Support crucial to £5m lake revamp

Council leader Susan Fazackerley and head of leisure Darren Bell at Fairhaven Lake
Council leader Susan Fazackerley and head of leisure Darren Bell at Fairhaven Lake

“Your lake needs you!”

It is one of the Fylde coast’s best known beauty spots and has been popular with holidaymakers for decades, but today a special plea has been made to residents urging them to support plans to launch a £5m revamp of Fairhaven Lake.

Last month more than 300 people backed the project at a consultation event – but nearer 10,000 signatures are needed to help qualify the lake for £2m of Heritage Lottery funding, according to Fylde Council.

Coun Sue Fazackerley, Fylde Council’s leisure and tourism chief and interim leader, said it is crucial residents throw their weight behind plans to refurbish the ageing attraction.

The bid for £2m – the largest single component of the £5m scheme – is reliant on public support and input and, being a heritage bid, requires as much community involvement as possible.

Coun Fazackerley, said: “Thousands, possibly millions, of Lancashire residents have had happy memories of Fairhaven over the past 90 years – but we believe it can be made better.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund cash is essential for the work to go ahead and lottery chiefs ask that we show enthusiasm from the public.”

Plans for the £5m revamp will go on display again from noon to 6pm today at the venue off Inner Promenade.

The RSPB Discovery Centre will host the event, with council officers on hand to gauge public opinion to suggested changes – and to hear ideas as well.

If the bid is successful, work would be carried out at the same time as £17m Environment Agency works improving the sea defences at Fairhaven and Church Scar.

Restoration of the lake includes plans to reinstate the historic Japanese Garden and improve sports facilities for tennis, bowls and sailing.

A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “Much of this is work that Fylde Council won’t be expected to pay for. We hope some money will come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with other money coming from the Environment Agency and a number of other bodies.

“We can only hope to get this level of investment to the area if we can present really strong plans.

“Members of the public can help in that: if we are to get the money we have to demonstrate that the plans will work – and also that they have public support.

“We believe we will need around 10,000 signatures of support from residents to get the funding.”

People unable to attend the consultation day can leave their views online at www.fylde.gov.uk/fairhavenfuture