A £7m project to give key roads around Blackpool town centre a major facelift will start next week.
The town centre quality corridors programme, funded by a £6.6m grant from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal and a £740,000 contribution by Blackpool Council, will improve the look of entrance roads to the town centre.
The project is part of a wider plan to promote economic growth in the resort and secure Blackpool’s position as one of the county’s key economic hubs.
It comes as part of the council's wider work to improve the town, including the tram extension and next Central Business District construction phase, which will also upgrade important pedestrian links between bus, tram and rail services at Blackpool North railway station and town centre attractions.
Along with improvements to the roads and pavements, the quality corridors project will also work with local businesses to create a grant scheme to help improve the look of shop fronts on the entrance to the town centre.
The first road to receive a facelift from the quality corridors project will be Church Street, when work begins between Leopold Grove and Regent Road from Monday.
The 12-week project will include resurfacing the highway, improving the quality of the pavements either side, reducing clutter on the road and providing better seating for pedestrians and a designated taxi rank.
Work to the footpaths will take place between January 16 and March 26, with work immediately outside St John’s School to take place during the February half term.
In order to resurface the road, Church Street will be closed to traffic overnight between 7pm and 6am from Monday, March 27 to Sunday, April 9.
While the road is closed during that period, Topping Street, King Street, South King Street, Alfred Street and Leopold Grove will all be made two-way temporarily.
Other roads that will be included in future elements of the project are Cookson Street, Dickson Road, Deansgate, Edward Street, Topping Street and Talbot Road.
Cllr Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We know that a strong economy is linked to a good road network, helping visitors come in to the town centre and making it easier for businesses to carry out their daily operations.
“Quite a number of the entrances into Blackpool could do with a bit of a facelift, to make sure that when people come in to the town centre they are seeing welcoming streets and vibrant businesses.
“With the tramway extension and second phase of the Central Business District on the way, the level of investment being pumped into Blackpool at the moment will have a real driving force on our local economy, creating jobs, putting money in the pocket of local residents and creating a Blackpool that all of us can be proud of.
“As this is work on important roads, there will be disruption at points over the next few years, however we will aim to keep that to a minimum and I hope people will understand how this work will benefit the town in the long run.”
The second stage of the quality corridors project will involve working with local businesses to help them improve their shop fronts, making both their businesses and the town centre look more appealing.
A grant scheme will allow businesses in certain areas to bid for money to do the work, with more information on the bidding process to be revealed later in the year.
For more information about the work on Church Street, including diversions, visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/churchstreet.