Scores of people took the opportunity to have their say at a key public meeting as the town shapes up for an exciting future.
Veli Kirk, new chairman of the St Annes Enterprise Partnership, which represents the town’s traders and is popularly known as STEP, was delighted at the turnout for what was the first meeting since he took the reins, with standing room only as around 100 people attended at his Anatolia Sea View restaurant.
Key item on the agenda was the planned regeneration of St Annes for which consultants Building Design Partnership Ltd (BDP) have been appointed as part of a consortium to create a masterplan for the town centre and seafront Island site.
The masterplan is intended to act as the blueprint to define future development and a destination management plan, focusing on strategy and action for sustainable tourism.
St Annes town centre
Plans will be drawn up and funding sourced following the consultation process but Veli hopes St Annes will see major improvements within five years.
The work on the new sea defences at The Island is set to start in early 2023 and to be completed by the summer of 2024.
Fylde Council chief executive Allan Oldfield outlined the details of the regeneration consultation at the STEP meeting and introduced BDP representative Francis Glare, who said he was eager to hear as many views as possible.
Francis Glare of consultants the Building Design Partnership speaks at the STEP meeting
The Council says that community and stakeholder engagement is a key element to the development of the masterplan and the STEP meeting was vital to that aim.
Mr Glare said: “We are excited to be working with Fylde Council to develop a masterplan for St Annes town centre and seafront, and a significant element of this project will be stakeholder engagement.
“Attending the STEP meeting so early in the process was very positive as it enabled me to understand first-hand how enthusiastic local people are about the Town Centre and seafront and to tap into their ideas for the future of St Anne’s.”
Veli Kirk said: “We had such a positive response to the meeting with more than 100 people attending and standing room only.
STEP chairman Veli Kirk
“This demonstrates the level of interest in our town centre and seafront and how, if we all work together, we can develop a positive vision for the future. Thanks to Francis and council officers for attending and sharing information on this important project.
“It’s great so many people came along – these are exciting times for St Annes and we plan public meetings every three months.”
Coun Richard Redcliffe, chairman of Fylde Council’s Town Centres Working Group added: “Our whole community has an interest in St Annes town centre and it’s important that they are engaged in the plans that will shape its future.
“BDP’s comprehensive community engagement plan was influential in their winning the contract to help Fylde Council develop its plans for the town centre and I am very pleased with the level of interest that has been shown by local businesses.
“I look forward to the events with other sectors of our community as the project develops.”