Agenda and draft minutes

Southport Town Deal Board - Thursday 29th September, 2022 8.30 am

Venue: Remote - MS TEAMS

Contact: Clare Wright 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from:

·       Dwayne Johnson

·       Michelle Brabner

·       Iain Raikes



Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were received.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting


Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2022 be confirmed as a correct record.



Governance (Terms of Reference and Future Board Role) pdf icon PDF 259 KB



RF has reviewed the original terms of reference and confirmed that the original remit was to prepare the Town Investment Plan (TIP). Moving forward the responsibility for delivery and accountability lies with Sefton Council. The Terms of Reference therefore need to be updated to reflect the Boards input throughout the forthcoming implementation stages.


RF has also looked at what other Towns have put in place and found mixed approaches. RF reaffirmed that board is not a legal entity nor acts as the accountable body for funding.


SW confirmed that a copy of the proposed updated Terms of Reference was circulated prior to the meeting. This document incorporates the feedback from members during and after the last meeting. SW confirmed that there have been no expressions to step down other than members who left previously, and not looking to expand the existing membership. SW also confirmed the board need to formalise the chair and vice chair roles as part of this process.


Discussion took place about the proposed role of the board.


RF reiterated that the role of the board does need to change. With other Towns choosing to disband, rationalise into smaller working groups or continuing as they were, he feels that members input has been invaluable to the implementation of the projects so far and does not see a reason for this to change. Existing arrangements have worked well, and the updated Terms of reference can reflect this.


MB endorsed this approach and confirmed that it mirrors other partner arrangements within the borough and region e.g., LEPs and Combined Authority authorised as the decision-making body. They see Sefton Council having a genuine interest in engaging local businesses The board has been seen as a positive independent suite of voices influencing policy and implementation.


SB confirmed that other LCR areas are undertaking Governance reviews and adopting similar approaches.


PH also supported the proposal but queried the long term and wider objectives for the board. PH also queried the mechanism for new membership as this may be a requirement later and therefore needs remain in place.


SW clarified that we do not envisage membership to grow at this time, but if key skills are required or vacancies arise in key partner organisations, the positions would be filled. Process is as per the terms of reference.


PH queried the role of the board in the context of the master plan. He queried whether the remit of the board would extend outside of the town deal projects and if they would be involved in future phases or projects. Externally, this would cause confusion as to what the board are responsible for within Southport or the borough. SW proposed continued updates and engagement among the board on wider works as and were applicable.


RF confirmed that the role of the board was to set up the TIP and now this is complete we look to continuing the role. Going forward this is for the Town Deal projects and not a wider remit at this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Consultation and Engagement



Les Transformations


S Birch provided an update to the Board.


The report on consultation and engagement has been completed.


Overall responses were generally positive. Further engagement for the phase 1 works is planned with drop-in sessions planned for early November along with links with the college following the shadow board discussions.


MC confirmed that the businesses along Market Street have been visited for verbal feedback, there is ongoing dialogue with the Church and the businesses affected by the proposed works. Feedback has been generally positive.


PH acknowledged the response levels and commented that it is often seen more of an effort to compliment than complain.


SW confirmed that there is a risk of consultation fatigue, but the proactive approach has worked well and seen as exemplar in areas, especially as part of the TIP development.


ANg stressed the importance of engaging with the smaller businesses to

maximise the potential investment opportunities as part of the programme delivery. MC reaffirmed that this is ongoing and will continue.



Shadow Board


The shadow board played a large role in the formation of the TIP and just as we are reviewing the Board’s Terms of Reference, we are reviewing the future role of the Shadow Board and membership.


Discussions have commenced with Southport College to link to the Travel and Tourism students as well as the larger student population through their wider enrichment activities.


Officers have also met with Adrian Antell representing the Southport Learning Partnership for the primary school age group. IR as part of his new role at the Southport Learning Trust will link with the high school cohort.


