Iconic Merseyside venue ‘has no place’ in city’s future


A historic building that houses thousands of memorabilia ‘has no place’ in the multi-million pound future of a Merseyside town.

Southport Theater and Convention Center (STCC), the building that houses the Floral Hall, is set to undergo a complete makeover according to plans for the brand new Marine Lake Events Center which is coming to Southport as part of the Town Deal.

The space will see part of Marine Lakeside completely redesigned as millions are invested in the redevelopment of the town.

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The founder of the Save Southport Theater and Convention Center Facebook group, which racked up more than 6,000 members in just a few months when the STCC originally closed, explained how she understands the future holds no place for the building, but remains disappointed .

Lisa Kelly was laid off in 2020 after working part-time at STCC for 20 years. One night, she decided to form the Facebook group in hopes of reopening the building — not to get her job back, but to save the building itself.

The building was forced to close its doors permanently after the liquidation of the company that managed the site, Bliss Space.

Since then it has remained closed and will remain so until it is transformed.

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Lisa told ECHO: “I still wish it were saved, of course, especially the Floral Hall. The theater has problems, I have to admit it does, but the Floral Hall is the most great advantage. It’s a big money-maker for the city.

“It would have been nice if businesses across the city had committed to saving it from the start, but they didn’t. I’ve gone as far as I can, but how far can you go when they already have the funding for this project. They’re not going to return the £37m and say ‘yes, we’re going to save it’.

“Not everyone wants it, a lot of people want a whole new place, they don’t see the benefit of it. They are the ones who have never been there, never danced on the floor and never “Never realized what an advantage that was. They don’t mind. It’s hard.”

Events Center in Southport.” content=”https://i2-prod.liverpoolecho.co.uk/incoming/article23063758.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_Southport-Marine-Lake-Events-Centre-£35m-funding-bid-declined-as-ambitious-plans-continue.jpg”/>
The proposed design of the new Marine Lake Events Center in Southport.

“There are no clauses on it, it should have been done like Kings Gardens, protected. It should have been protected but it wasn’t.”

Dates have not been confirmed for the start of work on the Marine Lake Events Center, but there will be a complete overhaul of the area.

Lisa Kelly with Bobby Davro at the Southport Theater and <a class=Convention Center” content=”https://i2-prod.liverpoolecho.co.uk/incoming/article23065512.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_Lisa-Kelly-with-Bobby-Davro-at-Southport-Theatre-and-Convention-Centre.jpg”/>
Lisa Kelly with Bobby Davro at the Southport Theater and Convention Center

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: ‘We recognize and fully understand the community’s desire to ensure that dedicated performance space is available in the town center to complement The Atkinson’s existing entertainment offerings, Little Theater and more in the resort.

“As the largest investment project included in the Southport Town Deal, the Marine Lake Events Centre, a working title suggested by one of over a thousand school children who responded positively to the targeted consultation on The project, will provide Southport with incredible events space with state-of-the-art facilities to attract a continuous wide range of different types of entertainment events and audiences to the resort.

“The creation of the Marine Lake Events Center is believed to bring more than 515,000 visitors to the waterfront. It is also expected to create 288 jobs and boost the city’s hotel and hospitality sector with nearly 60,000 overnight stays alone. for conferences and events.

“The Southport Theater and Convention Center building currently remains closed until completion of this work, as it has been since the site’s operating partner after Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd, the company was brought in to manage the Southport Theater and Convention Center (STCC), went into liquidation.

“Further updates and stakeholder engagement will progress in the coming months.”

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