Come and get cash to boost town centres!

St Annes Town Centre, which has undergone an extensive revamp in recent years

St Annes Town Centre, which has undergone an extensive revamp in recent years

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Applications are being invited for a share of Fylde’s £100,000 programme to revitalise town centres.

Shop owners, business owners and even community groups are being given the chance the make their pitch for a grant from the Whitehall-generated cash pot – so long as their project is designed to increase town centre business activity.

In Fylde, councillors are devolving control of the money to business people themselves with membership being comprised of representatives from Kirkham and Wesham Business Group; Lytham Business Partnership and St Annes Chamber of Trade. Fylde Council, Kirkham Town Council and St Annes Town Council will also be represented.

Coun David Eaves, Fylde Council leader, said: “The criteria for the cash help are very broad and businesses know better than councillors what they need – practical experience is always the best way ahead.”

Fylde’s HSIF panel will meet quarterly to decide which bids to back.

There is no minimum or maximum limit for bids, although bidders must ‘matchfund’ the grant. Volunteer time can be allowed as matchfunding.

Coun Elaine Silverwood, of Kirkham and Wesham Business Group and herself a shop owner, said: “I would urge town centre businesses to make their bid for it.”

Lytham Business Partnership’s Andrew Fallow said: “This is a great opportunity to start some good projects in town centres in every part of Fylde”.

St Annes Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham added: “We have made the process as simple and transparent as possible, so that businesses, community groups and individuals can secure money for the best projects.”

The HSIF panel will next meet on June 5 and closing date for applications is May 29. Further closing dates will follow on August 18 and November 17.

Details at www.fylde.gov,uk/hsif.