Last month, Wyre Council submitted a bid for £8.56 million to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to help deliver its ambitious plans for Fleetwood and continue the regeneration of the town.
The Levelling Up Fund (LUF) was announced at the 2020 Spending Review. The fund will invest in local infrastructure that has visible impact on people and their communities.
Wyre Council has submitted a packaged bid for the Levelling Up Fund, comprising of three exciting interconnecting projects for Fleetwood Market, Fleetwood Museum and the Fleetwood Port Redevelopment site. The decision on the Levelling Up Fund round 1 bids is expected to be announced by government later in the year.
Fleetwood Market Plans
The Fleetwood Market project looks to revive the derelict land just next to the market creating a new workspace for commercial creative business. The plans utilise repurposed sustainable shipping containers to create an interesting contrast to the adjacent Victorian Market Hall as well as referencing Fleetwood’s long history as a commercial port and can be used to trial new projects such as flexible start-up spaces for local businesses, classroom sites, meeting rooms and collaborative working spaces.
The new business units will build on the success of the new Market House Studios and outdoor food market and form part of the wider long term plans to improve the community offer, increasing visitor numbers, footfall and high street spend.
Fleetwood Museum Plans
The Fleetwood Museum project looks to expand the museum offer and deliver a fully accessible new visitor centre within the existing museum footprint. This will deliver a nationally recognised revamped museum to attract tourists into the town. Additionally, the new entrance created will link Queens Terrace and Custom House Lane and in turn will front onto a new pocket park funded through the existing Heritage Action Zone funding.
Fleetwood Port Redevelopment Plans
Associated British Ports (‘ABP’) has been working collaboratively with Wyre Council on the plans for Fleetwood Port to redevelop a substantial swathe of derelict waterfront land. Funding will supplement Environment Agency investment in new flood defences to improve the seafront of the Town by creating a beautiful modern linear coastal park for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. The vision is to revive this gateway into Fleetwood and provide waterside views across the estuary and new pedestrian and cycle connections along the coast and into the town centre. The flood defences will also unlock the site to develop 150 new homes, to provide a blend of aspirational waterfront living, affordable housing and specialist housing, encouraging a sustainable mixed new community to support Fleetwood’s town centre.
The Levelling Up Fund plans complement a wider programme of projects going on elsewhere in the town, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Coastal Community Fund, the Coastal Revival Fund, High Street Heritage Action Zone initiative, funded by Historic England and Getting Building Fund.
These are exciting times for Fleetwood, the town is embarking on an ambitious programme of improvements, projects and new developments informed by a new Town Centre Regeneration Framework.
Councillor Alice Collinson, Planning Policy and Economic Development Portfolio Holder at Wyre Council states,
“We are submitting a packaged bid, consisting of three projects for Fleetwood, designed to revitalise some of the town’s most prominent and important, economic and cultural assets – The market, the museum and of course the disused, formerly thriving port.
“The plans work within a wider regeneration framework for Fleetwood. Wyre Council is working collaboratively with local businesses and stakeholders through Fleetwood’s Town Centre Partnership Board and the Town Centre Regeneration Framework to facilitate the shared vision of a once again, vibrant and thriving town, and position Fleetwood as a high-quality visitor destination with a distinctive and proactive town centre that capitalises on its outstanding seaside location.”
The decision and announcements on the Levelling Up Fund round 1 bids is expected to be announced by government in Autumn 2021. If successful, funding will be available to allow delivery to get underway in 2021/2022 and all funding will be delivered by March 2024.