New £75million leisure beach and surf pool open near Lancashire
A new leisure beach and surf pool could open just outside Lancashire.
If all goes according to plan, the attraction will also include hotel and spa facilities and will open its doors by 2025.
Dubbed Southport Cove, the £75m scheme is to be built on the resort’s Princes Park by local company Go Surf. The state-of-the-art facility would also offer a nod to the city’s iconic outdoor baths that were once located nearby.
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Pre-bid talks are underway with Sefton Council, who have warmly welcomed the idea as part of what it hopes will be a significant private investment to accompany the £50million Town Deal prize from the city.
A new image of the development has now been released as Go Surf co-founder Tony Howard discussed the vision for the plans, reports the Liverpool Echo.
Tony was born and raised in the seaside town but left when he turned 18. He made a permanent return in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit.
The plans for Princes Park are drawn from the city’s history, with Tony and his co-founder Tamlyn Stone saying they tapped into the great history of the swimming lake that once occupied Ocean Plaza.
The location of the new leisure beach aims to take advantage of this, while emphasizing health and well-being.
Tony said: “Having lived there for several years, I returned to my home town in March 2020, looking at the waterfront and the town with fresh eyes. To have so much heritage of a town’s glorious past still intact is remarkable, many other historic seaside towns look enviously at what is left in Southport.
“The waterfront has so much potential, but I think it needs ambitious, modern attractions and experiences to appeal to a wider audience from all parts of the UK and perhaps beyond.”
“Our concept aligns with the city’s heritage, but is reinvented in a very modern way. In 2019, the city attracted an impressive 9 million visitors, most of whom were day trippers. More reasons to stay longer are needed, and The Cove can help make that happen.
Tony said he hoped the Cove could be open within the next three years.
Plans are currently at the pre-application stage, with the company hoping to secure planning permission in the near future.
Tony said: “The Cove’s appeal, and indeed its very identity, will be more than what is on offer within its confines. There’s so much to offer in Southport and along our coastline – golf, kitesurfing, cycling, paddle boarding, amusement park, sand dunes, pine forests and the splendor of Lord Street, to name but a few.
“Southport is an incredible experiential destination, which The Cove wants to enhance and promote widely.”
He added: “Southport should continue to embrace its history while learning from it. Success came from a clear understanding of his identity and a bucket of ambition. The city has so much to be proud of, but perhaps the next level of transformation will only come from confidence and boldness in delivery.
Speaking in 2020, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, Cllr Marion Atkinson, said: ‘Many people remember the much-loved outdoor swimming pool on the seafront next to Princes Park closed its doors to the public for the very last time in 1989 .
“This project will bring back a viable facility, balancing the memory of this much-loved old attraction with a new, modern, family-friendly offering that will be unique to the area.
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