused and vacant buildings while generating substantial footfall to the area.

“Our bid has now been submitted and we have done everything in our power to make Southport an attractive proposition for the Government to invest in. Without Government support these fantastic schemes won’t go ahead. We eagerly await their response.”

Inside of a similar office space that the enterprise hub could look like

Joint plea to public to continue to be sensible and respectful at Sefton’s beauty spots

A number of organisations across Sefton are joining forces to remind people to continue to be sensible and respectful if they choose to spend time outdoors during the warm weather.

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, HM Coastguard, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners.

Today (04 August) the partnership launches a campaign covering many of the issues faced on the Sefton coast.

Since restrictions were lifted allowing people to spend more time outside, we have seen a rise in the number of people using local beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve and many of Sefton’s beautiful beaches.

The advice remains that everyone should maintain social distancing at all times.

People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors.

We are also asking people to remain respectful and protect our public spaces.

During the recent nice weather, the partnership has received reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

Mark Shaw from Sefton Council’s Green Sefton service said:

“Our beaches are tempting but they are not able to cope with high level of visitors at the moment.

“For those few who do visit our coastline at this time, they are advised that stringent parking restrictions are in place, all rubbish must be taken home and BBQs are strictly prohibited along the entirety of the Sefton coastline.

“At this time, we need people to think about their safety and the safety of others, as well as the wellbeing of our communities and Council staff.”

Sefton Chief Inspector Mike O’Malley from Merseyside Police said:

“We continue to work closely alongside our partners to deal with all issues on Sefton’s beautiful coastlines, and this August – with many choosing to holiday in this country due to travel restrictions – will be no different. We want all visitors to enjoy a safe, relaxing and enjoyable time, and show consideration for those who live in these areas.

“During spells of good weather this year we have had reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

“Anyone acting antisocially should expect to be dealt with by police in a robust manner, and we will also support other agencies in their work.

“I want to reassure those affected by anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and other issues affecting the communities of Sefton that we will again make a co-ordinated effort to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“Throughout August, officers will be on foot, in vehicles and on quad bikes across the Sefton coastline including Formby, Ainsdale and Crosby beaches, as well as parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve.”

PC David Baier from British Transport Police said:

“Everyone wants to enjoy this gorgeous weather and may head to the coast but it’s really important that people continue to social distance and wear compulsory face coverings when using public transport.

“These may be strange times, but the same rules apply regarding anti-social behaviour – we won’t tolerate any abuse of passengers or rail staff and we’ll continue to take a robust approach to anyone who breaks the rules.”

ENDS

Southport Park & Ride services are back on the road again

Sefton Council is pleased to announce that from Monday 27th July Southport Park & Ride service will be re-commencing.

The service will be running from the Esplanade every 10 minutes, through the Town Centre and on to the Southport Eco Centre from 07.30 to 18.30 Monday to Saturday and 10.00 to 18.30 Sundays, at just £2 per car. 

Passengers will be asked to practice social distancing whilst waiting for the bus and to wear a face covering when they are travelling on the bus to protect themselves and other passengers.

We are also advising passengers to sanitise their hands as soon as possible before and after travel, with hand sanitiser stations located within the Southport Eco Centre.

It’s great news to be able to have this incredibly popular service back on the road, helping tourists, shoppers and commuters to get around the local area.

Please note: It has not been possible to open the public toilets in the Eco Centre due to social distancing guidelines.

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: https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/futuresouthport/

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

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