Kirkham Futures & Kirkham High Street Heritage Action Zone

At the start of 2022, The Phoenix Rising partnership was commissioned by Flyde Council, together with Historic England (HE) to deliver a pilot programme of social prescribing courses and groups as part of Kirkham High Street Action Zone and Kirkham Futures.

Kirkham is a town and civil parish of 7,194 people and situated between Blackpool and Preston, in the borough of Fylde in Lancashire. In 2020 the town was selected as one of the areas to benefit from the government’s £95 million programme to revitalise local high streets. This involved the establishment of a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ).

Through this initiative ‘Kirkham Futures’, Fylde Borough Council acting as lead partner) is working in partnership with Historic England to unlock the potential of the town’s historic high street, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery. The project will transform disused and dilapidated buildings into homes, shops, workplaces and community spaces. It is also intended to help improve the health and wellbeing of individuals living in Kirkham, and the community more widely.

The pilot programme consisted of a variety of short-term, weekly courses that included chair-based yoga, heritage walks, arts and crafts, gardening and cookery. Originally planned to end by 31 March 2022, the programme was subsequently extended into the summer of 2022.

Our course participants all described health, wellbeing and social gains, including new friendships and learning new things as positive outcomes of the programme:

“My physical health has benefited, and my mind as well, I think because I was on my own for so long, because of Covid and my husband dying, my mind wasn’t being used, and the ladies that I talk to have similar minds to me and we can have a conversation which is great”.

“The group has developed and widened my friendship group, it’s super”.

“Everybody’s so friendly and will help each other, joining in, and you see people in Kirkham and think ‘I know that lady’ (from the course)”.

Please read the attached evaluation reports below for further information on the programme: