Derelict shops upgrade

Coun Mark Smith (right) with property services manager Paul Smith outside the refurbished newsagents

Coun Mark Smith (right) with property services manager Paul Smith outside the refurbished newsagents

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Two abandoned properties in Blackpool’s holiday heartland have been refurbished after the council stepped in to carry out the work.

It follows concerns from residents about the neglected state of two shops on Coronation Street.

Coronation Street newsagents before renovation work

Coronation Street newsagents before renovation work

Simply Food and Drink and a newsagents on the corner of Hornby Road had both fallen into such a bad state of disrepair that they were bringing the area down.

Now, with permission from both owners, work has been carried out to repair, re-paint and renovate both properties making them more secure and waterproof, as well as making the area look brighter.

It was done by council staff at a cost of a few hundred pounds.

Talbot ward councillor Mark Smith instigated the work in response to complaints from residents.

It is one of a number of recent projects in the area including the re-introduction of two-way traffic flows.

Drivers travelling east up Albert Road can now turn left at Coronation Street to access the Houndshill Centre car park instead of having to go round the one-way system.

Meanwhile the one-way traffic system in Hornby Road has also been scrapped.

Coun Smith said: “We’ve been doing a lot of work recently to try and make Coronation Street a brighter area for residents and traders.

“Bringing back two-way traffic to Coronation Street and Hornby Road as well as the new bus shelter should bring more passing trade and better bins which should make the area cleaner.

“There is definitely potential for businesses on Coronation Street to prosper but we have to create the right economic conditions to attract them, which involves making the run down properties look more desirable to investors.

“We’ve offered this help as a one-off to improve the local area, however the onus is now on those landlords whose properties are being left behind.

“They have a duty to make their shop fronts nicer, whether they are being used or are left empty.

“If they don’t do that then we have the powers within the council to enforce against them – and we won’t hesitate to use them.”

It is hoped both units will attract new tenants in the near future.

Coun Smith added: “It will be up to the landlords to maintain the properties going forward, but if the council can do some work we hope it will be a catalyst to encourage others to do more as well.

“Meanwhile changing the flow of traffic is making it easier for people to get around.”