Funding bid for Fleetwood high street submitted by Wyre Council

Despite the arrival of some much-welcomed new shops, Fleetwood town centre has struggled following the loss of key industries in the townDespite the arrival of some much-welcomed new shops, Fleetwood town centre has struggled following the loss of key industries in the town
Despite the arrival of some much-welcomed new shops, Fleetwood town centre has struggled following the loss of key industries in the town
Proposals to regenerate Fleetwood as part of a major Government funding initiative have been submitted by Wyre Council.

It follows the announcement that Wyre has been shortlisted to receive a share of the Government’s £1 billion Future High Street Fund.

In June, Wyre Council submitted a bid for £22 million to the High Streets Fund to help deliver its ambitious vision for Fleetwood to kick-start regeneration of the town centre, which has been struggling for many years.

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The town has never been able to fully recover from the loss of its major industry, fishing, which provided thousands of different jobs to people across the town until the final Cod Wars in the late 1970s,

The council’s initial proposals were shortlisted by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government last summer to bid for a share of the Governments £1 billion Future High Streets Fund to develop plans to reinvent Fleetwood’s high street.

Ahead of the final bid submission, the public shared their views on the town’s future at a community drop-in held in December last year and the council has worked with various partners and the business community to develop a series of integrated projects to transform the town.

The final bid will complement projects going on elsewhere in the town, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Coastal Community Fund, the Coastal Revival Fund and the High Street Heritage Action Zone initiative, funded by Historic England.

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Wyre Council has recently been successful in the next stage of the High Street Heritage Action Zone fund which will see key historic buildings revived, with a cultural programme that builds on the already vibrant local arts scene that the town enjoys.

Coun Michael Vincent, portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development, commented: “We are reaching the final stages of our journey to receive significant funding to transform Fleetwood’s high street.

"We have already been successful in securing funding from the Coastal Community Fund which has kick-started the redevelopment of Fleetwood Market and more recently the High Street Heritage Action Zone fund, which both play a significant part in realising the community’s vision to create a revived town and to attract future investment.”The final bid consists of a programme of investments grouped under three complementary themes of:

* Enabling town centre living – unlocking, delivering and diversifying housing options to bring more people into the town

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*Reviving town centre assets and public realm – reviving key cultural and civic assets through restoring Fleetwood market, expanding the museum offer and investing in public realm in the newly created Heritage Quarter

*Restoring town centre access – undertaking technical feasibility study and outline business case to exploring reopening the Fleetwood-Poulton rail line.

Coun Vincent added: “These are truly exciting times for Fleetwood and we look forward to working with the community, partners and the Fleetwood Partnership Board to bring these plans to fruition.”

The Government has not yet confirmed precisely when a decision will be made on the next stage of the funding bids although an announcement is expected in the autumn.

If successful, the funding will be used as a catalyst to transform Fleetwood and to attract further investment.

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