East Lancashire town centres receive high street grants

A SHAKE-up of several East Lancashire town centres is on the cards after it was announced £500,000 in high street grants is heading to the region.

Blackburn-with-Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Rossendale and Pendle will receive £100,000 each from the High Street Innovation Fund.

Several bids to become one of 12 ‘Portas Towns’, a cash incentive to revitalise jaded shopping hubs, have been lodged by locations such as Darwen, Nelson, Rawtenstall and Clitheroe.

But this extra cash, confirmed by housing minister Grant Shapps, is part of a separate £10million pot. designed to bring empty shops back into use.

Brian Bailey, Blackburn council’s regeneration director, said: “Supporting and improving our town centres is one of our top priorities.

“This funding will help us to bring other plans, to help strengthen both town centres and support local businesses, forward more quickly.”

Coun Clare Pritchard, deputy leader of Hyndburn Council, said she had lobbied Mr Shapps about the original scheme not being wide-ranging enough and was ‘pleased he had listened’.

Ideas for how Hyndburn’s allocation, available to Accrington, Great Harwood and Rishton, should be spent will now be the subject of a six-week consultation exercise.

“We can use it to reduce business rates, tackle vacant properties or a combination of ideas,” she added.

Colin Hill, Burnley Council’s facilities head, said a decision on the borough’s £100,000 would be made once it was known whether Portas Town bids for Burnley’s Standish Street or the centre of Padiham, have been successful.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “This is more good news for Burnley and will allow to us to continue to develop the area and make the most of what we have to offer.”

Rossendale council leader Coun Alyson Barnes added: “This money will enable us to look at issues with empty shops across all our town centres.”

Comments (16)

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10:47am Sat 31 Mar 12

Siouxsie-Jan says...

What is Birtwistle on about. £100,000 to help develop the area? It's peanuts and hardly worth a mention.

He's falling into the old trap of taking the electorate for fools. Just watch. Next he'll try passing off the new Urgent Care Centre as a full blown A&E Dept.
What is Birtwistle on about. £100,000 to help develop the area? It's peanuts and hardly worth a mention. He's falling into the old trap of taking the electorate for fools. Just watch. Next he'll try passing off the new Urgent Care Centre as a full blown A&E Dept. Siouxsie-Jan
  • Score: 0

11:38am Sat 31 Mar 12

woolywords says...

One wonders how much of the original £100k will actually find it's way to street level, once, 6 weeks of consultantcy fees, expenses and sundry charges are passed around; enough for a tub of emulsion and a tin of gloss, perhaps?
One wonders how much of the original £100k will actually find it's way to street level, once, 6 weeks of consultantcy fees, expenses and sundry charges are passed around; enough for a tub of emulsion and a tin of gloss, perhaps? woolywords
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Sat 31 Mar 12

doomchanter says...

Accy town centre could be improved with a box of matches and 5 litres of petrol (if you can get hold of any!)
Accy town centre could be improved with a box of matches and 5 litres of petrol (if you can get hold of any!) doomchanter
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Sat 31 Mar 12

shytalk says...

Ah some money to help high stree businesses in Clitheroe town centre.
Now what we could really do with in the high street is either another charity shop, fast food takeaway,or Italian pizza palace/kebab shop because we don't have enough of those.
Ah some money to help high stree businesses in Clitheroe town centre. Now what we could really do with in the high street is either another charity shop, fast food takeaway,or Italian pizza palace/kebab shop because we don't have enough of those. shytalk
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Sat 31 Mar 12

spendmymoneywisely says...

I agree that £100k is a pathetic amount the bulk of which will be eaten up in professional fees. In Rawtenstall I think that all the shops in the outlying streets should be moved onto Bank Street & given grants to effect the removal then the premises they currently occupy could be used for housing or leisure e.g. Nightclub, Restaurants etc
I agree that £100k is a pathetic amount the bulk of which will be eaten up in professional fees. In Rawtenstall I think that all the shops in the outlying streets should be moved onto Bank Street & given grants to effect the removal then the premises they currently occupy could be used for housing or leisure e.g. Nightclub, Restaurants etc spendmymoneywisely
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Sat 31 Mar 12

sean_brfc says...

Peanuts. £100,000 to be shared between Blackburn and Darwen. They've spend £2m in Darwen recently (and done a very good job in my opinion) but just shows how £100,000 will go nowhere.
Peanuts. £100,000 to be shared between Blackburn and Darwen. They've spend £2m in Darwen recently (and done a very good job in my opinion) but just shows how £100,000 will go nowhere. sean_brfc
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Sat 31 Mar 12

stagfest says...

