Lancaster prioritises Morecambe in £25m funding bid

Lancaster City Council has put in a bid for money from the Government’s £1bn Future High Streets Fund, focused on the regeneration of Morecambe town centre.

The council described the bid as “ambitious” and said it aimed to make central Morecambe “a better place to live, visit and trade”.

The bid builds on work undertaken to prepare and deliver the Morecambe Area Action Plan, which brings together the public and private sectors to implement changes to the town, along with guiding other investments, such as for Eden Project North.

Schemes include improvements to encourage sustainable travel and better facilities for walking and cycling. There is also a commitment to sustainability, and where there is investment in buildings, low carbon construction will be specified.

The development of Morecambe town would look to bring vacant areas, underused and derelict property back to productive use, such as with offices, hotels and residential.

There would be better pedestrian linkages between the high street, seafront and the proposed £80m Eden Project North visitor experience, to increase footfall through the town centre.

If successful, the funding would also create more public open spaces for flexible uses, community events and leisure opportunities, and fund a cultural strategy, which would be based within Morecambe’s Winter Gardens.

Cllr Tim Hamilton-Cox, Cabinet member with responsibility for economic development and regeneration, said: “The council wants to work in partnership with other property owners in central Morecambe to create a more attractive and animated town centre.

“With the hoped-for arrival of Eden Project North, visitors will be attracted to Morecambe from across the UK and internationally.

“That prospect, and the Future High Streets funding, could provide us with the perfect opportunity to ‘build back better’ after the impact of Covid-19 on local businesses and jobs: to invest in a town that should become greener, more prosperous and attractive as a result.

“We won’t be able to do this alone and there’s no doubt that by itself £25m can’t address everything. But what it will do is provide the catalyst for others to invest in the town and, if the bid is successful, we’ll be looking to work with all our communities to ensure the plans benefit everyone.”

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