Business owners are being put into the driving seat of a £100,000 programme to revitalise town centres.
Shopkeepers, business chiefs and even community groups are being invited to bid for a grant from Fylde Council’s High Street Innovation Fund (HSIF), awarded by Whitehall last year as part of the Portas High Street Review.
Bids must be designed to increase town centre business activity in Fylde and will be decided by members of the newly-formed HSIF Panel, made up of representatives from Kirkham and Wesham Business Group, Lytham Business Partnership and St Annes Chamber of Trade. Fylde Council, Kirkham Town Council and St Annes Town Council will also be involved.
Fylde Council leader Coun David Eaves said: “We’re putting businesspeople from every corner of Fylde in charge.
“The criteria are very broad. It could be training support for a particular business or it could be a more general improvement scheme that will make the town centres more attractive and, as a result, attract more people to visit.”
“Businesses know better than councillors what they need.”
The panel will meet quarterly. There is no limit for bids, though bidders must “matchfund” the grant in funds or volunteer time. Visit www.fylde.gov.uk/hsif for details.