Government doling out cash?Almost like there is an election on the way... what happened to 'there's no money left?'
Government doling out cash?Almost like there is an election on the way... what happened to 'there's no money left?' stagfest
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Sat 31 Mar 12

M.DANNY says...

£100,000 will pay for tv adverts ,come to Blackburn SOS save our shops.One Mall 17 empty shop units,one Costa Coffee and One Mcdonalds and further 15% shop units empty in town centre.The retail capital of East Lancashire,the gateway to Lancashire and beyond.Take M65 to Preston and Manchester for more choices and bigger attraction.Why would you come to Blackburn ?
£100,000 will pay for tv adverts ,come to Blackburn SOS save our shops.One Mall 17 empty shop units,one Costa Coffee and One Mcdonalds and further 15% shop units empty in town centre.The retail capital of East Lancashire,the gateway to Lancashire and beyond.Take M65 to Preston and Manchester for more choices and bigger attraction.Why would you come to Blackburn ? M.DANNY
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Sat 31 Mar 12

Kevin, Colne says...

What we are about to witness is a head-on collision between the combined fantasy of the public bureau and politicians on the one hand and economic reality on the other.

Firstly, supermarkets are continuing to expand their estate and competition for customers is intense. Secondly, internet shopping is growing exponentially. Thirdly, young adult consumers have been schooled in the world of supermarkets and the internet and while they will frequent the super-regional shopping centres, such as Meadowhall and The Trafford Centre, they tend to avoid local town centres like the plague.

These structural drivers are in large part responsible for the decimation of the high street.

Fourthly, we are in the grip of The Great Recession, some might use the truthful term depression, when unemployment is rising markedly and household incomes are under intense pressure. Many in work are worried about the security of their jobs and pay. Moreover, pay cuts, pay freezes and pay increases below the rate of inflation are wreaking havoc with household finances.

In short living standards for many folks in East Lancashire, which were below the national average, are now dropping like a stone.

Into this maelstrom the local bureaucratic and political elite is setting out to encourage fellow citizens to try their hand at business by entering high street retailing with a model that is demonstrably failing, and will be squandering public money (that could be better spent on other things) to demonstrate that with a few notable exceptions economic reality will trump the delusional fantasy of the local bureaucratic and political class.
What we are about to witness is a head-on collision between the combined fantasy of the public bureau and politicians on the one hand and economic reality on the other. Firstly, supermarkets are continuing to expand their estate and competition for customers is intense. Secondly, internet shopping is growing exponentially. Thirdly, young adult consumers have been schooled in the world of supermarkets and the internet and while they will frequent the super-regional shopping centres, such as Meadowhall and The Trafford Centre, they tend to avoid local town centres like the plague. These structural drivers are in large part responsible for the decimation of the high street. Fourthly, we are in the grip of The Great Recession, some might use the truthful term depression, when unemployment is rising markedly and household incomes are under intense pressure. Many in work are worried about the security of their jobs and pay. Moreover, pay cuts, pay freezes and pay increases below the rate of inflation are wreaking havoc with household finances. In short living standards for many folks in East Lancashire, which were below the national average, are now dropping like a stone. Into this maelstrom the local bureaucratic and political elite is setting out to encourage fellow citizens to try their hand at business by entering high street retailing with a model that is demonstrably failing, and will be squandering public money (that could be better spent on other things) to demonstrate that with a few notable exceptions economic reality will trump the delusional fantasy of the local bureaucratic and political class. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

3:20am Sun 1 Apr 12

julespent says...

£100,000 to help fill empty shops is peanuts. The greedy blackburn with darwen council need to reduce parking fees and stop sending people away to other places! That is what the money could do, although not sure how long the 100 grand would last reducing parking fees? perhaps it could reduce extortionate rents, retailers still need to earn a living! bring people back to blackburn please before it dies!!
£100,000 to help fill empty shops is peanuts. The greedy blackburn with darwen council need to reduce parking fees and stop sending people away to other places! That is what the money could do, although not sure how long the 100 grand would last reducing parking fees? perhaps it could reduce extortionate rents, retailers still need to earn a living! bring people back to blackburn please before it dies!! julespent
  • Score: 0

3:20am Sun 1 Apr 12

julespent says...

