August a quiet month

Not a lot to report this month as we are still waiting to find out if we have been successful in being granted UK Shared Prosperity Fund monies for the projects we’ve put forward. It is likely to be October before we get a final decision on the funding but I am ever hopeful.

 

One of the projects in the Regeneration Framework is to explore setting up a Community Energy Trust. Such a Trust would look at community initiatives to reduce, purchase, manage and generate energy and we are fortunate to have expert advice available from Kate Gilmartin who is the Community Energy Investment Lead for the North West. Kate gave an interesting presentation on some of the initiatives already in place in the North West and others in development. It was particularly interesting to hear about the low carbon heat project in Chipping. Clearly, what might work for Chipping might not work for other villages of a similar size but it’s always useful to look at how these projects come about and what it takes to make them successful.

 

 Jan Finch

Chair, Greater Garstang Partnership Board

Regeneration & Investment Framework Approved By Wyre

                                                           After a year of work developing the Regeneration and Investment Framework I’m delighted

                                                           to report that it was approved by Wyre Council’s Cabinet on 1 June. Of course, that’s not the                                                               end of anything but the beginning of the work we’ll be doing over the next few years to find                                                               the money to deliver the projects which are contained in the document.

                                                           Last month I reported that Wyre Council had been allocated some £3.9 million from the UK                                                                 Shared Prosperity Fund. The Fund is for projects across Wyre with some contribution made

                                                           from Wyre’s allocation for Lancashire-wide projects. Theme leads have put forward a number

                                                           of projects which are deliverable within three years which is the timescale set by Government

                                                           and these will be considered, alongside projects put forward by the Fleetwood and Cleveleys Boards and for Poulton (where there is currently no similar Board) against the funding criteria by Wyre Council. Wyre has to submit the Investment Plan for the Fund by 1 August so there is still some work to do before we will know which of the Board’s projects will receive funding and, if so, how much.

 

The Board received an inspiring presentation by Lara Hurley (Head of Greenspace and Creative Design, Myerscough College) who showed us examples of creative lighting work completed by students. This gave the Board a number of ideas for public realm and possible arts projects over the next few years.

 

Jan Finch

Chair, Greater Garstang Partnership Board

20 June 2022

Regeneration Framework: Your feedback and Comments

 

Thanks to everyone who provided comment on the final draft of the Regeneration Framework. There weren’t many comments in terms of numbers but they did result in some changes to the document.

A number of people commented on the “Pedestrian Priority along High Street”, concerned that it would prevent access for people with limited mobility. We’re not suggesting that the High Street will be pedestrianised but, rather, access for traffic would be more limited to allow for greater use of the space by pedestrians and businesses. Of course, we recognise that this will displace traffic elsewhere and that’s why we won’t be rushing into this. We’ll be working with other partners such as LCC Highways as well as local businesses and town centre users both in and out of vehicles.

Other comments related to the infrastructure improvements needed as a result of all the new house building in the area, particularly health (including dentist provision) and highways. Many Board members live and work in the area so are fully aware of these needs. Although we might all like it to be different the fact is that, in planning terms, infrastructure follows development – it doesn’t come before or at the same time. As a Board we will continue to identify and evidence need but we do not have the power to improve highways or health provision.

 

Another comment related to rail provision. The first consultation exercise asked local people to choose from three possible scenarios – modest incremental change, balanced ambitions for future economic growth or more significant growth and better connectivity. Each had a set of advantages and disadvantages and the majority chose the middle ground. In preparing the Local Plan (the principal planning management document which will shape Wyre borough for the period up to 2031) Wyre Council held a number of discussions with Network Rail to discuss possible improvements to the rail network including a new station at Garstang but there are currently too many constraints – it is not directly linked to the national rail network, it’s adjacent to the West Coast Main Line which is one of the busiest mixed traffic railway rail routes in Europe and it would not currently be possible to stop services at any new station on the West Coast Main Line as the section between Preston and Carlisle is “full”. That’s not to say that things won’t change in the future and the Board will make sure it keeps abreast of developments so that we can take advantage of any change in the future.

 

There were some comments about the retail offer and opening times and these have been noted and a number of individual comments about a specific issue which we’ve passed on to the appropriate person or organisation.

 

We had some good news at our May Board meeting with Wyre Council being allocated some £3.9 million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The Board will be putting forward a number of projects for consideration but these can only be projects which are deliverable within three years which is the timescale set by Government.

 

 

Jan Finch

Chair, Greater Garstang Partnership Board

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