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Funding Boost for Blackburn

1st July 2011

Categories: Town Centre News

Public spaces in King William Street, Blackburn, will be transformed following a £570,000 grant from the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The work will create high-quality public areas on the main retail and commercial street of Blackburn town centre. 

Funding from ERDF, which is managed by the North West Development Agency, will also be used to improve the pedestrian connections from King William Street to New Market Street, Town Hall Street and the bottom of Lord Street West.

The project will make the area more attractive to investors and will result in a much more accessible and welcoming area for shoppers.

David Malpass, Head of European Programme, said: “This area is central to the retail, civic and commercial heart of Blackburn and it deserves a public space which will attract visitors and new private sector investment.

“These works will create a much larger, more welcoming area which will encourage new businesses and new jobs into the area.”

An attractive busy town centre is crucial to achieving long-term benefits for Blackburn and a family friendly space will also allow the town centre to accommodate a wider range of seasonal events and entertainment.

The new works will continue the award-winning development of Town Hall Square and will connect with the improvement works on Northgate and the north leg of Town Hall Street.

Councillor Dave Harling, Executive Member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "King William Street is a key part of the town centre and links the shopping centre area with Northgate and Blakey Moor. It has been in need of a facelift for a while and funding for this sort of improvement will not be available again for some years, so we have taken advantage of the money from the ERDF. The businesses in this part of town are delighted that the work will be going ahead and shoppers will benefit from the improved pedestrian areas, new seating and a brighter appearance."

The improvements will complement the major regeneration taking place in Blackburn town centre including £66million shopping centre The Mall, the Freckleton Street Masterplan and the £14m University Centre at Blackburn College.

The investment announced for King William Street is the 16th Lancashire-based project to be approved by Northwest ERDF in the first two years of the programme. The 16 projects total a spend of more than £36million.

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