Works are now well underway on the first phase of the Kirkham Futures Public Realm Improvements, as contractors have begun the redevelopment of Market Square and the surrounding town centre.
This ambitious project seeks to undertake enhancements to Kirkham’s public realm and create a coherent enhanced townscape quality which make it a much more pleasant place to live, shop, visit and enjoy.
Over the duration of these works in the centre (January 2023 – August 2023), there will be a series of multi-way temporary traffic lights stationed in Kirkham on Poulton Street, Church Street, Preston Street, and Freckleton Street. Where possible, motorists are advised to take alternative routes into the town centre that avoid these roads. Further information regarding roadworks can be found on the Lancashire County Council website.
Historic England’s Zinnie Denby-Mann said: “We’re delighted to see these improvements underway which complement the investment in Kirkham’s amazing heritage that has already been delivered through the High Street Heritage Action Zone programme, for the benefit of the local community and visitors alike.”
Commenting on behalf of lead contractor Eric Wright Civil Engineering, Project Manager David Bagley said: “Our team has made great progress already since January and we’re currently on target for completing the public realm works in the summer as planned. The works will not only deliver a superb new town centre square for Kirkham but will see the restoration and replacement of the historic fish stones and newly commissioned iron works which will further reflect the town’s heritage.”
The design of Market Square and the adjacent streetscapes was developed by The Paul Hogarth Company. Andrew Haley, Director, said of the design: “It will restore a heart for the town that puts people first. It will be a safe and welcoming environment during the day and after dark, that supports businesses and provides a focus for events. It will have a strong character, rooted in its history, but incorporating the requirements of a modern high street.”
Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, said: “I have heard so many positive comments welcoming the new look for Kirkham which will pay tribute to its history whilst encouraging community and pride of place.
“Now that the works have started there has inevitably been traffic congestion caused by the disruption to journeys through the high street, as well as displacement of parking. All parties are working hard to minimise the inconvenience and keep everyone informed so they can plan their journeys. Please support your local shops in Kirkham during this time as they rely on your business.”
Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, said: “This is a major milestone for Kirkham. With work underway and spades in the ground there are fantastic opportunities ahead for the town and its businesses.
“I have been proud to campaign for the Futures Project throughout the bidding processes, which secured £13 million from the Government and Lancashire County Council.
“I cannot wait to see the Project come to life, creating a revitalised High Street and Market Square that respects Kirkham’s history and delivers for its future.”
County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Growth at Lancashire County Council, said: “The beginning of the Kirkham Futures project is exciting and will bring major new investment to the local area. The project is designed to help stimulate significant economic growth and regeneration, bringing further opportunities to the area, whilst improving the town centre for local residents and existing businesses.”
Kirkham Futures is a 4-year programme of work to revitalise the town centre, representing the biggest investment in Kirkham in a generation, funded by the Historic England High Street Heritage Action Zone, the Government’s Future High Street Fund, and contributions from Lancashire County Council, Fylde Council, and Kirkham Town Council.
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