The project involves reviewing the range of uses within the town centre, identifying new uses for empty units, and upgrading the Island to revitalise the seaside resort.
Fylde Council is seeking a single multidisciplinary consultancy to carry out the three-part, six-month commission.
The project, valued at around £250,000, aims to make St Annes a viable visitor destination, and revamp both the town centre and the Island, an area close to the seafront given over largely to leisure uses.
St Annes has experienced a creeping increase in the number of vacant units in the town centre in recent years, according to Mark Evans, Fylde Council’s head of regeneration.
The former Prezzo and Edinburgh Woollen Mill units on St Annes Road West are among the town’s vacant units, as is the former JR Taylors department store, a three-storey building on Garden Street.
“We have highlighted there is something not quite right in the town and we are looking at what we can do to address the issues,” Evans told Place North West.
Stage one of the project will see the selected party assess the commercial potential of the town, review consumer behaviours and habits, and explore how Government funding initiatives such as the Future High Streets Fund and the Levelling Up Fund could be used.
Phase two of the project would involve the drawing up of a revised masterplan for St Annes. In addition, a report recommending potential options for procurement and delivery of the masterplan, would be created.
The final stage of the job focusses on creating a branding and marketing strategy for St Annes, designed to attract more visitors to the town and create a “modern seaside resort”, according to Evans.
This section of the job will include a review of the type of visitor accommodation in the town, highlighting the potential areas of growth within the tourism economy, and identifying potential interventions and actions that may help with the growth of the visitor economy.
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.
Evans hopes the sea defence scheme could act as a “catalyst” for improvement at the Island site.
Expressions of interest for the commission are open and will close in early July and the council has reported a high level of interest in the early stages of the procurement process.