Like so many towns, Kirkham has suffered from the national decline in High Street shopping trends and has seen many long-established businesses closed and shuttered. For example, the town once hosted six bank branches – the last of these closing its doors last year. Fylde Borough Council has now set out ambitious multi-million plans to regenerate the town centre.
A new Heritage and Eco Skills Centre, a new Arts Centre and Cinema together with re-developed empty shops and new town centre housing will create new work and leisure opportunities for people. The Council add that these projects will not only create new jobs, but also will tie the community together in the regeneration effort.
The scheme has already been successful in winning High Street Heritage Action Zone funding from Historic England – a £4million, four year regeneration programme to revive the historic market town. Following the submission of a Masterplan and Full Business Case, the programme has been shortlisted for £10million of regeneration funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.
Fylde Borough Council say the regeneration has been carefully planned in cooperation with the local community, Town Council, shopkeepers, central and local government to ensure local people have their voices heard and have been able to shape the future of the town. Fylde Borough Council will be working with Bauman Lyons Architects on the scheme.
Andrew Chatterjee, Principal Regeneration Officer, Fylde Borough Council has said, ‘The Future High Street Fund bid in conjunction with the High Street Action Zone programme will be game changers for this town and together represent the largest and most exciting investment in Kirkham for decades.’
MP Mark Menzies commented, ‘Kirkham is very much at the heart of my constituency. Here in Kirkham we have an opportunity to demonstrate a totally new approach to high street generation. We have brought together civil society, the public sector, local business and the local community to breathe life back into this once bustling high street.’