Exciting plans to transform Bacup town centre will focus on bringing in visitors and boosting the economy by making it more attractive, less cluttered and better for pedestrians.
The regeneration proposals will be unveiled in full by the Bacup Townscape Heritage Initiative Partnership Board at a public event next week.
The scheme is part of the £2m Townscape Heritage Initiative, a five-year programme that will also feature targeted improvements to property, training opportunities and community activities.
Working in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rossendale Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, the Board commissioned Planet-ie, and internationally renowned urban design experts Hamilton Baillie Associates, to design and advise on a scheme for renewal of the town's streets.
It will focus on the historic crossroads in the centre of Bacup, taking in St James Street, St James Square, Burnley Road, Yorkshire Street, Market Street and the entrance to Lane Head Lane.
There will be a significant change to the junction in this area with the existing gyratory system being removed to help traffic flow more freely.
The vision for the project is to use a variety of measures to create areas that are less dominated by traffic and friendlier for pedestrians. The result will be a 'shared space' with fewer barriers and better pedestrian links between key parts of the town centre.
Existing street surfaces will be replaced with materials more in keeping with the character of the surrounding buildings, with different colours and textures used to emphasise routes for traffic and pedestrians.
The proposed designs also aim to accommodate more on-street activity such as stalls, fairs and street cafes. They will be launched by the Board at a drop-in event at Bacup Library between 10am and 3pm on Saturday 19 July.
Councillor Andy MacNae, Chair of the Townscape Heritage Initiative Partnership Board, said: "The proposals in the plan are truly transformational and will have a significant positive impact on the character and prosperity of Bacup.
"Where this has been done elsewhere towns have seen a big increase in occupied shops and numbers of customers.
"The current situation, with its narrow pavements and busy roads is not the most inviting space for people."
The environmental improvements account for £418,722 of the £2m heritage initiative. The Heritage Lottery Fund has contributed £200,000, with Lancashire County Council investing £100,000 and Rossendale Borough Council making a £118,722 contribution.
County Councillor Jenny Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, added: "It's vital to our economy to create town centres which attract visitors and where people want to spend time and money.
"This scheme in Bacup is one of a number of similar projects we're currently working on throughout the county to support regeneration and create more pedestrian-friendly environments and social spaces.
"A scheme now underway on Fishergate in Preston is based on a similar concept and, while it's not yet complete, indicates how this scheme in Bacup will transform the experience of visiting the town."