A plan to help improve Bispham Road for residents and retailers alike by giving it more of a ‘village feel’ is now a shining example after its latest development.
It’s become a boulevard of light thanks to local councillor Greg Myers who has been leading a scheme to help local businesses and increase a sense of community pride.
He has worked with Southport-based lighting firm IllumiDex UK Ltd to install the lights in two phases.
IllumiDex has completed a number of projects in the town, including the famous ‘boulevard of lights’ on Lord Street in Southport town centre.
The project in High Park has already seen multiple planters put in along the road and, after decades without, a huge Christmas tree and lights for the past two years have also been provided by the Norwood councillors from their ward funds.
Now, they have funded a series of year-round lights that line the length of it. As the driving force behind the improvement scheme, Cllr Myers explained the idea:
“Bispham Road has been a rather undervalued area for some time and I really wanted to try and do something to change that. It’s a fantastic community here and we also have 40 or so businesses as well, there’s a lot to be proud of that maybe wasn’t being appreciated enough.
“So with the backing of my Labour ward colleagues, I’ve set about doing what we can with the resources we have to try and change that. The LED lights are my latest idea and working with Illumidex, lamp posts along the road have been lined in two stages, with the second recently completed.
“Although the lights themselves are only on for a few hours or so and are deliberately turned down, the reaction to them has been just brilliant.
“Loads of residents and visitors to the area have commented how nice it looks. If we can show some love to the area then the hope is others in turn will do the same.”
“We’ve already had great support so far for the broader scheme. From local residents and traders to community groups like the High Park Project who co-funded the planters with us.
“I’d love Bispham Road to be able to take some inspiration from the fantastic villages we have in Southport and turn into a destination in its own right.”
Illumidex Director Steve Clayton said: “We were delighted to be asked to install the first lights on Bispham Road just before Christmas.
“The ward councillors there then invited us back again to further enhance the scheme with even more lighting.
“We started near Meols Cop Train Station and carried on until the bend at the bottom of the road, lighting up 12 poles in total.
“The area looks fantastic now that the work has been completed.
“It looks amazing when you walk or drive down there at night. It’s made a big difference.
“They are trying really hard to make Bispham Road into an attractive centre, with a really village feel to it, and it is looking good.
“They have some good shops down there, a great new bar which has opened recently, it is a real hub which is improving all the time.
“The new lighting will give all the local businesses there a real boost.”
The Norwood councillors are now aiming to make more positive changes to the area which includes working on plans to bring a monthly Sunday market to the area.
Cllr Greg Myers said: “It’s been something I’ve been keen to progress for a while and is now starting to take shape. It’s still early days but so far the local residents and traders I’ve spoken to about it have been really positive.
“Council officers have been really helpful too and I’m hopeful that this summer might see the first one held but there’s still some way to go yet so fingers crossed it can all come together.
“I really want to see our community here thriving. If we all look after it and work together, I don’t see why Bispham Road can’t be as lovely and successful as the likes of Ainsdale or Birkdale villages.”