Blueprint to boost Poulton’s economy

Views of Poulton shopping centre (for story on regeneration of the centre). PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-1-2011
Views of Poulton shopping centre (for story on regeneration of the centre). PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-1-2011

A REVAMPED shopping centre and new road are on the future blueprint to re-invigorate Poulton’s economy.

Worried Wyre Council chiefs are looking at a number of plans to get the town’s dwindling daytime trade back on track, and have held talks with a number of prospective buyers for the town’s ageing Teanlowe shopping centre.

Wyre Council economy portfolio holder Coun Barry Birch said: “The town’s economy is stagnant and in urgent need of investment.

“We’re talking to prospective Teanlowe Centre owners over what is appropriate, and also at improving traffic – that could involve a road going through Hardhorn Road car park to make it flow better.

All of the potential owners have been told we won’t support development unless there’s road improvements.”

Coun Birch said the centre had fallen behind the times.

He added: “One of the potential Teanlowe developers did their homework, looking at people’s disposable income.

“They asked where is the phone shop, the electronic games shop, and more clothes retailers?

“The current fabric of the Teanlowe doesn’t provide that. There’s been no investment since the early 1970s.

“We need to regenerate the daytime economy. A number of premises have turned from retail towards hospitality and that is something we’re watching very carefully.”

Director of planning and regeneration at Wyre Council Garry Payne said: “I think a lot of people know we need investment, but are worried about the plans. But there’s a fantastic opportunity to get the right investment in and compete with other places.”

The plans have been welcomed by local campaigners.

Carol Woolley, chairman of the Civic Society and member of Poulton Partnership, said: “It is definitely needed. We’re extremely happy we’ve got some good councillors pulling the stops out.

“The daytime economy is so important.”

And John Bailie, a member of pressure group Concerned Residents of Poulton, added: “You can’t ignore the fact Poulton isn’t the town it was – it has been going downhill for many years due to inappropriate development – there are far too many licensed premises and during the daytime the town is very flat.

“But there is a great opportunity here. I’d like to see a cohesive joined-up partnership between the council, developers and residents from the very start.”