£500K for greening and cleaning in Blackburn town centre

Published Friday 17 May 2024 at 11:27

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has secured £500,000 of new Green Space Funding for King William Street through the High Street Accelerator pilot.

Blackburn, Blackpool and Great Harwood are three of 10 areas across England receiving half a million pounds each to revive their high streets and entice residents back to the shops. 

A total of £1.5 million will breathe new life and greenery onto Lancashire’s high streets, making them more attractive places for people to visit and spend their time – whether that’s to relax and socialise, visit the shops and cafes, or take up new jobs in the area.

In Blackburn town centre, King William Street will be remodelled into a more flexible and open space for the community to spend time in and accommodate events.

The high street layout will be re-designed with:

  • More street furniture
  • A new play area
  • New plants and trees added to key areas such as the three main entrances to the shopping centre and existing pavement cafes.

These changes have been designed to improve the quality and biodiversity of the environment and create a more welcoming high street that entices visitors. A volunteer programme will be set up to help maintain the new spaces. 

Lauren Zawadzki, Chair of the King William Street High Street Accelerator Partnership, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the full £500,000 of new Green Space Funding for King William Street.

“We are determined to improve that whole area, including through greening and cleaning – creating a space that residents and visitors can enjoy and businesses can thrive in.

“With the changing landscape of the high street, we want to do something that is truly innovative and transformational, but also something that is sustainable and will have a long-term impact for that whole area.

“To ensure we get it right, we’ll be appointing a skilled design team who can take our ideas and engage with interested parties to see how the space can better work, including for activities and events.

“We can’t wait to share the plans and see the difference they can help make.

“Blackburn is just one of only 10 towns to benefit from the High Street Accelerator funding and we’re already off to a really good start – working together to make a real difference.”

Deputy Leader for Blackburn with Darwen Council and Executive Member for Growth and Development, Councillor Quesir Mahmood added: “We have huge plans for the future of Blackburn town centre, including the area around the former Thwaites site, St John’s Church and the Cultural Quarter.

“King William Street is right at the centre of that and connects them all, including our impressive Cathedral Square development.

“This funding gives us a chance to really look at that space and see how it’ll best work for our residents, visitors and businesses going forward.

“We want people to come in to our town centre and enjoy spending time here – whether it includes a spot of shopping, eating out or visiting the many popular events hosted here as well as the likes of the museum, Making Rooms and the Exchange.

“We’re looking forward to helping drive this scheme forward with the King William High Street Accelerator Partnership, listening to their ideas and the ideas of the design team on what will have the most impact.

“I’d like to say a big well done to everyone involved in securing this funding, I know a lot of hard work went into the successful bid.”

The Minister for Levelling Up Jacob Young said: 

“High streets are the beating heart of our communities and we’re determined to keep them alive and flourishing through our levelling up support.  

“Coupled with the new powers we’re giving to councils to rent out persistently empty spaces, our High Street Accelerators programme will make our towns more welcoming and pleasant places for people to enjoy.” 

The funding follows an earlier grant of £237,000 to each area, to help kickstart long-term regeneration plans with residents and businesses.


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