£3.2m funding proposed for Kirkham town centre improvements

Source: Lancashire County Council 14 January 2022

Funding to support a project that will transform Kirkham town centre is on the agenda for Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet meeting next week.

Up to £3.2m could be provided towards the delivery of the Kirkham Futures project, which is led by Fylde Borough Council and seeks to deliver a once in a generation change for the town centre.

Kirkham Futures will deliver major improvements to the public realm in the town centre, the refurbishment of shop fronts and the regeneration of empty high street properties. It will also support community, health and wellbeing programmes, as well as arts and cultural activities.

This is thought to be the biggest regeneration scheme in the town’s history and will deliver significant and lasting benefits for years to come.

At the meeting on Thursday 20 January, the county council’s Cabinet will be asked to agree in principle up to £3.2m to enable the projects to be supported and help realise wider benefits for local residents and businesses.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Cabinet member for economic development and growth at the county council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to support projects which will provide a major investment in Kirkham, bringing a significant economic benefit while also assisting with the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re working in partnership to make this project happen for local people and also visitors to the town.”

Fylde Borough Council has also successfully received funding from the government from the Future High Streets Fund and High Street Heritage Action Zone fund.

Councillor Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, said: “Our bid to the Government’s Future High Street Fund was costed at £9.5m. We were awarded £6.3m, which was still a very good result, especially given that Fylde Council’s was the only successful bid in Lancashire.

“The gap of £3.2m being filled by Lancashire County Council puts us right back on track to deliver the Kirkham Futures scheme. I’m grateful to the Cabinet Member, County Councillor Aidy Riggott, for meeting with me and to the officers of both councils who are working closely together on a project which will transform the high street in Kirkham for the benefit of the residents and businesses for years to come.”

The overall Kirkham Futures programme is seeking to deliver includes:
• Public realm works to revive and re-energise town centre streets and open spaces.
• Flood alleviation and drainage works.
• Shop front improvements scheme to transform properties.
• A Heritage and Eco Skills Centre to create a regional centre of excellence for heritage and eco skills within a restored Grade II-listed building.
• Regeneration of prime town centre properties for leisure, retail and housing.
• Additional arts, heritage and community facilities, including a community cinema.
• A community-led cultural programme of activities.
• Engagement with the Kirkham community to improve their health and wellbeing.

You can view the county council’s Cabinet agenda item online: https://council.lancashire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=11250

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