A new group has been launched to fight for the future of the high streets on the Fylde coast.
The Fylde Coast High Streets Working Together Initiative, was launched by shopkeepers and other representatives from the various Fylde coast high streets to work together to rescue struggling high streets.
Leaders said high streets everywhere have been hit by the advent of e-commerce and out-of-town retail parks.
One once-prestigious shopping street in Blackpool, Bond Street, has 32 empty shop premises out of 64, on the three shopping-focused blocks .
Susanne Johnson, chairwoman of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Federation of Small Businesses, said: “High streets are our ‘shop window’ for visitors to see and judge what our towns are like. We need to work to make them attractive for our towns to attract tourism, but also new investment and enterprise.”
Retailers on the Fylde have decided to become a larger force to increase their strength and options in halting the downward spiral.
Coun Peter Murphy from Wyre Council said: “We have been working to improve Fleetwood’s town centre for some time now, with visible positive effects, but together with other towns we will be able to do much more.”
The first meeting of the group was held at Blackpool’s Imperial Hotel, representing Central Drive, Highfield Road, South Beach, Holmfield Road, Bispham, Fleetwood and Fleetwood Freeport.
It’s main aims are to make high streets more attractive, to improve the retail offer, to bring footfall back, to increase the employment and career opportunities available on high streets, to make areas around the high streets nicer places to live and to improve community spirit. The group is supported by Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre FSB and Wyre Council.