Demolition set to start ahead of delivery of £73m Southport leisure scheme

Artist's impression of Marine Lake Events Centre

Demolition is set to commence on the site of the new £73m Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport, following planning approval by Sefton Council’s planning committee a year ago.

The council has selected specialist demolition company, DSM Group, to carry out the demolition of the former Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, with preparations set to take place on site in the coming days.

This milestone follows on from significant preparatory works involving the creation of a bespoke bird raft for any disturbed wildlife and the diversion of underground pipework away from site, which was completed significantly ahead of schedule by contractors Dowhigh.

Sefton Council has already announced the securing of ASM Global, which will manage the venue on the resort’s promenade.

When completed the Marine Lake Events Centre will join ASM Global’s network of more than 350 venues around the world, which collectively host 20,000 events across sports, music, entertainment and business every year.

Iconic venues in ASM’s portfolio already include the AO Arena in Manchester, The Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and Soldier Field in Chicago.

With demolition work on the horizon, Andrew Fletcher, Managing Director of the DSM Group, said he is eager to work with nearby residents and businesses to keep disruption to a minimum. He said: “We have been able to work closely with Sefton Council and they were impressed with our plans and suggestions to mitigate any disruption to the community, which is a clear priority for the council.”

DSM will contact residents prior to the main demolition works commencing to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum, with ongoing communications and engagement throughout the works.

Phil Porter, Chief Executive of Sefton Council, said: “The Marine Lake Events Centre is going to be managed by one of the most experienced companies in the world, bringing more than half a million new visitors to Southport each year and generating an annual £18m boost for the local economy.

“At every stage so far we have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes identifying and appointing the most experienced partners to help us achieve our aspirations and I am delighted that DSM Group will oversee the demolition and enabling works.

“Residents and passers-by won’t see an awful lot yet as preparatory work is taking place inside the building and we expect external demolition works to start in early summer.”

Maria Bertelli, Strategic Business Development Director at ASM Global, said: “This is an exciting milestone in the road to completion of the Marine Lake Events Centre. We’re pleased to see real progress taking place on site as the vision for this transformative project begins to take shape. As ever, we continue to work closely with all involved on the delivery of this brand new facility for Southport.”

Ahead of the demolition a number of culturally important items have been salvaged from the former theatre building, including historic projectors, which will be preserved and put on display inside the new Marine Lake Events Centre.

Sefton Council has also started a procurement process to identify a main contractor for the construction of the new venue and further updates about this will be announced in due course, it said.

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