The operators of Southport’s famous pier have revealed a recent decision by the local council will help ensure further investment in the attraction goes ahead.
Southport Pier Pavilion is undergoing a major refurbishment project after Sefton Council secured £2million in funding from the Coastal Community Fund.
Pier operators Natalie Jamieson-Morrison and Joanne Jamieson, who lease the facility and operate the popular café at the end of the Victorian attraction, are also investing a significant sum into the venue.
The duo are refurbishing the pier’s café, and renovating two historic shelters which will become retail venues.
Sefton Council has now granted permission for the café to serve alcohol and host musical entertainment, able to operate seven days a week from 9am to 3.30am. Permission has also been granted for outdoor events to take place.
Malcolm Ireland, head of Leisure & Licensing at regional law firm Napthens, which operates an office in the town, advised the family on the application.
Malcolm said: “There is a real passion for the pier to remain at the heart of the community and its leisure offering, and the council recognised the hard work Natalie and Joanne have put in and their commitment to the town.
“They are investing significantly into the pier, and they can now continue to host quality events in the evenings as well as during the day, and I’m sure continue to attract investment into Southport and create jobs for the town.”
Natalie Jamieson-Morrison has now revealed the plans are the culmination of hard work over the last 12 months which will ensure professional, quality events can be held on the pier in a move which she says form a key part of the family’s refurbishment of the venue.
She explained: “We have been hosting fairly regular events anyway on the pier, but to do so has involved applying for permission event by event, which has made it very difficult to plan and be flexible in terms of requests from the public.
“This decision by the council simply means it will be easier to hold events. It sets in stone, with the council’s backing, what the pier can do for the town and we are pledging that it will play a key role in helping to transform the venue and bring it well and truly into the 21st century.
“So far we know DJ nights have proven popular, but it isn’t just about the evenings – we are planning pop-up festivals for the pier to take advantage of spells of good weather.
“Even before we hosted our first wedding here two years ago, we’ve known there is a real passion for the pier to remain a key part of the community and its leisure offering. This decision by the council will allow us to continue our investment into the venue in a modern and more flexible manner.”