More than 100 benches on St Annes Promenade have been painted, together with railings and bins, while flowerbeds throughout the town centre are now being filled with beautiful blooms ready to welcome visitors.
Railings and lampposts in Lytham’s Clifton Square – a popular place for outdoor diners and visitors – have also been spruced up while the Square itself has been professionally cleaned.
The work has been carried out on behalf of Fylde Council and funded through the Government’s Welcome Back Fund.
The council successfully bid for £243,500 from the fund which is providing councils across England with a share of £56m from the European Regional Development Fund to support the nation’s high streets following the pandemic.
The funding, which builds on the £50m Reopening High Street Safely Fund, aims to help local authorities create and promote a safe and welcoming environment for local trade and tourism.
Fylde Council is using its WBF money in a variety of ways including the funding of improvements to town centres and financially supporting local business groups to create a range of events and activities that promote retail, hospitality and the visitor economy.
Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley said: “Like many resorts and visitor destinations up and down the country St Annes and Lytham were hit very hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Fylde Council successfully won £243,500 through the Government’s Welcome Back Fund and I was determined every penny would be spent to help our town centres bounce back.
“The work that has been carried out to repaint benches and railings along the Promenade in St Annes is wonderful – it is so great to see. It is really important the town looks its finest ahead of the spring and, together with the other improvement work that is being carried out, both here and in Lytham, I am sure residents and visitors will be impressed.”
The painting work has been carried out by Fylde coast-based Rushworth Painting Ltd. Director Chris Rushworth said: “It has been a real joy to work on this contract. So many people have come up to our guys while painting the benches to say what a difference it makes.
“It has been a tough time for tourism over the last few years so we’re really happy to be involved in a project which helps improve St Annes wonderful Promenade ahead of the summer season."
The work in Lytham, which included power-washing Clifton Square and clearing weeds, has been welcomed by local business owners and tourism leaders.
Coun Michael Sayward, Fylde Council’s tourism and leisure chairman and owner of Attire clothing on Clifton Street, said: “Clifton Square looks fabulous and the cleaning work has made a real difference. The Square is such a focal point of the town, visited by thousands of people every week, so it’s important it looks its best. Lots of people have already commented how much better it looks.”
Damian Clarke, managing director of Stringers Department store and deputy chairman of Lytham Business Group, said: “I’m delighted the Square has been cleaned and tidied ready for an exciting and busy spring. We’re looking forward to the summer buzz and welcoming everyone back to Lytham.”