Southport’s iconic Kingsway nightclub is set to be demolished and replaced by a £9m luxury hotel, apartment and retail complex.
A deal has already been brokered for a well-known four-star hotel chain to operate 84 bedrooms, while 52 dazzling sea-view apartments will attract the rich and stylish to the town.
Boutique retail units and a swanky restaurant will also be built – with an opening date set for as early as 2012.
Kevin Hegarty, director of developer Woodthorpe Homes, said: “This scheme will rejuvenate the whole area.
“Not only will it add a much-needed 84 quality bedrooms to the hotel market, it will transform what is currently a tired and run-down part of the town into a must-go area.
“Southport needs to be seen as a booming town that is moving forward and this classy development will do that.”
The Kingsway, built in 1931, hosted performances from legends such as Tom Jones and Cilla Black.
Mr Hegarty said: “We can’t give too much away but it’s a four-star quality hotel operator which has a portfolio across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
“They are wholly committed to the project, even though they would prefer 100 beds rather than the 84 we can deliver. The operator is keen to get going so speed is of the essence.”
All the apartments will be built with balconies allowing breathtaking views that sweep over the Marine Lake.
Its jewels in the crown, however, are the nine swanky penthouses, which come designer-fitted with no expense spared.
Mr Hegarty said: “We expect these to be snapped up straight away. The balconies will be enormous and provide a prime view of all that happens on the Promenade, including events like the Air Show.”
Grounds at the building’s Promenade front will be landscaped to provide a natural and spacious crossing point to the revamped King’s Gardens.
Architect Chris Taylor said: “The architectural style harks back to the sweeping horizontal lines of 1930s seaside pavilions and will compliment the other new developments on the Promenade, such as the Floral Hall.
“The site is an important one for Southport as it allows the Promenade to end with a positive statement instead of the surface car parking that is currently there.”
The Kingsway, latterly known as the nightclub Bliss, has lain in a state of disrepair since 2006. Structural surveys reveal the derelict building is “beyond economical repair”, with cracks in brickwork, loose parapets and noticeable movement in the foundations.
After months of in-depth discussions with an influential design review panel Places Matter, Woodthorpe Homes is preparing to approach Sefton Council with its planning application.
Mr Hegarty added: “If we get approval within four months we can be on site and work throughout the summer. From there, it’s a working programme of about 18 months.
“From now on, speed is of the essence as keeping the hotel operator on board is crucial to the delivery of the development.”
A public consultation on the Kingsway redevelopment is being held in the Royal Clifton Hotel, Promenade, on October 20, 10am to 5pm. A professional team from Woodthorpe Homes will be on hand to answer any questions.