MILLION pound plans to create a commemorative town square in the middle of Accrington have moved closer to fruition after funding was secured.

The sacrifice of the Accrington Pals 100 years ago will be permanently remembered when the centre piece of a regeneration project is completed in front of the town hall and market hall.


Some of the town’s historic retail and commercial buildings will also be restored after the council pledged to match £1.5 million funding granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Town centres boss Cllr Clare Cleary said: “This is fantastic news. Accrington is a town with a strong and proud heritage and its fine legacy of mid to late 19th and early 20th-century buildings are key to its distinct identity.

“Building repairs, shop front restorations and the regeneration of vacant and underused floorspace will enhance the town’s key shopping corridor, create a strong backbone of regeneration, and support recent and planned investments in the town centre.

“Together, these works will improve the town centre’s economic vitality and viability, complementing the development of Accrington Railway Station, the proposed bus station and the transformation of Accrington Market Hall.”

The work is due to get under way later this year, and is expected to be completed by September 2019.

Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “The council is committed to securing the future of Accrington town centre and this initiative will see the improvement of many attractive buildings along one of its arterial routes and the development of a public realm scheme commemorating the Accrington Pals.

“Recognising that the square is in the heart of Accrington, the council will be working with local people and a variety of organisations, including the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment, to ensure these works provide a fitting remembrance of the bravery and sacrifice of the pals.”

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) North West, Sara Hilton, added: “It’s great to hear what a difference HLF funding is making. We’ll continue to try and encourage more applications, but we’re delighted that the heritage of these beautiful mill towns is being recognised.”