Corona Causes STCC Closure
The STCC Southport is among businesses whose revenues have been severely impacted by the coronavirus lockdown imposed in March.
For the past two years the centre has operated on a three-year ‘caretaker’ basis by Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd as discussions took place on the long-term future of the site.
The devastating trading conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertain future ahead in 2020 & 2021 mean that the Directors of the operating company, Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd, have no choice other than to place the company into liquidation.
Stephen Katz of David Rubin and Partners has been appointed and consultation will now begin with all affected staff. A dedicated contact email has been established:
STCC was operated by Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) for 18 years, until the arrangement ended in April 2018.
Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd then agreed terms with Sefton Council to manage the venue for three years while the council determined a long-term strategy.
Post ATG leaving, Sefton Council investigations into the condition of the building revealed a need for urgent repairs costing £1.2million.
In March, Sefton Council appointed consultants IPW to examine the best options for the future of the facility, which was officially opened by Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich in May 1973.
In the meantime, once coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased, people will be able to continue to enjoy visiting the theatres, museum, library and art galleries at The Atkinson on Lord Street in Southport, which was reopened in May 2013 following a £20million
transformation. Many excellent productions are also staged at The Little Theatre on Hoghton Street in Southport.
Bliss Hotels Ltd, a separate company to Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd, will focus all of its efforts on re-opening and re-energising Bliss Hotel and The Waterfront area in Southport and is committed to their long-term future in the town.
Directors Robert Agsteribbe and Daniel Broch said: “Through Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd we took on STCC on a short three-year ‘caretaker’ lease with the aim to turn the business around.
“After two years we were beginning to turn the losses we inherited into a small profit.
“We were looking forward to our third year when the coronavirus outbreak suddenly struck. It has come out of nowhere and at the worst possible time for everyone
“As a short term operating company Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd has no assets, now has no revenue, and holds a lease expiring in about a year’s time. In addition it’s uncertain whether the business could open before the end of the lease and, if it does, it would be highly likely to be under severe capacity restrictions.
“In light of the above, and to comply with our fiduciary duty we have sought advice from an insolvency practitioner who has advised us that we have no choice other than to place the company into liquidation.
“We continue to work very closely with the officers and councillors at Sefton Council who have never wavered in their commitment to STCC as a venue and to our shared vision for a redeveloped Waterfront which includes a new and improved 21st Century conference,
exhibition and entertainment venue.
“We’re extremely grateful for their ongoing support; sadly the arrival of coronavirus has left us no choice other than liquidation. In these tragic circumstances we have Sefton Council’s regrettable understanding and consent.”
Bliss Hotels continues to trade and is firmly committed to the ongoing redevelopment and regeneration of Bliss Hotel and the Waterfront area of Southport.
Robert Agsteribbe and Daniel Broch said: “Our ambitions for Bliss Hotel, The Waterfront and for Southport as a whole remain the same as they were before this outbreak; a vision which develops The Waterfront into a National Destination and Southport into one of the
greatest coastal towns in the U.K.
Coronavirus has dealt us all a cruel blow and we’re devastated for all who are and will be affected. However, we’re determined to see our vision through.”