St Annes miniature train set for to stay on track after sea defence work

The future of a much-loved St Annes attraction is looking much brighter after a wave of backing from the public prompted a rethink over sea defence plans.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:45 pm

Fylde Council announced last month that it was looking to follow the new defences between Lytham and Fairhaven with a similar project at St Annes

The family behind the resort’s seafront miniature train were taken aback that the initial proposal appeared to suggest that it’s future could be under threat as the area currently occupied by the track would be swallowed up after the work – and more than 2,000 people protested to the council that the attraction needed to be preserved.

The responses clogged the inbox of the consultation taking place at the time and it was relaunched, with all previous views taken into account and the council saying it would do everything possible to accommodate all existing businesses.

The miniature train and beach huts at St Annes
The miniature train and beach huts at St Annes

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The council added in a statement that the consultation “has proven to be a major success with great feedback from project partners and the public.

“The revised proposals have been costed and they will next be formally approved by the project partners and discussed with concession holders and businesses on The Island, after which they will be presented to committee.”

Coun Roger Small, chairman of the council’s operational management committee, said: “We are keen to build on the success of the sea defence projects at Fairhaven, Church Scar and Granny’s Bay offering protection to hundreds of properties while at the same time providing a great facility that can be enjoyed.

“The Island sea defence is different to the other schemes because of the need to partner with the 25 businesses and other organisations on site. Early and sustained engagement with all partners and now the wider public has produced a proposal that will deliver the protection the public expect while retaining the business community on The Island. I would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation and all partners for their involvement.”

Helen Leeming, of the family behind the miniature railway, said: “We are not cracking open the Champagne just yet but we certainly feel a lot better than we did a few weeks ago.”

Once the scheme is approved by the council and the delivery partners, the aim is start on site in autumn 2022 with completion scheduled in late summer 2023,with regular updates throughout.project before, during and after delivery.

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