Council says no decision yet on STCC future after Lib Dem criticisms

Sefton Council says no decisions have been made on the future of the STCC, after Cllr John Pugh called for clarity on plans for the building.

The local authoritiy is currently awaiting the decision on the £50m Town Deal bid, of which the “Marine Lake Events Centre” is a major focal point.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Southport Town Deal Board Member and Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Sefton Council has been working with the Southport Town Deal Board and Southport residents on a number of potential projects, one of which being the flagship Marine Lake Events Centre.

“The existing Southport Theatre and Convention Centre building has a long and proud history and is an asset that stirs great passion amongst all, as well as being sited in an incredible location in the town centre. But the venue closed in early 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and no decision has yet been made regarding its future.

“As the largest investment project included within the Town Deal Bid, the proposed Marine Lake Events Centre, a working title suggested by one of the hundreds of schoolchildren who responded to the targeted consultation on the project, will provide Southport with a highly flexible events space with state-of-the-art facilities to attract a continuous and wide range of different types of entertainment events and audiences to the resort.

“This will include theatre facilities, but thanks to its flexibility, the proposed space will maximise the number of event days each year and in turn secure the long-term financial sustainability of the venue.

“The aim of the Town Deal and Sefton Council is to add much, much more to our fantastic offer, not take anything away.

“This project is the centrepiece of the £50m Southport Town Deal bid, which was submitted to government in October 2020.

“While I’m well aware Cllr Pugh and his colleagues have previously criticised improvements in Southport and the wider Sefton area, it is still very disappointing to see such negative comments, and this is an obvious attempt to discredit this bid.

“I’d like to know who he has been speaking to in Westminster so we can set the record straight.

“As Cllr Pugh is well aware, the Southport Town Deal Board and Sefton Council await a formal decision regarding the level of allocated funding that may be received. I urge Cllr Pugh to think of the people and the area he represents and to get behind this fantastic opportunity.

“We all await this decision with bated breath. The support for Southport’s Town Deal and its projects, together with the level of funding potentially allocated, will clearly influence the pace and progress of delivery, and it would be premature to comment further at this stage.”

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