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Work completed at town centre’s Wheatsheaf Walk

Work completed at town centre’s Wheatsheaf Walk

by Henry James (October 2021)

WORKS to improve Wheatsheaf Walk, in Ormskirk and create an improved public square for residents, businesses and visitors are now complete.

Representatives from Historic England and elected members from West Lancashire Borough Council attended the official opening ceremony on Tuesday (October 5) conducted by the Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Gordon Johnson.

Council chiefs say the works have been delivered to a “very high standard using quality materials, helping to create an entrance to Ormskirk to be proud of.”

They added that the works have been “sensitively designed” to enhance the town centre conservation area and “respect the significance” of the site which was once a stop on the historic Liverpool to Preston coaching route, and housed the former Wheatsheaf Hotel which hosted the Court Leet which ran the town’s affairs.

The council said the works have “significantly enhanced” the Wheatsheaf stone motif which now has pride of place at the entrance to Burscough Street.

Councillor Ian Moran, leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “This is a fantastic scheme and is a real sign of confidence in Ormskirk as a destination. The completion of this work has come at a really important time for the recovery of Ormskirk town centre.

“We are pleased to note the new benches are already being well-used in this very attractive public square and we have received positive feedback regarding the scheme. In particular, the new lighting has proved popular, helping to illuminate the square.”

This work is part of Ormskirk’s High Street Heritage Action Zone with the majority of the funding coming from Historic England.

The High Street HAZ programme aims to unlock the potential of high streets fuelling economic, cultural and social recovery. This is the first of a number of HAZ schemes planned for Ormskirk which are all aimed at using heritage and culture to enhance the high street.

Chris Mayes from Historic England, added: “We are very proud to have worked with West Lancashire to support this great scheme.

“We are really impressed with the quality of the overall finish and are pleased our funding has helped to provide quality materials unique to Ormskirk and has really helped to enhance the historic context of the area.”

Due to issues in the supply chain the works ran on slightly longer than anticipated and the council want to thank local businesses and members of the public for their continued support and patience.

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