During the Queen’s Speech debate last week, local MP Damien Moore applauded the progress made in recent years to put Southport back on the map, and also called for more to be done to improve the town's rail connectivity.
The Queen’s Speech, this year delivered by Prince Charles, sets out the Government’s legislative agenda for the forthcoming year. Following the speech, MPs are given the opportunity to highlight what is going well, and what needs improving, in their areas.
Mr. Moore began his speech by highlighting the excellent work being done on the Southport Town Deal, which was awarded by the Government last year, saying:
“Since the last Queen’s Speech, Southport has begun the process of seismic change, with our £37.5 million Town Deal being met with hundreds of millions in pledged private funding. The Town Deal will ultimately help create more than 1,300 new jobs and bring in over a million extra visitors each year.”
Town Deal funding has already been used to provide the much-welcomed tree lighting along Lord Street, and fund the refurbishment of the popular Indoor Market.
The Southport Town Deal Board, of which Mr. Moore is a member, is continuing to work through the details on how the Government-allocated funding will be spent. Whilst the funding has been universally welcomed across the town, focus is shifting to more practical issues, such as where all of Southport’s new visitors will park.
For this reason, Mr. Moore also spoke in this Queen’s Speech debate on the need for improved local rail links into Southport to help address some of these concerns, saying:
“We need the Burscough Curves rail link to re-open, which would enable stronger connectivity not only within the region, but as far afield as Scotland and the south of England. We need to maintain the direct link from Southport to Manchester Piccadilly, which is crucial for jobs, business, and leisure.”
The Burscough Curves would link Southport to both Preston and Ormskirk by rail, allowing for more convenient inward travel for visitors to Southport, alongside outbound travel for our town’s residents.
Mr. Moore has previously spoken directly to the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Rail Minister about this proposals, and recently hosted a roundtable between local political leaders, key local stakeholders, and Transport for the North to discuss both the Burscough Curves and the direct line to Manchester Piccadilly in more detail.
Damien Moore, MP for Southport, said:
“Our town’s best years are ahead of us. We have a number of exciting new projects lined-up in Southport, with our Town Deal serving as a catalyst for hundreds of millions in private investment.
“Whilst I am championing investment into Southport from the private sector, I am also calling for more public investment into key transport infrastructure projects, which will help increase Southport’s visitor capacity and bring more people into our town spending money.
“As a resort town, having good rail links is crucial. I was delighted to use my speech in the Queen’s Speech debate as an opportunity to praise the work that has been done so far, and to outline my determination to get this opportunity right.”
Alan Fantom, Chair of the Ormskirk, Preston, and Southport Travellers’ Association, said:
"I would like to thank Damien Moore MP for again raising in Parliament the opportunities that exist to improve Southport’s rail infrastructure, which will complement and are critical to the success of our fantastic £37.5 million Town Deal.
"We have worked closely on transport issues over the past five years, and on Burscough Curves we are seeing more constructive dialogue towards some tangible progress being made.
“Alongside Damien, OPSTA will do all we can to support both this project and getting the Manchester services we need."