£3m. facelift for Burnley town centre

St James's Street in Burnley Town Centre.'Photo Ben Parsons
St James's Street in Burnley Town Centre.'Photo Ben Parsons

Burnley’s most prominent retail street is set to undergo a major facelift.

A total of £3m. will be spent transforming St James’s Street under proposals aimed at bringing more shoppers into town.

The pedestrianised section from Hammerton Street to past the bandstand will be given an extensive makeover with worn out paving stones, old benches and planters replaced.

Burnley Council has budgeted £1.5m. for the joint project, with Lancashire County Council expected to match that amount.

The plans will be debated at Burnley Council’s Executive meeting on Monday.

Coun. Shah Hussain, Executive member for regeneration and economic development, said: “This project will be a vote of confidence in Burnley as a great place for shoppers and retailers.

“With big retailers like Next, River Island and WH Smiths showing their commitment to the town, and the investment going on in Charter Walk, the improvements will add a modern, quality feel to the area.

“In terms of vacant shops in the town centre, compared to other town centres we are doing pretty well. Hopefully this work will help entice further businesses and shoppers.

“There will be consultation on the emerging plans over the coming months. Town centre retailers, businesses and shoppers will all have the opportunity to comment on ideas and help shape the final scheme.”

The council has also earmarked £3.5m. for further improvements in the town with the Empty Homes Cluster programme Vacant Property Initiative set to be extended. These see empty properties bought by the council, renovated and then sold as homes. Proceeds are reinvested back into the programme.

Monitoring of current projects shows work is also progressing well on council-led projects, including the Prairie Sports Academy, Brun Valley Forest Park and a programme of playground improvements.

Coun. Townsend added: “Even though there are very serious pressures on the council’s revenue budget this year, it is important we continue to invest funds in the town and to support economic growth.

“These proposals for Burnley Council’s capital programme strike the right balance, and show our ongoing commitment to improving the borough”.