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Help Wayne Hemingway MBE create an exciting plan for Penwortham!

Liverpool Road, Penwortham

Renowned designer Wayne Hemingway MBE is part of a team tasked with creating an exciting new vision for Penwortham - and South Ribble Borough Council wants local residents and business owners to help shape it.

The Council has enlisted the Lancashire-born creative to develop a masterplan for the Liverpool Road, Kingsfold and Middleforth commercial areas, with the aim of making the town a more attractive place to live and shop.

HemingwayDesign will work in partnership with leading real estate consultancy GL Hearn.

Between them, the two companies have already been at the heart of innovative urban plans for Blackpool, Blackburn and a number of other UK towns including Scarborough, Kidderminster, Basingstoke, Exmouth, Andover, North Shields and the London Borough of Barnet.

Local residents and business owners will play a key role in the process - with a three-week public consultation set to begin with a special drop-in workshop event next Tuesday (10 August).

An online survey has also been launched, and all feedback will help the design team craft a bespoke plan for Penwortham's high streets that will enable them to "thrive" in a post-pandemic world.

Councillor Bill Evans, Cabinet member for Planning, Business Support and Regeneration at South Ribble Borough Council, said: "We're excited to be working with HemingwayDesign and GL Hearn on an innovative new vision for Penwortham which will make it an even better place to live and do business.

"So many of our local independent traders and suppliers have had an incredibly difficult 18 months, but the creation of this masterplan presents an opportunity to look forward and build a thriving local economy that brings benefits for the whole community.

"I would urge as many people as possible to share their views and help us set Penwortham up for a bright future."

Wayne Hemingway MBE said: "The pandemic has led to significant changes in all aspects of our everyday lives. It's broken old habits and created new ones - and while COVID won't be here forever, the changes it has brought will be lasting.

"People are now spending much less time in the bigger town and city centres and turning instead to their local high street. For Penwortham and places like it, this is a real time of opportunity.

"The pandemic has also demonstrated how access to open spaces is vital to our physical and mental wellbeing and it's important the places in which we all live adapt to meet these needs.

"Our aim is to develop a plan for Liverpool Road, Kingsfold and Middleforth that responds positively and takes advantage of these societal shifts, by building on Penwortham's existing character and ensuring it evolves to deliver more of the experiences that people now want.

"Our vision is of attractive and welcoming high streets with thriving independent businesses providing a vibrant mix of retail and leisure that's perfect for the post-COVID world.

"We're inviting all members of the local community to have their say and help us create an exciting and sustainable future for Penwortham."

Residents and business owners alike are invited to share their views at Tuesday's drop-in workshop, which will be held at Priory Lane Community Centre between 1pm-6pm. Members of the design team will be on hand to talk people through the early concepts for the area and take on board any comments.

Locals can also complete the online survey or pick up a feedback form from one of a range of local shops displaying a consultation poster in their window.

The development of the masterplan follows the completion in 2019 of a major new by-pass intended to reduce through traffic on Liverpool Road, boosting its appeal as a shopping and leisure destination.

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