St Anne’s is becoming a ghost town according to a headline in the Daily Express. The article prominently features statements from a local business man named as Alan, the owner of the Ducks Nuts Tapas. He is quoted in the Express as saying St. Anne’s has seen a dozen shops close in just two months. He said the place is full of charity shops, barber shops, nail and tattoo bars, but has little else to attract visitors and fears that it is becoming a ghost town.
In the article, Alan claimed that the St. Anne’s part of the town has received no support from the local authority, Fylde Borough Council. saying, ‘They spend all of their money to help Lytham and very little help in St Anne’s. Walking around the high street and it’s a totally different atmosphere to St Anne’s and it’s not because they’ve got better shops there.’ He added St. Anne’s has seven charity shops, about nine barber shops, about eight or nine nail shops and four tattoo shops. Alan said: ‘That’s all we’ve got here, there’s nothing else.’
Margaret’s Florists owner Ann, told Lancashire Live who originally broke the story, there needed to be more awareness of business needs in St. Anne’s and more support for new commercial ventures. She praised 90-minute parking in the town, but said St. Anne’s many eateries need to be celebrated much more in order to attract customers. Among the businesses shutting up shop in the town are Squire men’s shop, Shoe Zone, Firepit and a furniture store.
In response a spokesperson for the local authority told Lancashire Live that Fylde Council values all businesses and the economic contributions they make.
The spokesperson pointed to the employment of a Town Centres’ Officer and links with St. Anne’s Enterprise Partnership and St. Anne’s Independent Retailers groups.
The Council says it has committed over 20 percent of its total UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation to supporting businesses across Fylde, with projects including support for aerospace, automotive, advanced engineering and manufacturing sectors.
A town centre footfall monitoring project for St Anne’s, Kirkham and Lytham will help identify opportunities for events to attract people, according to the Council.
Illustrative image below from Lancashire Live republished in the Express.