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The project will assess the impact of the recent lockdown and identify how to boost St Annes economy. Credit: via BDP

BDP to shape St Annes revamp

Dan Whelan

The architecture practice has been commissioned by Fylde Council to draw up plans to breathe new life into both the town centre and the island site on the promenade.

BDP will aim to connect the promenade with the high street, integrate new developments within the town, and create exciting spaces that are designed around people and businesses, the practice said. 

A new town centre strategy will assess the impact of the recent lockdown and identify how to bring value to the experience and economy of St Annes. 

“St Annes is a classic ‘bucket and spade’ seaside town, loved by visitors who return time after time,” said Francis Glare, chair of urban design and town planning at BDP. 

“We’re looking forward to working with the council and the community to attract further investment, to address the challenges of the changing nature of high streets and to explore new opportunities linked to the enduring appeal of living, working and enjoying time off by the sea.” 

The project presents opportunities to address the growing number of vacant retail units in the town. 

The former Prezzo and Edinburgh Woollen Mill units on St Annes Road West are among the town’s vacant units. 

Meanwhile, the former JR Taylors department store, a three-storey building on Garden Street is to be converted into a boutique hotel, spa, restaurant and bar under plans lodged by developer Corbenyah Properties. 

In addition, the council is hoping to reimagine the island off the back of a plan to upgrade St Annes’ ageing seas defences. 

The existing seawall protects around 400 properties and businesses from flooding and erosion but is at the end of its design life and is in poor condition, according to the council. 

Fylde is hoping to secure funding from the Environment Agency to carry out the improvement project, which would see the promenade raised by around two metres. 

Cllr Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, added: “It is more than 20 years now since the start of the last main refurbishment works in St Annes and whilst shopping and leisure habits have changed gradually over time, they have been singularly transformed over the last 18 months due to the Covid pandemic. 

“I am looking forward to a blueprint fit for the future with full input from the town, its representatives and residents, and an exciting vision that will lever in much-needed government funds.” 

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Take the sand dunes away from hotels North side to sand gate make the part of the prom and let cars face the sea and charge for parking as of now parked on the road making it harder for traffic to flow

By John Lillie