Towns’ forum gets go ahead

Fylde towns including St Annes can access money from the High Street Innovation Fund.

Fylde towns including St Annes can access money from the High Street Innovation Fund.

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A TOWN Centre Forum is to be set up to help boost coastal businesses.

Fylde Council approved a plan to create the group, which local businesses across the borough can apply to for funding from the £100,000 High Street Innovation Fund.

SilverDell bookshop owner Elaine Silverwood.

SilverDell bookshop owner Elaine Silverwood.

The money was given to the council following Mary Portas’ High Street Review for the Government.

The council’s cabinet heard there were two options for spending the money – either through the town centre forum, or employing a professional consultant.

Presenting a report to the cabinet, Coun Trevor Fiddler said the consultant could come at “considerable cost”, and open the cabinet up to criticism that the fund was being decimated by the professional services.

The Town Centre Forum will see the council working with traders’ organisations and town councils to boost footfall in local shops.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Elaine Silverwood for Kirkham said she was pleased with the outcome, and believed the money should be split equally between St Annes, Lytham and Kirkham.

She added: “The three towns are all unique. They have different needs as they are three very different towns. We know what we need in our towns.”

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