Blackburn has been awarded a share of £1.5m in Levelling Up funding to regenerate its high street, it has been announced.

Blackburn and Great Harwood are two of 10 areas across England receiving £500,000 each to revive their high streets and entice residents back to shops.

Funding for Great Harwood was announced earlier this week.

A total of £1.5m will be invested across the county, with Blackpool receiving the third share of the cash.

The government’s Levelling Up department says the new funding will "restore the high streets with attractive changes and breathe new life and greenery into the towns’ high streets".

In Blackburn, King William Street will be remodelled into a more flexible and open space for the community to spend time in and accommodate events.

The high street layout will be simplified with improved street furniture, a new play feature, and new planting and trees added to key areas such as the three main entrances to The Mall and existing pavement cafes.

Lancashire Telegraph: King William Street, BlackburnKing William Street, Blackburn (Image: Archive)

The department says these changes will improve the quality and biodiversity of the environment and create a more welcoming high street that entices visitors throughout the daytime and evening.

Lauren Zawadski, chair of Blackburn’s King William Street High Street Accelerator Partnership, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the full £500,000 of new green space funding for King William Street.

"We are determined to improve that whole area, including through greening and cleaning – creating a space that residents and visitors can enjoy and businesses can thrive in.

“With the changing landscape of the high street, we want to do something that is truly innovative and transformational, but also something that is sustainable and will have a long-term impact for that whole area.

“To ensure we get it right, we’ll be appointing a skilled design team who can take our ideas and engage with interested parties to see how the space can better work, including for activities and events.

“We can’t wait to share the plans and see the difference they can help make.

"Blackburn is just one of only 10 towns to benefit from the High Street Accelerator funding and we’re already off to a really good start – working together to make a real difference.”

Deputy leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and executive member for growth and development, Councillor Quesir Mahmood added: “We have huge plans for the future of Blackburn town centre, including the area around the former Thwaites site, St John’s Church and the Cultural Quarter.

“King William Street is right at the centre of that and connects them all, including our impressive Cathedral Square development.

“This funding gives us a chance to really look at that space and see how it’ll best work for our residents, visitors and businesses going forward.

“We want people to come into our town centre and enjoy spending time here – whether it includes a spot of shopping, eating out or visiting the many popular events hosted here as well as the likes of the museum, Making Rooms and the Exchange.

Lancashire Telegraph: Great Harwood town centreGreat Harwood town centre (Image: Hyndburn Borough Council)

“We’re looking forward to helping drive this scheme forward with the King William High Street Accelerator Partnership, listening to their ideas and the ideas of the design team on what will have the most impact.

“I’d like to say a big well done to everyone involved in securing this funding, I know a lot of hard work went into the successful bid.”

Following the announcement of cash for Great Harwood on Monday, Peter Holden, chair of Great Harwood High Street Accelerator Panel, said:  “We’re thrilled with the news that our plans to green Great Harwood’s high streets have been approved.

"This is fantastic news for the town’s residents and local businesses. The panel looks forward to working alongside Hyndburn Borough Council to get started on finalising the details and bring this project to life."