The Engine Room opens in Southport, providing creatives a valuable resource

Academics from the University, in collaboration with Southport Business Improvement District (BID) launch a co-working digital hub to kickstart regeneration

Situated in a heritage shopping arcade, The Engine Room is a co-working and co-learning space designed to counter the trend of creatives leaving Southport for employment and opportunities. The venue officially opens its doors with a launch event at its Wayfarers Arcade studios on Thursday, 21st March 4-7pm.

Developed by CivED CIC, a community interest company focused on activating disused spaces, The Engine Room will be instrumental in regenerating Wayfarers Arcade and its neighbouring Lord Street area. It forms part of a strategic effort to produce a generative ’civic ecology’ where creative and digital entrepreneurs can start and scale new industries locally. ’Youth flight’ is a concern within the town, and it is hoped that by providing a space for honing skills and working remotely this issue can be minimised.

The Engine Room is led by Dr Eric Lybeck, a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Institute of Education, Director of CivED CIC, and resident of Southport, in collaboration with Southport BID, Southport College and Wayfarers Arcade. Designed by experts at the Manchester Urban Institute, the collection of units to the Arcade’s first floor will offer co-working desks, creative studios, workshops, meeting spaces and facilities for photography, podcasting, videography and more. Schools, colleges and independent educators will also be invited to use the space for teaching craft and artisan skills.

The launch event will include open viewing of the facilities, refreshments, and a cash bar, and welcome guest speaker Ian Parry of the Southport Learning Trust.

We’re looking forward to welcoming many creative individuals, businesses and education providers from the town to the launch event. This is very much a local project and we’re excited to share our vision for the facilities and how useful they will be to a wide range of individuals, educators and businesses. We’re also keen to hear ideas for the space from our visitors! The launch is, of course, also a great networking opportunity and a chance to find out what is happening within Southport’s creative space.

Tickets for the launch event are limited. To book your place, please visit the Eventbrite page .