Hyndburn Council has secured £237,000 of revenue funding after a successful bid to the Government’s High Street Accelerators Pilot Programme, to be spent in Great Harwood on greening and revitalising the high street. A local stakeholder board ‘Great Harwood Town Panel’ will soon be established to agree a plan which will then have the opportunity to bid for additional capital funding of circa £0.5million.
The participation of Queen Street with Blackburn Road and Church Street in Great Harwood as part of this pilot project was confirmed during a public announcement event in Manchester on Wednesday 6th December, where representatives from Hyndburn Council, Hyndburn’s MP and Peter Holden, President of Great Harwood Civic Society attended.
Cllr Mohammed Younis, Portfolio holder for Levelling Up, said:
“I am thrilled to announce we have chosen Great Harwood as the location for this additional levelling up investment.
“Great Harwood has a fantastic selection of thriving independent businesses and this new funding will support them and the wider community longer term. Greening of the high street will attract and sustain footfall, increase pride of place and bring something new to the area.
“I am also very pleased that Peter Holden, President of the Great Harwood Civic Society, has agreed to support us through chairing a stakeholder board for this project. I know that his insight and community links will mean this funding is utilised in the best way, delivering what the people and businesses of the town want.
“I look forward to hearing the community’s ideas for the funding already secured for Great Harwood, and being part of developing future plans to unlock the additional funding available too.”
Blackburn Road and Church Street are Great Harwood’s central shopping ‘high street’ – home to most of the town’s businesses as well as a number of important community institutions. Polling of Great Harwood showed that only a quarter of those locals regularly use its high street as a shopping destination and only 13% socialise there.
Footfall has also been in decline since prior to the pandemic, with average daily footfall on Great Harwood’s high street 15% lower than it was in 2019. With a relatively elderly population in Great Harwood (the over 65s make up 21% of the population compared to 18% nationally), concerns about maintaining levels of day-to-day activity are a high priority for the area, with safe, clean, well-maintained and attractive streets being vital vulnerable and elderly populations activity levels.
Hyndburn Council will create a ‘Great Harwood Town Panel’ which will have a similar governance structure to those developed by the council for bidding on the Levelling Up Fund and National Lottery Funding. The Panel, which will feed into Hyndburn’s Partnership Board, who will make recommendations to the council.
The Great Harwood Town Panel will include members of:
- The Chambers of Trade
- The Chambers of Commerce
- The Federation of Small Business
- Lancashire County Council
- The Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum, which is made up by representatives from the Canal & River Trust, Wildlife Trust, Friends of Parks and local councillors and residents with interests in the environment.
- A selection from the Community Action Group.
- The local MP and councillors.
- A selection of businesses from the high street.