World Class Waterfront

Closed 20 Jul 2020

Opened 29 Jun 2020

Feedback updated 13 Nov 2020

We asked

Southport has the opportunity to bid for up to £50m of central Government funding as part of the Town Deal Fund, to boost economic growth and town wide regeneration.  As part of the stakeholder engagement for the submission, a  consultation exercise was undertaken to gather feedback on a number of Big Ideas that would inform a wider Vision for Southport.

Each of these Big Ideas included  a number of project ideas that we thought had  the potential to attract wider investment both from the Government and from the private sector. We asked what you thought of these Big Ideas and what you think we might have missed.

You said

The Town Deal Board received over 2,033 completed questionnaires, with 826 detailed comments from the questionnaires. In addition to this, we received 40 emails, 5 phone calls and 4 letters.

Following the online consultation, the Town Deal Board also engaged with a number of other stakeholder groups including university students, college students school children, visitors and local business owners.

A summary of all the responses received in the full consultation report.

Southport Town Investment Plan Consultation Report

We did

This engagement has informed the Town Investment Plan (TIP) which was submitted to government at the end of October 2020. Key points of influence from engagement include: 

  • The importance of the TIP including projects which enhance the appeal of visitor attractions including Pleasureland and the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre
  • The importance of developing a new attraction in the Marine Lake which will attract more visitors to the town
  • The importance of connecting the town centre and Waterfront
  • Necessity of finding new uses and attractions for vacant shops in the town centre. The importance that different areas and attractions are well connected via the public realm, pedestrian and cycling facilities
  • The need for the TIP to address seasonality in the economy. The TIP should also facilitate the attraction and growth of different industries to the town centre with stakeholders highlighting gaps in the business accommodation offer for co-working space and digital and creative industries
  • The majority of the priorities identified by stakeholders under the Green and Clean theme have non-Towns Fund delivery or funding routes. The consultation does highlight an important role that the Towns Fund can play in ensuring that major regeneration developments in the town centre and waterfront can be reached on foot and by cycling, thereby minimising the need for short vehicular journeys in the town

The priorities expressed by consultees that have not been included in the TIP  will be addressed using funding and delivery routes other than Towns Fund.

The Town Deal Board will continue the conversation with residents, visitors and businesses as the Town Investment Plan progresses.




The waterfront is the area between the promenade and the beach. It contains some of the town’s best loved features including parks and gardens, the iconic pier, the Marine Lake, Pleasureland and the theatre and convention centre. It is an important area in welcoming visitors, and the leisure and business tourism it caters for supports many businesses and jobs in Southport. The masterplan proposes improvements and investment in this area so that it offers a “world class” experience.  

What you’ve already told us…

  • Tourism is the biggest employer in the town
  • We need to invest in new and improved visitor attractions
  • The Marine Lake could be improved
  • The Southport Theatre and Conference Centre is a great asset but it needs significant investment
  • Kings Gardens and Victoria Park are much loved features
  • The Pier has already benefited from restoration and is looking great
  • Events bring in lots of visitors and spending to the town – we should host more and have more variety
  • There is a need for better hotels
  • There are no activities to do when it rains
  • The beach is part of Southport’s unique identity and character. How can we get people visiting the beach for the day to spend money in the town centre?

Big Ideas for Change

Our Big Ideas are described below: 

1. Create a new, all weather visitor attraction at Pleasureland to boost visitor numbers all year round

2. Major investment in The Southport Theatre and Convention Centre to capture more business conferences and entertainment events, increasing visitors to the town as well as spending in shops, hotels and restaurants

3. Encourage investment in 4* quality hotels along the Promenade and Esplanade to increase the supply of good quality hotel rooms at the heart of the waterfront as well as high quality self-catering accommodation along the Lake Edge

4. Create opportunities for living by the waterfront, overlooking the Marine

Lake to increase the number of residents and spending in the town centre (e.g. a Marine Village with views to the Lake, the beach and the Municipal Golf Course)

5. Animate the Marine Lake to create spectacular displays all year round and to encourage visitors to stay for the evening and overnight (for example using light shows and water displays)

6. Improve pedestrian crossings to the Marine Lake and King's Park

7. Invest in the public realm (e.g. footpaths, street furniture, lighting, signage) and create a better pedestrian experience along the key streets linking the Promenade with Lord Street (for example Nevill Street and Scarisbrick Avenue)

8. Improve the quality of the public realm along Marine Parade and the junction with Marine Drive (e.g. through the use of public art)

What happens next

We will review all feedback received and use this to inform our bid for £25 million from the Towns Fund, which will be submitted to the Government later this year. This will be an ongoing conversation between residents, businesses, the Town Deal Board, Sefton Council and Government and there will be more opportunities to get involved.


  • All Areas


  • Public
  • Stakeholders
  • Local businesses
  • Local residents
  • Children and Young people
  • Voluntary, Community groups and organisations
  • Councillors/MP's
  • Students
  • Visitors/Tourists/Non-residents
  • Older People


  • Business
  • Public Transport
  • Regeneration
  • The environment
  • Leisure
  • Planning
  • Tourism
  • Economic development