Government pledges cash to Lancashire's historic high streets

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Seven Lancashire high streets have been granted a share of a new £95m government fund to help them compete against online competition.

Bacup, Blackpool, Burnley, Fleetwood, Kirkham, Lancaster and Ormskirk have each been selected to receive funds to repair and refurbish shop facades, repurpose historic sites, develop educational projects and address skills shortages in fields such as stonemasonry and conservation.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: "Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.

"It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world. This £95m will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit."

Catherine Dewar, regional director in the North West for Historic England, said: “Our high streets face many challenges, with some historic buildings underused and down at heel, but with a little investment and imagination they can be transformed into vibrant places that attract new businesses and other new uses.

Historic high streets have a crucial role to play in delivering economic growth

"Historic high streets have a crucial role to play in delivering economic growth and attractive environments in which we can live, work and play. Historic England is looking forward to working with local communities on this exciting historic high street project.”

The news comes one week after the government announced a new £3.6bn Towns Fund, which will benefit Blackpool, Darwen, Leyland, Nelson and Preston, Southport and Todmorden.

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