St Annes Event Space project set to move forward

The St Annes Event Space project, a cornerstone of the St Annes Masterplan, is set to bring transformative changes to the town centre.

Following extensive public consultation and design revisions, the Members of the Executive Committee at Fylde Council are set to consider the approval of an expanded scheme with a revised budget of £2.91 million.

The council’s existing capital programme included a scheme which was approved by Council on 17th July 2023 to the value of £1.5m, so approvals are now being sought for a fully funded capital budget increase of £1,412,462.

In July 2023, the Council approved the initial capital budget for the St Annes Event Space project, marking the first major initiative under the St Annes Masterplan.

A multi-disciplinary team was appointed to design a £1.5 million public realm events space, as outlined in the Council's report from July 17, 2023.

A public consultation was conducted between July 19 and August 11, 2023, which received 232 responses. Feedback influenced the project's development, focusing on event types, seating, accessibility, parking, lighting, and more, which led to a more ambitious scheme in preparation of a bid to the third round of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. In November 2023 the Government announced the winners of the third round of the fund and only one district in Lancashire, Chorley, was successful.

Councillor Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, said: “Despite this set back, our determination to invest in St Annes Square remains.  Of our three town centres in Fylde, St Annes has struggled most to adapt to online shopping trends and recover from the pandemic.  Whilst the beach and promenade remain a popular destination, bringing people into the town centre to enjoy the hospitality, shops and businesses on offer is a priority for this council and so the plan is to invest in the more ambitious scheme for greater impact.”

The project, which has now been developed to Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stage 3, includes several proposed enhancements to the original design, details of which have been set out below:

·              Redevelopment of the existing car park to extend the events space

·              Removal of one dome and use of quality materials to create a visually appealing focal point

·              New amphitheatre-style seating and reduced planting for an open feel

·              Repositioned bus layby for improved pedestrian connectivity

·              Enhanced lighting system and modernized street furniture.

The total project cost is now estimated at £2.91 million. The report due to be presented to members on 23 May sets out the details of the main funding sources for the budget increase, which includes the additional funding required from the capital investment reserve to achieve the overall budget for the scheme.

Councillor Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council added: “We are thrilled to be having discussions around the advancement of the St Annes Event Space project, which promises to be a vibrant addition to our town centre.

“The enhancements, based on community feedback ensure that this space will serve as a central hub for events and activities, fostering a greater sense of community and boosting local regeneration.”

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