Kier appointed to deliver £73m Marine Lake Events Centre

Southport's proposed Marine Lake Events Centre

Construction giant, Kier Group, has been appointed to deliver Southport’s £73m Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC).

Sefton Council chose the group to oversee delivery of the venue, which will be complemented by the UK’s first light, water and sound show in the town’s Marine Lake.

Kier will now enter into a pre-construction services agreement with the council, in advance of full contract later in 2023.

This vital stage in the MLEC and Water & Lights Show project follows a series of milestones for the scheme, including the appointment of venue management experts ASM Global and £73m pound business case approved by Sefton Council, by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and by government.

As part of the MLEC project Kier and other partners have also signed up to a special social value plan which will see them give back to communities across Sefton.

This will include providing local employment and supply chain opportunities, along with additional time and resources dedicated to working with school and college students who want to explore careers in the construction industry.

Overwhelming support has already been shown for the transformational project, which will see a new state of the art events centre and accompanying water and light show built on the site of the former Southport Theatre.

Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) recently approved £17.7m funding for the new Marine Lake Events Centre. This was on top of £2.3m the CA had already committed to the pre-development work.

A planning application for the project has been submitted and is expected by be considered by Sefton’s planning committee this spring.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said: “By awarding preferred status to Kier we are putting the physical creation of the venue into the hands of a proven contractor with a strong track record.

“The interest of the UK’s leading construction firms in the project, and the standing of the successful bidder, reaffirms the scale of ambition for the future of Southport that this transformational project demonstrates.”

Cllr Atkinson added: “The end goal is a fully flexible, scalable cultural space capable of staging concerts, stand up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences, exhibitions that is the envy of other towns and cities.

“Kier share in the ambitions of Sefton Council and the Southport Town Deal in making MLEC a soaring success.

“The MLEC, together with the Light Fantastic, is forecast to attract more than half a million additional visitors to Southport year on year, generating an annual £18m for the local economy and I am delighted that Sefton Council is once again leading the way in exciting projects like this.”