Sefton appoints leading UK construction group to work on MLEC project

22 March 2023 2min read

Yet another landmark for the Marine Lake Events Centre project has been reached after Sefton confirmed one of the UK’s leading construction firms to oversee the venue’s delivery.

The new Centre will be complemented by the UK’s first light, water and sound show in the town’s Marine Lake.


Following a comprehensive tender process,  Kier Group, one of the UK’s largest construction and infrastructure companies, have been identified as the preferred contractor to work on the Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC) project. Kier will now enter into a pre-construction services agreement with Sefton Council, in advance of full contract later in 2023.

This vital stage in the Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC) and Water & Lights Show project follows a series of huge milestones for the scheme, including the appointment of venue management experts ASM Global and £73 million pound business case approved by Sefton Council, by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and by Government.

As part of the Marine Lake Events Centre 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.

Social Value

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 brand new state of the art events centre and accompanying water and light show built on the site of the former Southport Theatre.

Sefton Council and the Southport Town Deal team have been congratulated by Government on ‘an ambitious project for the benefit’ of Southport and the Liverpool City Region, which will see a total of £73 million of funding invested into the project.


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 Planning Committee in Spring 2023.

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.

“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 and generating an annual £18 million for the local economy and I am delighted that Sefton Council is once again leading the way in exciting projects like this.”

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