Two of the Fylde coast’s most important visitor hotspots are looking tip top ahead of the Easter holidays thanks to improvement works carried out by Fylde Borough Council.
More than 100 benches on St Annes Promenade have been painted, together with railings and bins, while flowerbeds throughout the town centre are now being filled with beautiful blooms ready to welcome visitors.
Railings and lampposts in Lytham’s Clifton Square – a popular place for outdoor diners and visitors – have also been spruced up while the Square itself has been professionally cleaned.
The work has been funded through the Government’s Welcome Back Fund (WBF). Fylde Council successfully bid for £243,500 from the fund which is providing councils across England with a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the nation’s high streets following the Covid-19 pandemic.
This funding, which builds on the £50 million Reopening High Street Safely Fund (RHSSF), aims to help local authorities create and promote a safe and welcoming environment for local trade and tourism.
Fylde Council is using its WBF money in a variety of ways including the funding of improvements to town centres and financially supporting local business groups to create a range of events and activities that promote retail, hospitality and the visitor economy.
Cllr Karen Buckley, the Leader of Fylde Council, said: “Like many resorts and visitor destinations up and down the country St Annes and Lytham were hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fylde Council successfully won £243,500 through the Government’s Welcome Back Fund and I was determined that every penny would be spent to help our town centres bounce back.
“The work that has been carried out to repaint benches and railings along the Promenade in St Annes is wonderful – it is so great to see. It is really important the town looks its finest ahead of the Spring and, together with the other improvement work that is being carried out, both here and in Lytham, I am sure residents and visitors will be impressed.”
The painting work has been carried out by Fylde coast-based Rushworth Painting Ltd. Director Chris Rushworth said: “It has been a real joy to work on this contract. So many people have come up to our guys while painting the benches to say what a difference it makes.
“It has been a tough time for tourism over the last few years so we’re really happy to be involved in a project which helps improve St Annes wonderful Promenade ahead of the summer season.”
The work carried out in Lytham, which included power-washing Clifton Square and clearing weeds, has been welcomed by local business owners and tourism leaders.
Cllr Michael Sayward, Fylde Council’s chairman of Tourism and Leisure and owner of Attire clothing on Clifton Street, said: “Clifton Square looks fabulous and the cleaning work has made a real difference. The Square is such a focal point of the town, visited by thousands of people every week, so it’s important it looks its best. Lots of people have already commented how much better it looks.”
Damian Clarke, managing director of Stringers Department store and deputy chairman of Lytham Business Group, said: “I’m delighted the square has been cleaned and tidied ready for an exciting and busy Spring. We’re looking forward to the summer buzz and welcoming everyone back to Lytham.”
Together with the town centre improvement works, Fylde Council is using funding secured from the Welcome Back Fund to support local businesses in a range of ways. These include marketing campaigns to encourage more people to visit the Fylde coast, hosting free tourism seminars and promoting shop local schemes.
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