St Annes on Sea Seaside Resort

©English Heritage
©English Heritage

Region: North West

Local Authority: Fylde

Owner Type: Many

Funding Body: HERS;Public;Private

Year of Intervention: 1999 - 2003

Summary: St Anne's on Sea- reinvigorating a Victorian seaside resort through the aid of Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS).

Description: St Anne’s on Sea in Lancashire was created as a high-class new Victorian resort in 1875 and the quality is reflected in the fine architectural detailing of many town centre properties. However, like many of Britain’s seaside resorts that rose to prominence in Victorian and Edwardian times, the town is currently facing significant regeneration challenges.
Issue: Changing patterns of tourism have undermined the traditional economic base of the town and St Anne’s on Sea is displaying symptoms of decline, especially evident within the town centre conservation area which was designated in 1999. In August 2001, Fylde Borough Council carried out a business survey to identify the concerns of businesses and gauge their perception of the town centre economy. This revealed a lack of confidence in the future of St Anne’s on Sea among key businesses in the town. For example, 36% of businesses reported a decline in trade, 33% that they were ‘not confident’ in the town centre of St Anne’s and 26% of traders wished to move. Most significantly, 30% of traders cited physical decline of the town centre as a reason for wanting to close and the majority of businesses considered the built heritage to be an important asset which deserves to be safeguarded and enhanced.
Strategy: The HERS was a vital tool for economic regeneration, assisting in the repair of buildings and ensuring their continued viability as locations for businesses. The HERS is targeted within the peripheral shopping area centred along Wood Street, Park Road, Orchard Road, The Cresent and St Andrew’s Road South. This area has seen a reduction in the variety of retail uses, an increase in charity shops, reduced patronage, high vacancy rates and in an increasing concern about business confidence. Low business confidence had caused buildings to deteriorate and the HERS was considered vital to facilitating high-quality building refurbishment.
Outcome: The HERS scheme had English heritage funding of £121,764, which levered £3,045,137 of additional public and private funding. In 2002 the scheme had resulted in the restoration of seven existing Victorian shop fronts to their original design, the replacement of four 1960s shop fronts with authentic Victorian designs, the reinstatement of cast iron railings, grant assistance to the Manchester Methodist Housing Association to convert vacant upper floors into town centre housing, façade refurbishment and re-roofing of selected town centre properties, public realm improvements to wood Street and orchard Road and refurbishment of five property forecourts along Wood Street. Of the shop fronts which have been refurbished or replaced to date, five have secured the re-occupation of vacant shop units. 20 jobs were created and a further 24 safeguarded.

Keywords: Funding, Regeneration, Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration

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