This group aim to meet by the end of this half term to agree the updated terms of reference for the shadow board and establish how this will link within the main board remit and establish aspirations for the legacy of this project. Engagement activities are already in the planning stages for Les Transformation phase 1 consultations and MLEC construction facility links and workability workshop with the contract team.



Marine Lake Events Centre (MLEC)


MC confirmed that there has been a huge amount of consultation work carried out to date as part of the planning process with further events planned for the Visitor Economy Businesses.


The engagement session with Southport College will take place on 21st November and is being managed by the core consultant team who will provide an overview of the project, the different construction roles, and activities for approx. 15-30 students. The team are looking how this can be extended to Stanley High School students who have been heavily involved with consultation events to date. G&T consultants are keen to promote roles in construction to female students and are invested in achieving their social value targets.


FR and PH both endorsed the scheme but did question whether board members are best placed to do this and whether it should be in the capacity as individuals, board members, BID etc. PH went on the query the weight  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Project Updates

To receive updates on the following projects:


·       Marine Lake Event Centre – Mark Catherall, Tourism Manager

·       Les Transformation de Southport – Stephen Birch, Consultant

·       Enterprise Arcade – Keith Molloy, Strategic Lead Regeneration and Development

·       Building and Better Customer Experience - Claire McGuire, Service Manager, Employment & Learning




Marine Lake Events Centre


MC provided a general update. RIBA Stage 2+ is complete and stage 3

underway. The Planning application was submitted on the 6th July and validated the week after. MC is in discussion with the Planning team, the decision target date is December 2022.


A link to the planning portal was provided in the chat during the meeting and can be accessed here. Detailed discussion with variety of statutory authorities underway as part of the planning process. Pre-planning discussions have been taken into account in the submission.

Business case review underway.


SB confirmed that the Combined Authority External Investment Panel endorsed the remaining £17.7m investment earlier this month and is due to go to their board for approval on 14th October. As a funder the CA has key oversight of the project.


ASM have been appointed as the preferred Operator with the contractor

procurement underway. Expected to provide further update at the end of the year when we can.


RA queried the RIBA works stages and the planning submission. MC confirmed that design work was Stage 2+ and hybrid approach taken to develop the detail sufficiently for the planning application.


ANg questioned when the best time would be to publicise the progress made and target potential investors such as accommodation and other ancillary support services. MC confirmed that some discussions are ongoing, but the main driver will be once planning permission is sought and investors have the more certainty about the opportunities progressing. SW confirmed that the Council remains proactive in that regard.


MC provided members with an overview of the key programme dates with the scheme likely to be open Spring 2026.


MA reaffirmed the council’s commitment to deliver the project. She

acknowledged the huge amount of work taking place behind the scenes to

deliver the projects and wanted to take this opportunity to thank SW and the team for their efforts in progressing this far and recognises the huge amount of work coming up. This was echoed by RF and the board.

RF queried who was part of the procurement process for the selection of the Operator. MC confirmed that there was team as part of the negotiated process.


There was an open tender process guided by the consultants IPW. The team

comprised MC, SB, members of SMBC procurement, legal and finance teams.


The contractor's procurement exercise is being led by G&T. It is anticipated that there will be a 25-year agreement with the Operator including regular reviews.


SW added that the robust governance processes are in place with fortnightly progress updates to the CEO and monthly updates to elected members. Existing processes are being followed but recognising the capacity and capability of resources and market challenges including cost inflation is influencing priorities.


The economic position has been reviewed to reflect the spend commitment, CA investment and, through the market research G&T and other key consultants have carried out, the current inflation risk. RF confirmed that the risk registers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.




Q. Members reiterated the remit of the board and wanted to make sure the

private sector projects are linked such as BHS building.


A. CW confirmed that officers are sighted on the wider investment projects such

as the BHS and Cambridge arcade roof works and are in the process of drafting

full programme to help identify any potential disruption to businesses and




Date of Next Meeting


Quarterly meeting dates for 2023 to be circulated. Monthly electronic updates

will be provided as well as key documents requiring Board member involvement

/ oversight as required.