The West End of Morecambe has been given £1m of Big Lottery funding over the next 10 years to invest in improvements and residents have been giving their views on how best to spend it.
Charmaine Nuttall and Simon Rothwell from the West End Million Steering Group believe the cash is a great opportunity to reverse the decline of the West End as a shopping area.
“The High Street as we know and love it is changing. Just ask the top brass at HMV their views on this. The world of shops, retail and communities is in the midst of a watershed.
“So where are the good news stories in all this?
“Yes, the West End has a vacancy rate of 17%, BUT only last year the Daily Mirror reported that one third of West End shops were vacant. That’s some improvement!
“A new retail and hotel complex is due to get the go-ahead for the old Frontierland site. This will be a serious gateway to the West End.
“A new £5.5m plan for developing houses in Chatsworth Gardens has been given the go-ahead. The M6 link road will give West End residents, amongst others, great links directly to the motorway.
“The Big Local fund has earmarked £1m for the West End’s residents to spend in ways that they think are important.
“Now these seem like good news stories to us.
“As more and more people realise the quality and price of West End houses are almost too good to be true this could be the beginnings of real change in fortunes for the area. The last point about the people’s million and the empty shops has to be linked. While there will always be a need for chain stores and the like, the kind of premises available throughout the West End (but going fast!) means chances for vintage shops, book shops, food shops, pop-up shops and projects are limitless.
“Now is the time for the West End to find itself, to define itself and to love itself. Spend wisely people! Have your say on how to spend the West End Million. Go to www.westendmillion.co.uk”