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Public Consultation on a Future Vision for Garstang Town Centre

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

The Greater Garstang Partnership and Wyre Borough Council have commissioned a study to consider how Garstang Town Centre might be improved to address future challenges and opportunities. This is to ensure the economic wellbeing of the town so that it can better meet the needs of its residents, surrounding communities and visitors for the next 15 years and beyond.


The study is at an early stage, and we are asking for your views on what sort of town Garstang should be and including: what its key issues and opportunities are.

The study is focussed on the town centre but will include consideration of the wider area. It will be structured to consider 10 overlapping ‘themes’ of town centre economic wellbeing.


We would like your views on the information presented including: -

The level of ambition that you feel is appropriate, and any further comments in relation to the Health and Success of Garstang Town Centre that you would like us to consider.


The Greater Garstang Partnership is a group of individuals and organisations who, together, have the expertise needed to develop and deliver a Regeneration and Investment Framework for the town and its surrounding villages which will ensure the area thrives in the coming years.


We have identified three potential scenarios for Garstang Town Centre’s future.


They range from modest to substantial change.

No option is presented as better than the others or “the right answer’’ - we want to understand your opinion on this matter.


Future Garstang - Scenario 1: ‘Modest, incremental change’


The starting point for this scenario is the belief that Garstang Town Centre is fundamentally “Doing alright” as it is: Issues to be addressed are relatively ‘non-threatening’ in nature and a desire not to change the current character of the town should be heavily weighed against the benefits of any new investments or initiatives. This ‘business as usual’ scenario would focus on improvements to the town centre that minimised any disagreement between town centre users, with modest improvement/growth in the town centre economy.


They may include: • Aesthetic improvements to public realm • Community based transport initiatives (car share/community bus) • Improved digital connection • Incremental improvements to events and marketing • Better co-ordination of current community groups • A modestly expanded ‘circular economy’ with an ethos of localism at its heart • Improved east-west linkages (Weinds) and linkages to the river - surface, access, lighting, and wayfinding improvements • Better use of Cherestanc Square, located outside Booths • Ensuring shops open to suit customer needs • An improved market offer - artisan, local food, and crafts • Improved access to the surrounding countryside/outdoor offer


Some points to consider: • Is the town centre “doing alright”? Or is there a slow, relative decline in some areas? • Is this scenario sufficiently ambitious to support bids for potential funding? • Will this scenario sufficiently engage the next generation of Garstang residents?


Future Garstang - Scenario 2: ‘Balanced ambitions for economic growth’


The starting point for this scenario is the belief that without sufficient ambition Garstang Town Centre risks relative decline. It recognises the need to address a range of issues but also sees that the town has many opportunities that can be taken. It sees Garstang as a place with both heritage and forward thinking that balances the needs of residents, surrounding communities and visitors -but without radically altering the nature or role of the town.

This might contain some initiatives from Scenario 1 but might also include:

• A more pedestrian focused (but not fully pedestrianised) town centre • A ‘21st Century Market Town’ offer • A stronger ‘café culture’ and development of an evening economy • Interventions to address town centre car parking issues • New initiatives to strengthen the visitor economy - particularly outdoor leisure • An amended approach to some events to focus on quality over quantity • New initiatives in town centre management • A (post pandemic) ‘remote working’ location of choice for families, professionals, and business entrepreneurs • Improved connectivity and use of the canal and river • Reassessment of the current leisure, library, and swimming offer - potentially combining facilities and incorporating additional community spaces • Better community facilities - with a focus for both older and younger people • More significant promotion of the surrounding countryside/outdoor offer

Some points to consider: • Can changes to a pedestrian focussed public realm be designed to be positive for everyone? • Will an evening economy bring issues? (Or is an ‘evening’ economy different to a ‘night‐time’ economy?) • Can we develop the visitor economy? • What is the right way to manage a town centre? • Could Garstang position itself as a location of choice for post pandemic remote working?


Future Garstang - Scenario 3: ‘More significant growth and better connectivity’


The starting point for this scenario is the belief that Garstang would benefit from better transport connectivity and the more significant development that would accompany it. The goal would be to set out sufficient development ambition to justify new rail and motorway connections, thereby improving connectivity and raising the town in the borough’s development hierarchy. This would attract further inward investment and significantly boost economic activity.

This scenario could contain initiatives from scenarios 1 and 2 but in addition may include: • A new rail connection • Potential new motorway junction • Significantly expanded new residential and employment development • Improved local transport services (triggered by an increased population demand) • Significant town centre inward investment

Some points to consider: • Would the impacts of this scale of development outweigh the benefits? • Would expansion of the town see it merge with adjacent settlements? • Is the town centre sufficiently large to serve an expanded population? • Would community and social infrastructure develop in‐step? • Can significant change be delivered whilst retaining ‘local’ control?


We would like your views on the ideas presented.

You can also leave comments via the web address below, where the information presented here can also be accessed:

www.wyre.gov.uk/greatergarstang


Alternatively, you can also post your comments to the address below:

Future Garstang, Wyre Council, Economic Development, Civic Centre, Breck Road, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, FY6 7PU


Questions

• What level of development and investment should Garstang aim for in the future - Scenario 1, 2 or 3? • Are there any issues, opportunities, or other ideas that you would particularly like to raise? • Do you have any other comments that you would like to make?


Comments can be made up until Sunday 5th September 2021.


Next Steps

The Greater Garstang Partnership, Wyre Council and consultants will consider all comments received as a result of this consultation process and also comments received from a range of conversations with other stakeholders. From this the team will produce a draft ‘preferred vision’ for the future of Garstang Town Centre. This will be presented at a further public consultation in December 2021. Following this a final version of the town centre vision will be produced, taking account of comments received during the public consultation. A final report will be offered to the Greater Garstang Partnership Board, Wyre Council and Garstang Town Council for endorsement. This work will also support potential funding bids for monies to enable delivery of the vision.


Contacts

If you have any queries about the information displayed here or about the process described, you can email greatergarstang@gmail.com







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