Fylde Coast Development

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Video supplied by Wyre Borough Council

[VIDEO: 25]

Proposed Wyre Developments

  • £0.2m Refurbishment of North Euston Hotel
  • £1.6m Development of Waterfront, Marine Hall and Gardens, start June 2010
  • £0.9m New factory and warehouse for Fylde Ice Company
  • £19m Fish and Food Business Park
  • £0.3m Upgrade marina and dock unloading area
  • £140m NPL Estates' mixed-use development, on former ICI Hillhouse land
  • £13m Proposed new Booths store Poulton town centre
  • £6.5m Completion of Wyrefields development on Poulton Industrial Estate
  • £10m New retail store and medical centre

Completed or nearing completion in Wyre

  • £13m New Booths store opened 2009 Garstang town centre
  • £10m New factory units Dewlay, Garstang
  • £5.5m New factory and finishing plant for Maple Timber Frame, St Michaels
  • £0.8m Visit Garstang Centre opened February 2010
  • £0.3m New site for John Deere agricultural dealership Nateby

Blackpool Power

  • The Tower Festival Headland project is designed to create an open-air performance and events space that will accommodate 20,000 spectators. The focal point is to be a new art installation, the 'Comedy Carpet' which will provide the key point of interest between events. Work is due to start late spring 2010 with completion by 2011. The project is funded by CABE, NWDA, and ERDF.
  • Cycle England has granted Blackpool Cycle Town status and £5.68m to develop cycling as a sustainable means of transport for visitors and residents of Blackpool after the establishment of the south promenade cycle route. Blackpool's Central Corridor schemes have been designed to incorporate cycle lanes in an aim to increase pedestrian flow between regeneration sites. It is hoped future improvements will allow an increase in cycling tourism throughout Blackpool with more events like Ride the Lights and Tour of Britain to be staged. This area is now well used by locals and visitors alike.
  • ReBlackpool has started site assembly for phase two of the redevelopment of Houndshill Shopping Centre, which re-opened in August 2008 with stores including Debenhams, New Look, River Island, H&M alongside existing stores Starbucks, Primark and Dorothy Perkins. The new centre has given the town a confident look and helped reverse retail leakage to other destinations. The site is managed by Centros and administrators for Anglo Irish Bank now, following the collapse of developer Modus.
  • Blackpool promenade will be home to an ocean side skateboard and BMX bowl and huge adventure playground. The St Chad's headland will be transformed into a 120,000 sq ft flexible space to host a whole range of unique and exciting events such as kite surfing, vehicle rallies or even a temporary beach. The Waterloo Headland will feature a skateboarding park, inline bowl and BMX area. It will also be home to a large adventure playground for 8 to 14 year olds, with a smaller section for younger children. Subject to funding and planning approval, it's anticipated that works on the final section of the promenade will begin in May 2010 with an estimated competition date of summer 2011. The £6.5m project will be funded by NWDA, DEFRA, Play England, Cycle England, Blackpool Council.

The Business Plan

The Fylde Coast Multi Area Agreement, written by the four councils of Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde and Lancashire and approved by ministers, the NWDA and HCA last year, set out the scale of need in an area facing a "chronic lack of private sector investment":

  • GVA per head in 2018 will be only 82% of the regional average and below the 2008 North West figure
  • The Fylde Coast has too many poorly skilled and too few highly skilled workers for a prosperous economy with 66.3% of the working age population qualified to level 2 [GCSE or equivalent] and 23.3% to level 4 [A-Level equivalent]
  • Some of the lowest levels of people in employment in Lancashire, less than 50% in parts of Blackpool and Wyre

Drivers of growth identified in MAA

  • Leisure and cultural industries: Blackpool's 'Golden Mile', Blackpool Tower ballroom, the piers and Grand Theatre
  • Advanced manufacturing: Aerospace, nuclear reprocessing and air transport sectors give the area a competitive edge and are not replicated in rest of Lancashire
  • Port of Fleetwood: one of four major ports in the North West, has experienced significant cargo growth in recent years
  • Blackpool Airport: one of the fastest growing regional airports in the UK, predicted to reach 3m passengers by 2015
  • Strategic employment sites: Warton, ICI Hillhouse and the M55 Growth hub offer strong potential
  • Public administration: Key public sector employers in the area include Department for Work and Pensions, National Savings & Investments, HM Revenue & Customs, and NHS Trusts. There is potential for other public sector occupiers to be based in Fylde Coast

Barriers to growth

  • Under-employment, worklessness and below average weekly wages
  • High levels of benefit dependency
  • Poor basic skill levels and high number of 16 to 18-year-olds not in employment, education of training
  • A transport infrastructure that does not adequately connect places in the North of Fylde Coast with the South and vice versa
  • A poor housing offer in inner areas of Blackpool and Fleetwood
  • A chronic lack of private sector investment

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