Kirkham granted £6.3m from government fund

Kirkham has received £6.3m of funding from the government's Future High Streets Fund which will kickstart a £10m regeneration masterplan.

The funding will now be used to purchase and breathe new life into several key properties in the town centre together with a range of improvements to public spaces.

The four-year plan is led by Fylde Council’s regeneration team in partnership with Lancashire County Council and Kirkham Town Council. Working with a number of consultants – based both here in the UK and the USA – they are now preparing business plans covering the many projects which make up the Kirkham Futures masterplan.

Projects include the development a new Heritage and Eco Skills Centre in the former Hillside restaurant, the creation of an Arts Centre and Community Cinema in the former TSB bank, and the purchase of the Kirkgate Centre allowing for the development of key empty shop units and the creation of new affordable town centre housing.

It is hoped the Heritage and Eco Skills Centre will restore the beautiful Grade II listed Hillside building to its former glory and become a nationally important training base for traditional crafts, construction and environmental skills – attracting students from both the UK and overseas.

There will also be the development of new restaurants and creation of a thriving and diverse night-time economy and the creation of a wide range of cultural and leisure activities, which may include a new cinema.

A new scheme will also encourage businesses to relocate and set up in the town centre.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies, who met with ministers throughout the process to make the case for Kirkham’s bid, said: "This is a once-in-a-generation investment in our town, and I am delighted to see the government confirm the funding for Kirkham.

"I am already aware of several new businesses enquiring about premises in the knowledge we are investing in the town centre – better times are most definitely ahead for Kirkham."

Fylde Council leader Cllr Karen Buckley said: “With this grant we will deliver on the government's commitment to 'build back better' in Kirkham, spending millions on creating a vibrant, attractive high street and delivering trailblazing projects like the Heritage and Eco Skills centre at Hillside which will not only bring new people into Kirkham, but also create new green jobs and train citizens of all ages in sustainable, low-impact living.

"As the only Lancashire authority to receive the FHSF we are really punching above our weight and flying the flag for Lancashire."

The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 and is a key part of the Government’s plan to renew and reshape town centres – making them a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

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