The January 2023 meeting of Fylde Council’s Tourism and Leisure Committee has concluded, and amongst the decision items discussed were several exciting proposals for investment and development across the Borough.
One recommendation is for the introduction of a nominal charge of £1 per child, per hour, for the use of the SPLASH outdoor water play facility in St Annes. The £1 fee has been recommended for approval by the full council to ensure that the facility is affordable to all, with private beach activities charging significantly higher rates, pricing many visitors out.
Income from the small charge will contribute towards the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining the SPLASH park and ensuring its continued availability. Revenue raised would also be used to help fund improved services and activities along the beach, such as the paddling pool, the ranger service, and improved beach accessibility.
The proposal details provision for an online payment system with the opportunity to rebook if the weather is unfavourable, as well as the option to book and pay at the park when capacity allows.
Staying with the beachfront, another recommendation from the Tourism and Leisure Committee is the refurbishment and repurposing of the St Annes beach furniture unit into a ‘Beach Hub’ facility. This would provide a focal point on the beach for customers, volunteers, partner agencies and employees in an ideal location at the primary entry point to the beach, offering a base for coastal resources such as rangers and tourist information staff, a first aid and lost child point, beach wheelchair hire, the storage of cleansing materials, and more, with a projected total capital cost of around 71,000.
Four Council-owned play areas across Fylde are next on the list of proposed improvements for full council to consider in March, following on from a number of remedial works and newly constructed play areas in 2022. Lowther Gardens, Waddington Road, Raleigh Close and Hove Road have all been identified as priority for remedial works to ensure they remain in top condition and are safe for all, with a recommended capital budget of £120,000 for 2023/2024. Partnership working will continue with Fylde’s exceptional community groups who have been excellent obtaining external grant funding along with the allocation of further Section 106 monies to maximise the impact of the play replacement budget and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Borough’s formal children’s play areas.
Lytham Hall, the only Grade 1 listed asset in Fylde and a significant historical and heritage asset for the region, managed by a Trust, has also been marked out for assistance. The Tourism and Leisure Committee have recommended a £75,253 capital contribution towards a new drainage system and a green car parking scheme like the ones in national parks planned by the charity. This project is essential for the Hall to accommodate the increased demand from visitors and the local community as it continues to support tourism, the local economy and heritage consistent with the Council’s Corporate Plan and priorities.
Cllr Michael Sayward, Chairman of the Tourism & Leisure Committee, said: “As a Council we are deeply committed to making Fylde a wonderful place for visitors and residents, and it is my pleasure to recommend these proposals be approved by full council. Each represents an excellent investment in the services, amenities and heritage assets that make our Borough such a well-loved tourist destination and place to live.”
These Committee recommendations and others will be presented to full Council in the coming weeks. To read more about Fylde Council’s Committees, and to view the agendas and minutes of their meetings, visit the Fylde Council website. For updates about these and other exciting projects happening in Fylde, sign up for the official Fylde Council newsletter.
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