Fylde council to refurbish pair of historic Kirkham buildings

Fylde Borough Council has acquired two historic but empty buildings which it now intends to refurbish as part of its wider £10m Kirkham Futures regeneration masterplan.

The first building is the Grade II listed Hillside, located on Preston Street, which is a former restaurant and wedding venue. It will be converted into a centre of excellence for teaching heritage-based construction techniques and eco skills. Courses will include stonemasonry, joinery, woodturning, thatching and stained-glass techniques.

The second is the former Charity Girls School on Poulton Street, which was built in 1860. It has also served as a community hall and more recently a bank. The council hopes to convert it into a restaurant and community cinema.

Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, said: "These wonderful buildings are key to Kirkham’s regeneration masterplan, so we are delighted to have been able to complete the purchase of both.

“This not only protects two much-loved local landmarks for future generations but enables us to bring them back to life through a range of new uses that will benefit both the local community and the visitor economy."

Coun Liz Oades, Kirkham ward councillor and Fylde Council nominated representative for the Kirkham Futures Project Board, added: "The Hillside Heritage and Eco Skills Centre is really exciting and has the potential to put Kirkham on the map by creating a nationally important training centre that creates green jobs, educates people about heritage and sustainable living, improves health and well-being and brings many people into the town."