Market Square Kirkham Artist Impression
Changes to Market Square are at the heart of the £3.5m public realm programme. Credit: planning documents

Kirkham public realm plans move forward

Neil Tague

Plans have been lodged with Fylde Council as progress on the town centre’s £10m overhaul is ramped up.

Improving the public realm in the heart of the Lancashire town is the main aim of the project at this stage, and an application has been filed covering an enhanced civic space for Market Square, upgraded surfacing, rationalisation of parking and improved street furniture and lighting.

In addition, a listed building consent has been filed for the slight relocation of the Fishstones and lamppost listed structure in Market Square, with recessed lighting added below the 1829-built Fishstones structure.

Kirkham has secured £1.8m from Historic England’s £95m High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, which is part-funding the £3.5m project to revamp public spaces and streets in Kirkham’s core conservation area, with further funding coming from borough and town councils.

The programme is part of the wider £10m Kirkham Futures masterplan.

The Paul Hogarth Company, which was appointed in April this year as design lead, heading a professional team that also includes structural and civil engineer and M&E advisor O’Connor Sutton Cronin, Hasco Europe and ESC Construction Consultants,

Development of the design work has focused on Market Square and adjoining sections of Church Street, Poulton Street, Preston Street and Freckleton Street, which forms the basis of this application.

Paul Hogarth said in its design & access statement that “Market Square is the jewel in the crown of Kirkham. It is the hub of town life and a key meeting point. The proposals aim to celebrate the value of this space, offering increased flexibility and usability for all people and for a variety of occasions.”

Through relocating current parking on Market Square and Church Street, and reducing the width of Church Street, more space will be given over to pedestrians, while the square will be levelled out and stepped to ease its use for markets and events.

The Roundel roundabout will be relocated slightly to reduce the extent of road and increase pedestrian space, and a new zebra crossing will be introduced.

New lighting columns will be introduced throughout the central area, with a lantern for both the road and the pavement and bracket arms for banners, Christmas lights and hanging baskets. Market Square will have enhanced lighting to support evening events.

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I would be interested to know how three technical firms all from Ireland / Northern Ireland received this commission? Not to say they aren’t capable but there are a lot of North West and even local firms that have the capability and dare I say personal investment to deliver this scheme?

By Kirkham Resident