£1.2m windfall

Coun Janice Hanson (Cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration and planning) at the launch of "A View for Eric"

Coun Janice Hanson (Cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration and planning) at the launch of "A View for Eric"

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A “BRAND new bright tomorrow” has been promised for some of Morecambe’s tired-looking buildings thanks to a regeneration scheme named after our town’s favourite son.

A View For Eric will allow Victorian and Art Deco premises in a targeted area of the town centre to bid for a £1.2m cash pot to help spruce up the heart of the resort.

Lancaster City Council hopes the regeneration scheme will create a view in front of the Eric Morecambe statue to complement the stunning views of the bay on the other side of the promenade.

Funding for the project – also known as the Townscape Heritage Initiative 2 (THI2)– has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the council.

Building improvement grants will be available to certain properties in the town centre in and around the area opposite the Eric statue.

Eligible properties will be a number of targeted residential and business buildings on Marine Road between Greenwoods and B&M Bargains, and on Victoria Street.

Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said the scheme “would make a huge difference to the appearance of the promenade”.

There will also be training opportunities involving schools, colleges, property owners, local builders and craftsmen, and architects, including heritage education and skills workshops.

The first Morecambe THI ran between 2003 and 2007, and saw the restoration of almost 70 residential and commercial properties throughout Poulton.

The launch of A View For Eric came days after Morecambe’s West End was named the area with the highest number of empty shops in the North West in a quarterly survey by the Local Data Company.

Those wanting to apply for THI2 grants should visit {http:// www.lancaster.gov.uk/viewforeric|www.lancaster.gov.uk/viewforeric}.