|Above: the two options under consideration for a new look to Lancaster's Market Square.|
Designs courtesy Lancaster City Council
As part of the Lancaster Square Routes initiative, plans have been drawn up to improve Market Square and some of the surrounding streets.
The plans would see an investment of £997,000 in Lancaster City Centre, including £485,579 in European funding which the city council successfully bid for from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
- New stone surfacing for the whole of Market Square and the adjoining stretch of Market Street, Cheapside, Horseshoe Corner and Penny Street.
- New, high quality, and better sited seating.
- A new structural centrepiece to Market Square.
- Facilities for promoting arts and events - including a new arts information point and banners to the City Museum.
- Return of the horseshoe to Horseshoe Corner.
- New and improved directional signage and information.
- New LED lighting to Cheapside and part Penny Street and New Street.
- New and better sited street furniture including bins and bollards.
The work will build upon the first phase of the Square Routes initiative, which took place in 2011/12 and included the removal of the fountain and some resurfacing of Market Square, along with new lighting columns to the centre and perimeter, and new lights on the City Museum.
Ffrances Passage, an important pedestrian access route into the city centre, was also improved, with new surfacing, drainage and lighting.
Councillor Janice Hanson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Lancaster City Centre is one of the keys to our district’s economic future, but its current form is holding it back.
“Our streets are cluttered and in a poor condition and by rejuvenating them we are helping to encourage people back in and enjoy spending time in the city centre.
“That’s good for business and our economy and is also a good example of partnership working between the city and county councils. It’s also the second piece of good new news for our town centres in as many months, with the recent decision to invest £610,000 in Morecambe as part of the Morecambe Area Action Plan.
“Combined, these two investments total more than £1.6million and shows the council’s commitment to boosting trade and supporting our shops and businesses.”
The latest phase of Lancaster Square Routes is supported by Lancashire County Council, which is contributing £165,000 towards the project.
The backing of the business community through the adoption of the Lancaster Business Improvement District was also an important factor in winning the European funding, with the potential for complementary initiatives directly supported by local business being well received by the funder.
The Lancaster Square Routes (Horseshoe Corner and Market Square) project is part financed by the Investing in Your Future European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
The fund currently has some €755.5 million allocated for investment in the North West alone.
• For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding
• For more information on the Lancaster Square Routes Project visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/squareroutes