Fleetwood is through to the second phase of a multi-million pound fund that could transform its struggling high street.
The town is one of over 50 areas across the country that are through to the second phase of the government’s £675million Future High Streets Fund,
Wyre Council will now receive up to £150,000 of funding to put together a detailed business plan and if successful, the authority's bid could pave the wave for between £5million and £25million on a scheme to radically improve Fleetwood town centre.
The port's high street has declined in recent years, with a number of long-term closed shops which have become untidy, a large number of charity shops and a lack of big names to pull customers in, despite the efforts of local businesses to set up new shops.
The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 as part of the Government’s plan to help high streets to evolve and adapt to changing times.
The aim is to create thriving places where the community feels engaged, and vibrant town centres where people live, shop, use services and spend their leisure time.
Councillor Michael Vincent, Planning and Economic Portfolio Holder at Wyre Council said: “We are delighted to be have been chosen to go through to the next stages of the Future High Streets Fund.
“High streets are the beating heart of our communities and this fund will allow us to develop plans to take action to strengthen Fleetwood’s economy.”
The first phase of the Future High Streets Fund called for places to set out their challenges and strategic approach to regenerating town centres.
Fleetwood will now move forward to the second phase which involves the development of a full business case for a share of the £675 million total fund.
The objective of the fund is to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Our high streets lie at the heart of local communities – creating jobs, boosting the economy and helping small businesses thrive.
“But new technology and changes in the way we shop means they also face growing challenges, so I’m delighted over 50 towns will initially benefit from this scheme.
“The funding will breathe new life into town centres and – together with measures such as small business rate cuts and opening up empty shops – will transform our high streets for the future."