Business Owners Urged to Take Advantage Of Multi-Million Pound Improvement Scheme

June 22, 2021

Shopkeepers and landlords are being urged to SIGN UP NOW for the chance to restore their properties to their former historic glory as part of Kirkham’s £10m regeneration masterplan.

Grants covering UP TO 90% of the design and build costs of external refurbishment and improvement work are now available thanks to funding secured by Fylde Borough Council.

More than 20 property owners in Kirkham’s central Conservation Area have already signed up to the Shop Front Improvement Scheme which was launched after the town’s successful £3.6m bid to be designated a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) by Historic England.

Now, following the approval of a further £6.3m funding through the Government’s Future High Street Fund (FHSF), the scheme can be rolled out to include the whole of the town centre.

Grants are available to reinstate historic features – including timber sash windows, slate roofs, timber shop fronts, brickwork pointing and guttering – and also to create residential use of upper floors.

Funding is limited and business owners are advised to submit their expressions of interest now to avoid missing out on this one-time only offer.

A series of conceptual designs and artist impressions – showing how premises on Poulton Street, Preston Street and Freckleton Street could look as part of the scheme – are available to be viewed by clicking HERE

The images were created by Kirkham-based architects DC & MG Associates who referenced historic images of Kirkham town centre and its shops, dating from Victorian and Edwardian times, to assist their designs.

Andrew Chatterjee, Fylde Council’s HS HAZ Programme Manager, said: “Kirkham has an historic town centre, many of the shop buildings are more than 100 years old, but some properties have been unsympathetically altered over time.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to restore the town’s high street to its former glory and for business owners to not only improve their own properties, but really make a real difference to the town centre as a whole.

“Thanks to the multi-million-pound funding we have secured through the HS HAZ and FHSF programmes we are able to offer businesses thousands of pounds in grants – covering up to 90% of the design and build of the works. We have the money – now it’s time to put it to real use!

The council recently held a number of engagement events with local traders and landlords, where we were able to explain how they could take advantage of the grants, and we are delighted there has been a really high level of interest.

“However, there is a limited budget for this so we would advise property owners to register now for the best chance of receiving a grant.”

Work has now begun on undertaking historical analysis and drawing up conceptual designs covering properties outside of the Conservation Area, such as the Town End area of Poulton Street.

The Council will tender for a firm of architects to work on detailed designs with business owners who have signed up to the scheme and it is hoped building work could begin as early as October.

Historic England’s Tamsin Cooke said: “Business owners in Kirkham have a unique opportunity to revitalise their historic high street, drawing from the town’s rich heritage to maximise appeal for locals and visitors alike.  We’ve been thrilled that so many building owners have seized the opportunity to get involved already, and we urge others who are still weighing this up to get in touch with Kirkham Futures now.”

The Shop Front Improvement Scheme is part of the £10m Kirkham Futures masterplan – a once in a generation opportunity to transform the historic Fylde market town.

FHSF and HS HAZ funding will enable the purchase and redevelopment several key properties in the town centre – together with a range of improvements to public spaces.

This four-year plan, led by the Council’s regeneration team in partnership with Lancashire County Council and Kirkham Town Council, includes:

• Developing a new Heritage and Eco Skills Centre in the former Hillside restaurant

• Creation of an Arts Centre and Community Cinema in the former TSB bank

• The purchase of the Kirkgate Centre allowing for the development of key empty shop units and the creation of new affordable town centre housing

• The enhancement of public realm and outdoor spaces

• Encouraging businesses to relocate/set up in the town centre

• Development of new restaurants and creation of a thriving and diverse night-time economy

• Creation of a wide range of cultural and leisure activities

For full information, and to keep up to date with Kirkham’s regeneration masterplan, please visit www.kirkhamfutures.org

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Regeneration takes time. Over the coming months, there are a number of ways for you to get involved in shaping the future of Kirkham. We've set up a series of engagement activities to engage with you during the pandemic and beyond.  Please register or subscribe to our newsletter so we can easily invite you to the different engagement activities as we publish them.
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