Artisan market, activity centre and beach huts among big projects planned for Cleveleys town centre

An artisan market, an outdoor activity centre, beach huts, and better pathways for pedestrians and cyclists are among the potential projects coming to Cleveleys.

By Wes Holmes
Monday, 18th July 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 4:04 pm

Wyre Council has called on residents to share their opinions on the developments proposed by the Cleveleys Together Partnership Board as they work towards improving the town’s high street and nearby areas.

The town centre partnership board includes representatives from the health care sector, Blackpool and The Fylde College, Regenda, Hillhouse Technology Enterprise Zone, local businesses, Care for Cleveleys, Rossall Beach Buddies, and Blackpool Transport.

Here are just some of their vast ideas, and what they hope they will bring to the town.

General view of Victoria Road West in Cleveleys. PIC BY ROB LOCK

Pedestrian priority on Victoria Road West

The intention of this proposal is to attract more people to the town centre, encourage them to stay longer and to spend more in the local

economy. The board said: “The creation of a distinct and attractive environment is the foundation for town centre success.”

Public realm improvements

Sunny weather on the Fylde Coast

A ‘greening the town centre’ project would introduce planted trees, raised gardens beds with seating, pocket parks and rooftop gardens to the town centre with the aim of improving the pedestrian experience and attracting people from the Promenade onto the high street. Shelters to protect people from the rain would be added at various points along Victoria Road West, and signage in the centre would be improved.

An indoor artisan market

The board said this development would be ‘acharacterful destination that combines a local produce and craftmarket with an informal food and drink offer’.

They said: “It is an offer for local people and visitors alike, is family friendly, and inclusive. The market offer is focussed on fresh local produce, locally produced food, drink and craft.

This four-metre high sea shell was put in place on Cleveleys beach as part of Wyre Council's Sea Change programme.

"This model has found great success in UK over the last decade and different versions have played central roles in the regeneration of a number of northwest towns including Altrincham where a rejuvenated market offer underpinned the town’s revival; Bowland Food Hall in Clitheroe, ‘Cookhouse’ at Warrington Market and Crewe Market Hall. Each is tailored to its location but there is a common emphasis on local produce and local traders.”

Reboot the Mythic Coast story

In 2011, every primary school child in Wyre was given a copy of ‘The Sea Swallow’ by Gareth Thompson, a fairytale inspired by the sunken village of Singleton Thorpe and the petrified forest which can still sometimes be seen on the beach today. A series of sculptures were installed along the seafront relating to the story, however, it has been largely forgotten in recent years.

By reviving the ‘Mythic Coast’ story, the board wants to encourage people to explore the promenade’s Mythic Coast artworks, connecting them to local history and geography. It has been suggested the revival could become an annual festival.

An outdoor activity centre

This proposal aims to provide a space for both free and paid-for outdoor activities such as cycling, rowing and canoeing, which the board hopes will ‘strongly position Cleveleys as an outdoorsy place with a clear story to tell around its coastal environment’ and attract more tourists. The centre can also be used as a cultural hub for local musicians and bands.

A new town centre hotel

The board said: “The aim should be to locate a high quality hotel close to the town centre, potentially facing the Promenade, and for the hotel to have small-scale conference facilities.

“Cleveleys is positioning itself as a tourist destination offering access to it’s surrounding natural environments including access

to the promenade strengthening links to Fleetwood, Blackpool and beyond. This must be able to maintain an out-of-season

market – perhaps by having a food and drink offer that appeals to local people and day visitors.

“The right hotel offer could capitalise upon this with an ‘ecotourism’ offer. In principle, eco tourism includes educating people

about the local wildlife and the natural environment, some of the money generated could also be used to conserve the local ecology.”

Beach huts

The coloured beach huts could be placed on the grassed area north of north car park opposite Jubilee Gardens, away from the high street. These would be rented to visitors daily and potentially overnight, allowing users to change in and out of swimwear, store belongings and have a place to prepare food and drinks.

A review of the events calendar and introduction of a new ‘signature event’

The board said: “This would broaden and increase the tourism demographic. The aim should be to develop an event that highlights Cleveleys position as a gateway to the coastal outdoors, promoting Cleveleys’ health and wellbeing and appealing to younger people. This would importantly provide additional spending into the local economy.”

A mobility hub with an overarching transport study

This project looks to upgrade the existing bus station with first-class facilities, attractive landscaping, and electric charging for cars and motorcycles, while also carrying out a study to identify existing problems with the public transport network and working to resolve them.

Make your voice heard

Garry Payne, chief executive of Wyre Council, said: “The board have offered their experience and expertise and have worked incredibly hard to create a framework which will allow Cleveleys to prosper in the coming years.

“I would encourage residents, business owners and visitors to read the plan and submit their thoughts on the proposed projects.”

The public are invited to make comments on these projects by Monday, August 8, by emailing [email protected]

The full 98-page report setting out the proposals in full can be found online at www.wyre.gov.uk/cleveleystogether.