Lead Architect appointed for Southport Marine Lake Events Centre

AFL Architects has been appointed to lead the design and development of the new 1,200-capacity, £75m Marine Lake Events Centre, which will replace the now outdated Southport Theatre & Convention Centre.

The team from AFL will be providing architectural and interior design services for the £75m venue. The project is planned to feature a 1,200-capacity auditorium, exhibition space and co-working areas. An additional water, light and sound attraction will draw visitors to the lakeside.

The project is to be part-funded by a £37.5m Town Deal award, with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority providing an additional £23m.

AFL will be leading a team including specialist venue consultant IPW…, project manager and cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald, and civil engineering consultants AECOM.

AFL was awarded the project through a competitive tender process, procured and managed through the NHS SBS Construction Consultancy 2 framework. The framework is open to all public bodies, providing a compliant and high-quality route to market.

Marcel Ridyard, Senior Associate, AFL Architects, said:

We couldn’t have hoped for a more exciting and important cultural project for the north west. Our team feels a great sense of responsibility for the heritage of this world-famous promenade – the new multi-purpose centre will be a modern complement to this history, while establishing Southport as a vibrant visitor destination. It’s a very exciting prospect.

John Roberts, AFL Architects Director, added:

We could not be more thrilled to be the chosen architects for this project, working with Sefton Council and their development partners. We believe people are brought together by shared experiences and active involvement in their communities. This project embodies both – a flexible, multi-purpose venue that is steeped in dialogue and engagement with the people who will benefit most.

The sustainability of these highly flexible venues is borne out by the evidence – these are regenerative, revitalising developments that attract visitors and bring life back into town centres. We now have a massive responsibility to Southport and the wider Merseyside area to create something incredible and energising for Marine Lake.

Tender launched

Sefton Council is now seeking a company to operate the venue and has launched a tender for the job, advertising a £9m, 25-year contract.

HOK Architects had drawn up preliminary designs for the scheme.

Image credit: HOK feasibility study

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The 2022 event is to be hosted at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and will feature the usual high-level conference, an exhibition showcasing industry-leading products & services, networking events and a very special behind-the-scenes tour of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sponsored by Levy UK + Ireland.

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