£1.5m could be ‘just the start’ for port

Residents celebrated when the pool was saved in 2012 - will extra funding now be made available for it?
Residents celebrated when the pool was saved in 2012 - will extra funding now be made available for it?

Fleetwood could be boosted by even more cash, says the town’s MP after he hailed a major £1.5m investment to boost its coastline.

And it is hoped the cash will go towards helping Fleetwood’s paddling pool to be converted into a splash park.

As the town celebrated the announcement of the windfall this week, Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw urged Wyre Council not to miss out on another, potentially much larger, pot of money.

The welcome £1.5m, made available to Wyre Council through the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), will help pay for new leisure areas, improvements to the Marine Lake and a revamp of Euston Park, creating 72 jobs and supporting another 400 in the town.

But things may not end there – Mr Ollerenshaw says there is a final round of cash to come from the Coastal Communities Fund, a share of some £64m.

And he says the timing could be lucky for the town, as Fleetwood is being considered later this month for Assisted Area Status for Mount and Pharos wards – recognition that those areas are among the most deprived in the UK.

This could pave the way for additional funding, including further CCF money.

Mr Ollerenshaw said: “Fleetwood has been doing well for investment recently – I think we can now put to bed the old line that Fleetwood gets left out, when it comes to investment in Wyre.

“However, the town would always welcome more help, and the potential is there.”

The Government has recently confirmed the CCF programme will be extended to the end of the 2016/17 financial year.

Round three will combine the budgets for this period, to give an increased pot, and encourage more ambitious 
use of CCF funds

Mr Ollerenshaw said the £1.5m already announced was vital in helping ensure the town was not just visited for its market and Freeport.

And he says additional money could help pay for more signage, already started by Fleetwood Chamber of Trade, to direct visitors to the seafront, get them to stay in the town longer and use local amenities.