Saturday, 3 Jun 2023

Locals of seaside town ranked ‘one of the worst in UK with no beach’ speak out

Residents of Southport have spoken out after the Merseyside seaside town was ranked as "one of the worst in the UK".

Southport was dubbed the 14th worst seaside town – which some locals say doesn't even have a beach – in the UK by The Telegraph.

Despite the town having a theme park, a beach, a pier and a high street it was not enough for The Telegraph to rate it highly – but many disagreed with the brutal ranking from the national title.

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People living in Southport see the pros and cons of the town, whether that be the bustling nightlife or empty units that plague Lord Street.

While the front has been massively improved others claim that the area "needs a good clean".

Steve Jones, who works at The King's Plaice fish and chip shop on Lord Street, told the Liverpool ECHO: "I've lived in Southport for nine years. The front has been massively improved and there building that multi-million-pound complex, it's a pity that Lord Street isn't what it used to be.

"As it comes to one of the worst in the country, I wouldn't say that, it's a pleasure to live here, I love it here.

"Give me Southport over Blackpool any day.

"I used to live eight miles away from there. It's a shame all the shops are closing in the town.

"The rent and rates are too high and that's why I think a lot of businesses have to leave."

When asked about Chapel Street, Steve, 56, said: "It's bustling. It's absolutely bustling.

"The only complaint I have with Chapel Street is the slippery pavement.

"But you've got everything you need there, some of the bigger shops have left, like HMV, but you have everything you need.

"Everyone makes their way to Chapel Street and the banks are round the corner on London Street as well. It makes sense.

"I think they're being harsh. Like everywhere, a lot more could be done but no, I don't have a problem with Southport at all."

Despite Steve's positive outlook, Kirsty Wills, 29, who works at Hoghton Coffee Lounge and Bar on Hoghton Street, told the ECHO: "It's not surprising to me at all. A lot of shops have gone."

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"Nothing is here at all, the beach isn't a beach. There's nothing there, it's just grass.

"It's a constant battle, we never know what you're going to get in Southport."

She added: "I wouldn't say Southport is the worst in the country, it just needs more going on. There's nothing here to give people a real reason to come. It's bleak."

Steve Churchman spoke to the ECHO while waiting for his wife, Liz, outside Marks and Spencer on Chapel Street.

He said: "I don't think it's too bad really. I can't really compare it to any other towns. I think it's quite nice it just needs tidying up."

Steve moved to Southport from Preston 26 years ago with Liz, who is originally from the town.

He said: "It's very good it just needs a good clean.

"One that's a main gripe for us is that there's no beach.

"If you look to the right of the pier there's no beach. It's ridiculous. 20 years ago there was a beach there."

The town has seen the closure of the pier, Southport Theatre and Convention Centre and Bliss Hotel listed for sale.

Despite closures hitting the town, Sefton Council has outlined a number of initiatives being introduced across the centre.

Liverpool ECHO reported Southport was once the jewel of the northwest and is far from one of the worst coastal towns in the country.


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