Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Ormskirk's historic Wheatsheaf Walk improvements opened by Mayor

  • Scheme has delivered a range of new features including granite benches, improved lighting and feature trees
  • Work is part of Ormskirk's High Street Heritage Action Zone programme to unlock the potential of high streets post-pandemic
  • Mayor leads opening ceremony

West Lancashire Borough Council is pleased to announce that works to improve Wheatsheaf Walk are now complete, providing an improved public square for Ormskirk's residents, businesses and visitors. 

Representatives from Historic England and elected members from the Council were invited to the official opening ceremony yesterday (5th October) conducted by the Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Gordon Johnson, as well as businesses set to benefit from their newly-improved surroundings.

The improvements have been designed to help make the area more attractive and usable to visitors and residents alike.  As Wheatsheaf Walk is a key gateway into Ormskirk, this work will enhance the wider town centre and support businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The works have been delivered to a very high standard using quality materials, helping to create an entrance to Ormskirk to be proud of.  The works have been sensitively designed to enhance the Ormskirk Town Centre conservation area and respect the significance of this former stop on the historic Liverpool to Preston coaching route. 

The former Wheatsheaf Hotel located on the site once housed the Court Leet which ran the town's affairs.  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 portfolio holder 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 we would like to thank the local businesses and members of the public for their continued support and patience.