Exciting plans are afoot for key Burnley town centre high street – what would you like to see happen?

Lower St James' Street
Lower St James' Street

A public consultation event is being held this week to gather people’s views on plans to improve part of Burnley town centre.

Burnley has been awarded a share of the national Historic High Street fund which will be invested in helping to revitalise lower St James' Street.

Residents, businesses and visitors are being invited to find out more about the plans to create a Heritage Action Zone at a drop-in event on Thursday between 3pm and 7pm.

The event will be held at 55 The Mall (opposite JD Sports) in Charter Walk shopping centre.

Burnley Council put forward a bid for £1.3m. over four years. The exact amount Burnley will receive will be announced in January following the submission of detailed proposals.

Kate Ingram, the council strategic head of economy and growth, said: “We have been awarded, in principle, agreement for developing a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) for the lower St James Street area. We want to know people’s views to help us shape plans for the area.

“Lower St James Street is identified as a key project in the Town Centre and Canalside Masterplan. This will build on our planned public realm improvements, help to renovate the heritage buildings in the area and revitalise that part of the town centre.”

The scheme will complement wider regeneration of the town centre that has seen major improvements in other parts of St James' Street, plans for a multi-million pound cinema and leisure complex on the former Pioneer site, and the investment that the University of Central Lancashire is putting into the Weavers’ Triangle.

The HAZ programme aims to create a vibrant cultural quarter sitting between the town centre and the Weavers' Triangle.

It is proposed to use the money together with match funding to deliver:

- Public realm improvements

- Grants for works to heritage buildings in the area, focusing on those that have been vacant for a prolonged period, for restoration of historic features, sympathetic and well-designed shop fronts, and for bringing upper floors back into use.

- An exemplar project, in partnership with local arts groups Creative Spaces Burnley and members of Burnley Creative Alliance to develop a creative hub in the area with workshops and exhibition space for contemporary visual artists.

- A programme of cultural events in and around Lower St James Street including for example open studios, street art and street theatre.Further details will be announced once the level of funding is known and as plans develop.