Lancashire County Council and Fylde Borough Council have welcomed the announcement of government funding to kickstart construction of a new road which will bring jobs, housing, and investment to the Fylde coast.

£5.8m has been allocated to deliver the M55 Heyhouses Link Road, which will improve access between Lytham St Annes and the M55, relieve congestion on smaller local roads, and support the commercial viability of local housing and business development sites.

The scheme is one of ten ‘shovel ready’ projects across the county to receive support as part of the £900m Getting Building Fund to speed up construction in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The road will provide much better access between the M55 motorway and existing employment areas in Lytham and St Annes, with the improved link to the coast also supporting the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and the area’s vital leisure and tourism industry.

The link road due to cost around £27m in total will connect the existing roundabout at Whitehills Road to the north with Heyhouses Lane near the Cypress Point development site to the south.

A key site linked to the scheme is Kensington Developments Ltd’s Richmond Point site, and construction of the first phase of this residential development is ongoing.

County Councillor Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Journey times and reliability are crucial for securing new business investment, and this new road is vital to support the future growth of the Fylde coast economy.

“Access from Lytham St Annes to the M55 is presently via a circuitous and busy route, and I know residents and businesses have been looking forward to this project getting underway for some years.

“I’m very pleased that the government has recognised the importance of this road with the award of this significant funding.

“We have been working closely with a number of private and public partners to bring together funding from a number of sources to deliver the road, and we’ll be working hard over the coming weeks to finalise arrangements for the funding and land needed to build the road, and agree a programme for construction.”

Councillor Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Borough Council, said: “Funds are again in place to deliver the link road, which cannot come soon enough.

“I am hopeful that the work can now be tendered and residents will see this project delivered.

“Fylde Council has worked tirelessly with Lancashire County Council to make this happen and I am grateful for their commitment, and also for our MP, Mark Menzies, who has doggedly pursued the scheme over a number of years. Delivery of this link road is a top priority for all of us.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, said: “We want to build back better to fuel a green economic recovery across the country by investing in infrastructure, creating jobs and building the homes people need.

“That is why we are investing £900 million in shovel-ready projects through our Getting Building Fund, including £5.8m in the M55 Heyhouses Link Road. This funding will unlock homes, create new jobs and deliver investment in commercial and green spaces and a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

Today’s announcement means that agreements are in place for all the public sector funding needed to deliver the road. A number of legal agreements are progressing with land owners, including an agreement with Kensington Developments Limited which is currently being finalised regarding their land and financial contribution. This is the last major step before the link road scheme can progress to construction.

For further information please contact: Mike Warren on 01772 533537