Town square idea still in the pipeline

Rev David Coaker at the church
Rev David Coaker at the church
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Plans to create a town centre square off Hough Lane in Leyland could start to take shape later this year, it has been announced.

Leyland’s Town Team, South Ribble Council and the United Reformed Church are working together to come up with proposals to open up the front of the church grounds on Hough Lane.

The church also wants to refurbish the inside of the building, which will see the pews replaced with chairs to create a more flexible space, and introducing a coffee bar.

But Rev David Coaker says the plans are on hold until a decision has been made over taking down the garden walls to create a town centre square on the high street.

He said: “We got a lot of positive feedback from the public about the plans, but we want to wait to see what happens with the outside of the church before we look at developing indoors.

“I think it will be easier for us to get grant funding for the work inside once the outdoor space is made more welcoming and attractive.”

Coun Phil Smith, South Ribble Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, has now revealed that plans could be developed this year.

He said: “As part of the next phase of improvements planned for Hough Lane, we would like to create a gathering place for people to meet and relax, and we’re also looking at other ideas, such as introducing more market stalls on the high street, improving footways and creating space for community markets and local events.

“Any changes to the area in front of the United Reformed Church will need careful consideration because the walls attached to the church are listed, but I’m hopeful we can start developing plans by the end of the year.”

- What do you think of the plans? Email your views to kay.taylor@lep.co.uk