Kirkham Town Centre
Many of the proposed improvements concern properties on Poulton Street

Fylde seeks £9.5m for town centre projects

Dan Whelan

The local authority has joined neighbouring councils Blackpool and Wyre to bid for Future High Streets Funding for a raft of projects in Kirkham town centre, including a conversion of the Kirkgate Centre into apartments. 

Fylde Council is seeking £9.5m from the £1bn Government pot, with around half of the funding (£4.6m) expected to be spent on public realm improvements. Such work includes initiatives to reduce traffic and reprioritise the high street in favour of pedestrian movements, in the hope of increasing footfall in the town centre. 

Meanwhile, the council also wants some funding support to help it buy the Kirkgate Centre performance venue on Kirkgate and convert the upper floors into 22 affordable apartments, and another project to convert the grade two-listed Hillside Court into a community and heritage centre.  

Following the refurbishment of Hillside Court, the council plans to redevelop a neighbouring plot and says it needs funds to acquire the land. Fylde then proposes to create a teaching and hosting facility with offices, centred around a redeveloped garden. 

Additionally, Fylde Council wants to convert the vacant former TSB Bank on Poulton Street into a community hub with cinema and arts centre. 

Several properties along Poulton Street would be refurbished under the proposals, enhancing the street scene. 

Neighbouring authorities Blackpool Council and Wyre Council have each submitted larger bids for Future High Streets funding, totalling £25m and £22.3m respectively. 

Blackpool wants to redevelop the Old Post Office to create a hotel and acquire a series of buildings with a view to increasing the town’s provision of office accommodation, among other schemes. 

Wyre, whose bid pertains to Fleetwood town centre, wants to build a new sea wall and integrated linear park to unlock the derelict waterfront site and deliver up to 172 homes, including 55 affordable homes in the first phase. 

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