Agenda and draft minutes

Southport Town Deal Board - Tuesday 9th March, 2021 8.30 am

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Contact: Rebecca Johnstone 

No. Item




Apologies were received from:

           Greta Fenney

           Kim Cooper

           Robert Agsteribbe


Future Role of the Board and Board Members


RF congratulated the Board, and all involved following the funding announcement. Acknowledging that the Board will continue, but the role of the Board will now change.


SW noted:

              Council are the accountable body and lead most of the projects

              Board has been invaluable and want to keep their perspective

              Chair and council Chief Executive will be the signatories of the Town Deal

              Strategic leadership from the board, but not operational or financial risk to board members

              Some members may be interested in the work opportunities

              Procurement policy will be through the council procedures – so client and contractor role may evolve

              Maintenance of confidentiality until heads of terms agreed given the commercial elements


Comments from the Board:

              The Board has worked well, shown in the  quality of the submission and there will be  future funding opportunities. This Board can be one way to strengthen existing partnerships and develop business links,

              The Board will continue to have influence as a ‘watching brief’ under the Nolan principles. See how the Board evolves 

              Is there a wider role for the Board in delivering the Masterplan? For future discussion.

              The focus is now on delivery and business case development - move to quarterly meetings and review work from officers

              Support approach to see what happens naturally and not set out exactly what the remit is – not make it prescriptive

              Do not propose to expand the role of board given the challenge ahead and the councils own resources to deliver



·         Future meetings to be diarised approx. quarterly and written updates in-between (approximately monthly), with flexibility to reconvene between those meetings if needed. 

·         Signing the Heads of Terms delegated to the Chair and Council CEO 


Declarations of Interest


Declarations of interest were received from:

·         James Brayshaw – interest in digital and creative space opportunities 

·         Mark Lawler – interest in creative and digital opportunities

·         Rob Anderson – interested in work in the future/working alongside NW

·         Norman Wallis – interest due to project funding opportunity


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 83 KB


Status Update and Project Prioritisation discussion


SW set out:

·         Submission was for £50m and £37.5m allocated so discussion needed on who to allocate funding on the projects.

·         The amount is a success and joint largest announced last week – but means we cannot do everything we put forward at this time.

·         There may be other funding routes

·         Want to ensure we make best use of what we do have, through prioritisation

·         Government advised that no projects are deemed not eligible for funding – all eligible, the Board need to agree the allocations


Board discussion and agreement:


Public realm

·         Lowest BCR.

·         Important, but intend to explore other funding routes to deliver

·         potentially a key project in terms so linking the established assets which have already been invested in

·         Allocation to be made for wayfinding – for example to market and moving across the town?

·         Engaging with CA transport colleagues to consider what public realm/walking & cycling/wayfinding works could be funded through wider transport projects being developed for Southport

·         Reduced funding agreed (£0.5m)


Enterprise Store

·         Need to reach and acceptable position in 8 weeks – suggest not achievable

·         Alternative properties and other private interest in area will come though wider town deal investment and development of Southport Market

·         Propose no funding allocation at this time, but the project remains a part of the council’s aspirations for its growth programme (via alternative funding / delivery routes).

·         Re: Enterprise Arcade and Store – there is a need for scale in order have transformational change and impact  and do not want to miss or forget the long-term opportunities. Small intervention is valuable – but the scale brings regeneration  which Southport would benefit from


The Enterprise Arcade

·         Can be considered “shovel-ready”

·         Good BCR, return on investment, and pace at which we believe we can deliver this

·         Propose to fund this in full (£1.5m)


Building better Customer Experience

·         This will engage and enthuse the town and businesses 

·         Will provide transferable skills

·         Propose to fund in full, with match funding agreed by the CA (£0.2m)



·         Exciting opportunity

·         Work has continued since bid submission and a planning application was imminent. This was essential to secure the HoT

·         Propose to part fund and will support the project to sustain momentum (£2.5m)


Events Centre

·         Cornerstone of the bid

·         Engages and enthuses the younger consultees

·         To unlock the wider investment in the town – Events centre is key

·         Propose for substantial funding as per submission (with match funding and private sector investment)

·         Funding proposed £29.5m


The Light Fantastic

·         Separate  project – but will be developed together with Events Centre as they strengthen each other and bring efficiencies in developing them together

·         Propose to fund at reduced level (£3.3m)



Communications, Engagement and Confidentiality


SW noted:

·                     We are not proposing to re-open formal consultation with the town, given the quality of the work we did last year

·                     We will agree the terms with MHCLG and then do the public comms following that

·                     Cabinet approval process for the Heads of Terms is required and will be in public domain (without details until those HoTs are agreed).

·                     Sustain engagement with the shadow board and schools

·                     We have also secured two fully funded interns from Liverpool John Moore’s University, to support engagement with commuter students who live in the town and study at LJMU – this will bring new perspectives and input

·                     Comms plan will follow

·                     We can demonstrate momentum and confidence with government, the town and the Board – the lights and the market already making great progress

·                     Business cases can be agreed as and when they are ready and delivered at pace


NW, MB, MA agreed to recommence discussions and planning on training and employment – IR and JB would like to be involved too. 


·                     Managing expectations in the comms and taking into account post-Covid will need to be considered

·                     The Heads of Terms will send out a message and the framework of the wider range of projects will give potential investors certainty on where to place investment. 



Next Steps


Covered above.


The Chair thanked the Board for their time and contributions.




None raised.


DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING: TBC (meeting dates to be sent)