A “bold and exciting” new vision and plan for Haslingden Town Centre, shaped by residents and businesses, has been published.
Haslingden 2040 has been used as a basis of a bid for National Lottery Heritage Funding, which the Council has submitted a bid for.
It includes plans to create new event spaces, shared green areas for people to meet and better pedestrian links.
More than 1,000 residents and business people helped shape the draft vision and plan.
The proposals have been backed by local MP Graham Jones and local business people.
The plans are not set in stone and the Council, working with the Haslingden Strategic Board, will continue to work with local businesses and residents to develop the proposals.
The vision underpinning the plan states:
“In 2040, Haslingden Town Centre will unlock its potential to be known as a “hidden gem” for nature and countryside explorers. The town centre will be a hub of community activity and heritage renaissance which captures the fusion of cultural and historical experiences it has to offer. With a refreshing stream of investment, Haslingden will be a town for everyone.”
Deputy Council leader Councillor Jackie Oakes said:
“We all have heard the stories of how difficult and tough it is for the high street at the moment. But I believe with a bit of imagination, a clear vision and everyone working together, town centres can buck that trend.
“The town has so much potential so our job is to make sure we bring in the funding to unlock that potential.
“We have worked hard to gather views on what Haslingden town centre should look like in the future.
“It is not just physical improvements though. We want the vision to act as a call to action that brings people, public services, businesses and community organisations together and really get behind the town and create a positive vibe.
“The vision and masterplan will continue to evolve and further discussion is needed with the community before any plans are implemented.
“I hope everyone gets behind the bid and I am delighted businesses and Graham say they are backing it.”
Ideas to improve the town centre include:
- Extended paving and pedestrianisation of Upper Deardengate
- Creation of new event spaces for community activities such as artisan’s markets
- New nature pocket park with seating areas centred around a statute of William Cockerill
- Enhanced public realm on Pleasant Street and around the graveyard
- Refurbishment of the existing Big Lamp and a creation of a new Big Lamp
- Grants to shopkeepers for property refurbishments
- Market improvements
- Architectural lighting to key features and alleyway improvements
- Forging stronger working arrangements between public services such as health, police and local transport operators, business, community, voluntary and faith sector such as youth groups and residents
- Community micro-grants scheme to support and develop community groups to make the town a better place
Mr Jones, whose constituency covers Haslingden, said:
“I have always believed town centres should be at the heart of our community but sadly they are facing tough times at the moment as people’s shopping habits change.
“This new vision addresses those challenges and hopefully will be a blueprint for how we can reinvigorate the town centre.
“I am very pleased local people and businesses have been involved in shaping the plans
“I fully support the new plan and hope the fresh bid for funding will reap the rewards so we can develop a town centre that is fit for the future – one that residents and businesses of Haslingden deserve.”
Local business leader Leigh Andrews, who is organising a street fair for the town, said:
“This is exactly what Haslingden needs, a clear plan to improve the town so it becomes one residents can be proud of and one which attracts visitors and shoppers from afar to sample its unique offer.”