£100,000 to help fill empty shops is peanuts. The greedy blackburn with darwen council need to reduce parking fees and stop sending people away to other places! That is what the money could do, although not sure how long the 100 grand would last reducing parking fees? perhaps it could reduce extortionate rents, retailers still need to earn a living! bring people back to blackburn please before it dies!!
£100,000 to help fill empty shops is peanuts. The greedy blackburn with darwen council need to reduce parking fees and stop sending people away to other places! That is what the money could do, although not sure how long the 100 grand would last reducing parking fees? perhaps it could reduce extortionate rents, retailers still need to earn a living! bring people back to blackburn please before it dies!! julespent
  • Score: 0

9:39am Sun 1 Apr 12

Heelwalker.1 says...

julespent wrote:
£100,000 to help fill empty shops is peanuts. The greedy blackburn with darwen council need to reduce parking fees and stop sending people away to other places! That is what the money could do, although not sure how long the 100 grand would last reducing parking fees? perhaps it could reduce extortionate rents, retailers still need to earn a living! bring people back to blackburn please before it dies!!
I agree, the parking fees are ridiculous and are discouraging people from coming to town.
After the stress of fighting your way through the traffic jams you are then ripped off by the greedy council for the pleasure of parking your car.
Is it any wonder more and more are using the out of town retail parks ? It's so much easier, stress free and free parking.
That's where I do my shopping. Think about it those on the council.
[quote][p][bold]julespent[/bold] wrote: £100,000 to help fill empty shops is peanuts. The greedy blackburn with darwen council need to reduce parking fees and stop sending people away to other places! That is what the money could do, although not sure how long the 100 grand would last reducing parking fees? perhaps it could reduce extortionate rents, retailers still need to earn a living! bring people back to blackburn please before it dies!![/p][/quote]I agree, the parking fees are ridiculous and are discouraging people from coming to town. After the stress of fighting your way through the traffic jams you are then ripped off by the greedy council for the pleasure of parking your car. Is it any wonder more and more are using the out of town retail parks ? It's so much easier, stress free and free parking. That's where I do my shopping. Think about it those on the council. Heelwalker.1
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Sun 1 Apr 12

modan says...

Many high street are suffering with many shops are empty up and down UK.Towns like Hull,Stockport,Dewsb
ury,Stckport,Blackpo
ol and Grimsby have suffered far worst than other towns. Some towns like Preston,Huddersfield
,Chester,Lancaster,H
alifax and York have done well with 10% or less empty shops.With shopping habits are changing in modern times,people go to superstores,shopping Malls and internet shopping and thats why many high street have suffered.There is the reccession and people cut back on shopping.High Street shops needs help with cut in business rates and free parking to help small business get through reccession.It's tough times for high street at this moment.Big Stores have also suffered in this reccession ,many have closed down too likes of Woolworths,peacocks,
Bonmarche,TJ Hughes,Games,Past Times,Hawkins Bazaar ,Barratts,D2 Jeans,Jane Norman,Habitat,Le Senza,Ugo .
Many high street are suffering with many shops are empty up and down UK.Towns like Hull,Stockport,Dewsb ury,Stckport,Blackpo ol and Grimsby have suffered far worst than other towns. Some towns like Preston,Huddersfield ,Chester,Lancaster,H alifax and York have done well with 10% or less empty shops.With shopping habits are changing in modern times,people go to superstores,shopping Malls and internet shopping and thats why many high street have suffered.There is the reccession and people cut back on shopping.High Street shops needs help with cut in business rates and free parking to help small business get through reccession.It's tough times for high street at this moment.Big Stores have also suffered in this reccession ,many have closed down too likes of Woolworths,peacocks, Bonmarche,TJ Hughes,Games,Past Times,Hawkins Bazaar ,Barratts,D2 Jeans,Jane Norman,Habitat,Le Senza,Ugo . modan
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Mon 2 Apr 12

AndyD123 says...

Has anyone thought to ask if we even want high street shopping any more? Times change. Out-of-town retail parks offer everything you need. Ask yourself when you last spent any real money on the high street.
Has anyone thought to ask if we even want high street shopping any more? Times change. Out-of-town retail parks offer everything you need. Ask yourself when you last spent any real money on the high street. AndyD123
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Mon 2 Apr 12

katypri says...

sorry Nelson has had vast amount of money thrown at it, but i still cannot buy anything I need as I am a British citizen and we dont do those shops in Nelson
sorry Nelson has had vast amount of money thrown at it, but i still cannot buy anything I need as I am a British citizen and we dont do those shops in Nelson katypri
  • Score: 0

11:54am Tue 3 Apr 12

BluMonday says...

Perhaps just once, the Government could reward a town centre that is doing well through partnership working instead of constantly throwing money at towns like Burnley. If they are incapable of self help then why should my taxes go towards pay for their continued failure. Perhaps if a few of the poorest performing centres are allowed to fail, it would leave more business for the town centres that are working well.
Perhaps just once, the Government could reward a town centre that is doing well through partnership working instead of constantly throwing money at towns like Burnley. If they are incapable of self help then why should my taxes go towards pay for their continued failure. Perhaps if a few of the poorest performing centres are allowed to fail, it would leave more business for the town centres that are working well. BluMonday
  • Score: 0

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