The transformation of Southport Market into a social space to enjoy food, drink and markets is one step closer to reality with the Governments Acceleration Grant announcement
The resort has been awarded a £1million grant from central Government’s Town Deal Fund, which is designed to go towards capital development projects.
This funding will complement the work which is well underway on a comprehensive bid by the Southport Town Deal board for a larger grant of £25 million from the fund.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, says:
“This is a very welcome grant and helps us in our long term vision for Southport.
“We have been working extremely hard on plans for Southport Market as part of our Southport masterplan for some time, recognising how important such a social space would be to the local economic and tourism sector.
“It will bring a market culture experience to the town that some cities across the UK have successfully introduced already and which European towns and cities have become celebrated for. It also continues to show Sefton Councils commitment to Southport providing further opportunities to support independent businesses”
Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Southport Town Deal board, welcomed the news, saying:
“We have been working incredibly hard to try and make our ambitions a reality and we are in a fantastic position ahead of us submitting full plans for a £25million bid later this year.
“Our plans can now move forward at pace with Southport Market being the key focus, with £900,000 of the grant allocated to this project.
“The remaining £100,000 will be used to transform the Lord Street tree lights working in partnership with Southport Business Improvement District (BID) to ensure our beautiful boulevard is bathed in the very best light.”
Mark Lawler, Managing Director of Baltic Creative and member of the Southport Town Deal Board, echoed these sentiments.
Mark said: “We recognise how important this kind of investment can be for giving a kick start for further growth throughout the resort, as well as having the potential to spark further enhancement of the area surrounding the market.
“As a seaside town that is renowned for its great food and drink offer we think that this will be the perfect complement to Southport’s already impressive social offer, which is already recognised for championing independent businesses.”
The Southport Market project business case will now go to Cabinet and Council for approval in September, with a view to ensuring completion of the project by the end of the financial year, in accordance with the conditions of the grant.
For further information and to have your say on the Southport Town Deal, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/southport2020