Southport Market

Southport could enjoy a real 'renaissance' if Town Deal funding is successful says MP Damien Moore

Southport could enjoy a real “renaissance” as a destination for families and business delegates if a £50million bid for Town Deal funding is successful, says MP Damien Moore. 
The Southport Conservative MP was part of a bid board which submitted its proposals to the Government on 31 October with the aim of kick-starting the redevelopment of the seaside resort. 
The plans include the creation of a new waterside events centre, an immersive light and sound show in the Marine Lake, infrastructure funding to support the transformation of Southport Pleasureland into an all year attraction and the conversion of empty town centre space to provide incubator space for new businesses. 
Mr Moore is calling on Ministers to back Southport’s Town Deal bid, which he believes is essential to help the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ ambitions while also helping the resort to build back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
He said: “If the Town Deal submission is successful then it will secure the biggest single investment in Southport in generations. 
“It then has the potential to unlock an estimated further £350million of private investment. “Southport has suffered over 20 years of neglect which we must work hard to reverse. 
“In the same week that we submitted the Southport Town Deal proposals to the Government, we saw Sefton Council enter into an exclusivity agreement with Go Surf to create a world class Southport Cove Resort in Southport. This is a £40million all year round attraction which would create 120 new jobs, and is a great example of the type of investor interest Southport will attract if our Town Deal bid is successful. 
“This Government is keen to help ‘Level Up’ the UK. To do this successfully it has to support investment in towns such as Southport and not just big cities. 
“The Towns Fund was set up to invest £3.6 billion into over 100 towns, including Southport, as part of the Government’s plan to level up our regions. 
“This is a Conservative Government which has created this initiative and is giving Southport and other towns the opportunity to bid for this funding. 
“With that level of funding, the Government cannot simply write a blank cheque and hand it over. It has to ensure that any bids for funding will demonstrate the potential to give value for money and to have the potential to attract further private investment.” 
During 2020, a Southport Town Deal bid board consulted widely with local people, businesses and other stakeholders in Southport as they put together their funding proposals. 
The board was led by Rob Fletcher, the Board Chair and Founder and Chairman of Fletchers Solicitors in Southport. The board also includes Southport MP Damien Moore, representatives of Sefton Council, Southport BID, and other local business and civic leaders. 
Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, which was already in need of major investment, closed in March last year. The board felt that creating a new waterside events centre which would attract hundreds of thousands of visitors a year to Southport should be the main focus of its bid. 
Also included are requests for infrastructure spending to support the conversion of Southport Pleasureland into an all year attraction; the creation of an immersive light and sound show in the Marine Lake; public realm improvements in Southport town centre; and the conversion of vacant town centre buildings to create incubator space for new businesses. 
The proposals aim to drive long-term economic and productivity growth in Southport through investment in connectivity, land use, economic assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure.
The Government has already granted £1million in Town Deal funding to Southport, which has seen £900,000 utilised to support the transformation of Southport Market into an exciting new food, drink and events space.
A further £100,000 has been provided to Southport BID to back its provision of new decorative lighting along both sides of the mile-long Lord Street shopping boulevard. 
Damien Moore said: “I believe that the Southport Town Deal bid board has put together a compelling case for Government investment in Southport. 
“As we emerge from this pandemic and look to rebuild, Southport is very well placed to benefit from the staycation boom which we are going to see in the UK in the months and years ahead. 
“The Southport Town Deal bid will help our town to rebuild its reputation as one of the premier destinations in the UK and allow us to attract millions of new visitors and business delegates. 
“The Town Deal could create a real renaissance for Southport.”