Bosses bid for £1m pot of town funds

An example of a road in Poulton

An example of a road in Poulton

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TOWN hall bosses are battling for their share of a £1m pot as they try to save a borough’s struggling high streets.

Wyre Council is set to compete for funding from a Government scheme spearheaded by TV’s ‘queen of shops’ Mary Portas.

They will be up against scores of other town halls from across the country for the chance to resuscitate their faltering high streets.

The pot is to be shared out between 12 councils – meaning a successful town hall would get an £85,000 boost.

Homeowners in Poulton, where 17 shops stand empty – eight of them in the Teanlowe Centre – believe the money could breathe fresh life into their market town.

At a Poulton Forum meeting local resident John Bailie presented his views on the Wyre town.

He said: “I think Poulton should have a pitch at the money, it is a really good opportunity and if we put effort into the application we could stand a real chance.

“I put this presentation together to draw attention to things we don’t ordinarily notice because we live here.

“The town has character but it does need some TLC – we have a lot of architectural heritage that we should embrace and green open spaces.

“But just a few small tweaks could really improve things such as a map of Poulton when you come into the station and certain road signs could be replaced.

“And there is a real sense of abandonment in some areas, with a little community action we could bring Poulton back up to scratch.”

After the meeting councillor Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council, said: “We have officers in the regeneration team looking at the criteria that needs to be fulfilled and I’m sure Poulton and other towns in Wyre will be interested.

“It has to be a joint community and council effort and we would support any community from all our towns who want to put an application together.

“Each year we carry out walks where we invite councillors, residents and community groups to look around the town and identify problems that need addressing.

“Locals with concerns are always welcome to come along.”

Roll

Heather McMurray, of Wyre Cycles on Breck Road, said: “We can’t go back to Poulton past we have to move forward and roll with the changes.

“I think the money could be used for a lot of things but we need some fresh ideas, I know Poulton gets slammed for its night time economy, but we need to inject some youth into the town.”

A meeting to discuss the bid will be held next week.