Calls for town centre to be regenerated

Gary Ingham, boss of the Steak Plaice on Lord Street, Fleetwood, with chef George Thompson.
Gary Ingham, boss of the Steak Plaice on Lord Street, Fleetwood, with chef George Thompson.
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Calls have been made to try and revive the fortunes of Fleetwood centre.

Stuart Gratrix, a veteran of Fleetwood and Cleveleys Lions and a life-long resident, says he is concerned about the state of the town centre and says it needs help.

Mr Gratrix said: “I am a Fleetwood man and I love my town but what I am seeing concerns me.

“I walked down Lord Street last week, on what should have been a busy shopping day, and it was like a ghost town.

“The problem is, while there are some good shops in the high street, there are not enough of them and there are too many empty shops.

“Our town centre has lost so many good shops in just a few years and when I started to count them up it was frightening, because not enough new ones have come in to replace them. You do not get a good feeling walking down our high street so I am keen to get this message out - what can be done, what incentives can be given to revive our fortunes and get new business to take a risk and come here?

“If one or two start, others could follow.”

Trader Paul Haslam, of men’s fashion shop Northern Rags, based on The Esplanade, is actively trying to keep shoppers in the town.

Three years ago he set up a “shop local” loyalty card initiative and there are now currently over 100 business on board, mostly in Fleetwood.

He said: “I have always been a positive advocate of the town and the shop local scheme helps, but I still do not see enough footfall from Fleetwood people.”

Gary Ingham set up one of Lord Street’s newest businesses , the 34-seater Steak Plaice on Lord Street, just a couple of months ago.

The 34 year old said: “To be honest, business has been going brilliantly but I do think people need to support the local businesses more.”