Six projects aimed at improving Fylde’s town centres have been boosted with a five figure cash injection.
The High Street Innovation Fund cash was given to Fylde by the Government late last year and has now been allocated to the projects, which are aimed at attracting shoppers into both St Annes and Lytham to boost the economy as a result.
The project to receive the most funding of the £43,500 bonanza is Lytham Arts Festival, which has been granted £24,000 to work with local artists ahead of the festival - set to take place in June next year.
The festival will see the centre of the town lined with artwork, including pieces displayed in shop windows.
Organiser Richard Marshall, from the Lytham business partnership, said: “It’s excellent news and it’s something that’s really important for Lytham.
“We’re looking to improve the number of visitors to Lytham, not just the high street but throughout the town.”
St Annes-on-Sea Town Council has also been awarded £3,000 to erect banners in St Annes Square advertising events taking place in the town.
It is also hoped in coming years local businesses will use the banners, which will be hung from lampposts in the Square, to advertise themselves.
The grant ties in with £2,000 given to St Annes In Bloom to attach brackets to various buildings across the town so floral displays can be put up, as well as miniature Christmas trees during the festive season.
The Friends of St Annes Art Trail, which works with the In Bloom group to produce artwork, wall-paintings and floral displays on the town’s back streets, has also been granted £1,500.
Coun Tony Ford, who represents the town’s Ashton ward on Fylde Council, said: “The idea of these banners is they’ll make St Annes Square more attractive and more appealing.
“We’re trying to improve the experience for shoppers and we don’t want to leave the side streets out either.”
The other two projects to be granted cash are Lytham Flag Festival - which received £5,000 and aims to put flags above shops in Lytham over a two week period as well as on St George’s Day and Remembrance Sunday, and Totally Local Lytham, which received £8,000 to encourage residents to shop locally.
David Eaves, Fylde Council leader, said: “All citizens want to see more local money being spent locally and more visitors being attracted here – and these schemes aim to do exactly that.
“Forum members were hugely impressed at the calibre of the bids and Fylde should be proud that we have entrepreneurs with such foresight.
“These projects are not just one-offs – they are part of a strategy we have followed in recent years to regenerate and enhance all Fylde’s town centres. Millions of pounds has been generated primarily from outside bodies and private businesses to give the towns the appeal they already have for residents and visitors.
“We hope that similar interesting bids will emerge from Kirkham in the next round – we don’t want any area to be left out
“Fylde is fortunate in that most shops remain busy.
“We want to keep it that way and all these projects will, I believe, increase footfall.
“Shopkeepers work incredibly hard - we all benefit from their efforts and they deserve our support.”
Forum members still have £56,500 of the original £100,000 and will be inviting further bids to revitalise town-centre businesses.
Deadline for the next round of bids is Wednesday, November 27.
Visit www.fylde.gov.uk/hsif/ for more details.