RESIDENTS will help design the Fylde coast’s £100m new sea defences, it has been revealed.
Millions of pounds of Government funding has been secured to rebuild the sea defences between Anchorsholme and Rossall, and Blackpool Council today confirmed people will have the opportunity to decide how their new seafront should look.
And the £108m cashpot - which comes after a successful bid from Blackpool and Wyre Councils to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) - has delighted those who backed the campaign.
Coun Fred Jackson, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It’s a big improvement to the area and an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Promenade and (Anchorsholme) park.
“One of the things we are looking at doing is to open up the seafront so people who come down here will perhaps cross over the road and go into the park.
“It should open up the area a lot more and direct people down here and perhaps bring business into neighbouring areas.”
Consultation dates have yet to be finalised, but the council confirmed while the engineering aspects of the new sea defences will be designed by experts, residents would choose the appearance.
One idea is to lower the wall between Anchorsholme Park and the seafront so the park runs down to the water.
The council is also planning to hold meetings with residents in Anchorsholme to discuss the impact of work taking place close to their homes.
The project is expected to last between 18 months and two years and could begin by the end of the year.
One of the bodies to contribute cash to the bid was Fleetwood Town Council, which donated £100,000 of its tax-payers money to the scheme.
And chairman Alan Marsh hopes the councils will follow the good work already done in Blackpool and Cleveleys when it comes to the new defences’ design.
He said: “They have wonderful seafronts so we need to follow that pattern.
“We’ve currently got the Berlin Wall and it’s about time it came down.
“Blackpool and Wyre councils now have experience in developing these projects.
“We’ve got the Promenade, we’ve got our new Marine Gardens and the paddling pools have been regenerated so it should be great for tourism.”
Housing Association Regenda also pledged its support to the Defra bid by agreeing to donate £5,000 a year for the next five years to the sea wall cash pot.
The firm manages 900 properties in Wyre, and regional director Steve Newsham, said: “We are delighted the Government has allocated funding to help mitigate the problems caused by coastal flooding.
“It was crucial measures were put in place to secure the area from the dangers of flooding and this investment will help to protect our residents now and in future generations.”
Rossall will get £80m for its project while £28m will be invested in Anchorsholme, with up to 13,000 homes set to benefit.