Sustainable travel and improved walking and cycling facilities is at the heart of a £25 million bid by Lancaster City Council to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, to help regenerate Morecambe town centre.
This is part of plans to make central Morecambe a better place to live, visit and trade and builds on extensive work undertaken to prepare and initiate delivery of the Morecambe Area Action Plan, bringing together the public and private sectors to implement many of the plan’s aspirations in tandem with other investments, including those for Eden Project North, says the council.
It also reflects the council’ s wider priority of tackling the climate emergency, with improvements to encourage sustainable travel and better facilities for walking and cycling. There is also a commitment to sustainability and where there is investment in buildings, low carbon constructions will be specified.
This includes strengthening pedestrian links between the high street, seafront and Eden Project North, to increase footfall through the town centre and creating more public open spaces to invite flexible uses, community events and leisure opportunities.
Other aspects of the bid include: bringing vacant areas, underused and derelict property back to productive use, such as new office, hotel and residential space.
Extending hyperfast broadband to central Morecambe to help retailers and businesses develop their digital offers, is also part of the plan.
Councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox, Cabinet member with responsibility for economic development and regeneration, said: “The council wants to work in partnership with other property owners in central Morecambe to create a more attractive and animated town centre. With the hoped-for arrival of Eden Project North, visitors will be attracted to Morecambe from across the UK and internationally.
“That prospect, and the Future High Streets funding, could provide us with the perfect opportunity to ‘build back better’ after the impact of Covid-19 on local businesses and jobs: to invest in a town that should become greener, more prosperous and attractive as a result.
“We won’t be able to do this alone and there’s no doubt that by itself £25million can’t address everything. But what it will do is provide the catalyst for others to invest in the town and, if the bid is successful, we will be looking to work with all our communities to ensure the plans benefit everyone.”
The council has been working with businesses and partners to develop the bid. Should it be successful, their further involvement and input will be key to ensuring it is successfully implemented.