Seaside, high streets, theatres and gyms – some of the big projects and plans for Lancashire

A host of seaside and town centre developments, high street, tourism, leisure and regeneration projects are under-way or planned across Lancashire - from the high-profile Eden Project Morecambe, swimming pools and gyms to market halls, theatre venues and public squares.

Here's a run-down of the best...


In Morecambe, the £100m Eden Project is probably the most widely-known development plan in Lancashire. Initial on-site work is expected to start later this year at the seafront location with overall construction lasting two years. The eco-attraction is expected to have a lower-key ‘soft openening’ in late 2026 with a main opening in the following year.

Recently, Eden representatives held two days of talks and workshops in Morecambe’s Winter Garden venue, aiming to get residents’ feedback and ideas about themes for new exhibitions, experiences and events at Eden (see separate report). Eden says it is keen to work with existing local businesses, venues and events.

The nearbyWinter Gardens is being restored in a different project to become once again a key music and events venue. Smaller events including music gigs have already been held there as work continues.

Also recently, Eden representatives met lancaster-city-council>Lancaster City Council, government minister Esther McVey MP and county councillors to discuss progress. The Westminster government has awarded £50million in levelling-up funds to support the scheme. Eden needs to find another £50millon from supporters and investors. Speaking at the Winter Gardens event, Si Bellamy from Eden said activity was progressing well.

Ribble Valley

Meanwhile in the Ribble Valley, Clitheroe town centre is currently being upgraded by the county and borough councils in a joint street and roads scheme.

Work is focusing on the Castle Street area and includes new paving, street furniture, crossings and parking spaces. Clitheroe is known for its market, its castle and summer food festival, which has been held across various town centre locations including the market place. Castle Street has some narrow pavements and some of the current work will widen them.

Elsewhere, Clitheroe Castle is earmarked for repairs and the borough council is looking at enhancing the castle grounds too.

Clitheroe town centre, shops, car parks and night-life have been the focus of some debate in recent years and compared with nearby Whalley, which has become very popular for bars, restaurants and night-life.


Over in Rossendale, the towns of Bacup, Rawtenstall and Haslingden are seeing upgrades to market halls, public squares, pavements, roads and shop fronts.

Haslingden is having road, pavement and shop-front work around Higher Deardengate and rebuilding of the market area behind it, to include a covered area for customers visiting food stalls and for events.

Bacup Market hall is to be redeveloped to include a food hall, stalls and cycle hire, and with new outdoor spaces linked to the town centre. And Rawtenstall Market is also being changed to offer better indoor and outdoor spaces for market stalls, food and crafts.


Pendle is seeing a host of activity and plans Colne and Nelson particularly.

Colne projects includes upgrades to three theatre and performing arts venues – The Municipal (Muni) Theatre, the Hippodrome and Colne Little Theatre. Also Colne Market Hall is being redeveloped to include a new food hall, new glass front to the main street, a redesigned indoor market and enhanced outdoor space too.

Boosting Colne’s night time economy is a key aim and attracting more shoppers, visitors and stall-holders. Hospitality and food stalls are seen as key. But there could also be special occasional markets and events.

Nelson town centre is the focus of regeneration, transport and community projects or ideas. It now has two separate town boards handling a total of £45million earmarked from the government for the current Nelson Town Deal and the brand-new Nelson Long-Term Plan for Towns.

Pendle Rise shopping mall remains a key element. Pendle Council and its partners want to buy it, demolish and redevelop it. A compulsory purchase order could be used to buy it from its current private owners, the council has said. But is has also stressed it would rather reach a sale agreement. The value of Pendle Rise has been a debated point.

Nelson’s second town plan, the Nelson Long-Term Plan, proposes ten-years of phased government funding for community-focused work. Examples could include safety and security upgrades such as CCTV or street lights, railway station boosts, EV charging points for cars, or boosts for leisure, parks, sports, arts and heritage activity.

Brierfield’s huge Northlight Mill redevelopment was recently formally completed. It is a Pendle Council joint venture and includes offices, apartments, Burnley FC In The Community sports and leisure facilities, visual arts spaces, the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, and a childrens-family play zone including a cafe, bumber cars, slides and play equipment.

West Lancashire

In West Lancashire, Ormskirk town centre has seen upgrades along Moor Street including a new bus station, pavements and street surfaces near the outdoor market area.

Skelmersdale is seeing new public pathways and open spaces created between the Concourse shopping centre and West Lancashire College, and a new retail park has been built nearby.

Brand-new leisure centres for Ormskirk and Skelmersdale are being proposed by West Lancashire Council. Plans and discussions are under-way, with artist’s impressions and ideas looked at. Burscough’s existing sport centre is earmarked for an upgrade.