A major town centre street could be given an historic makeover costing up to £2m to help boost trade.
Council bosses will submit an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for cash to regenerate Blackburn Road between Eagle Street and Accrington town centre.
The money will be used to give the street back its ‘heritage look’ and character and reintroduce period features including new shop frontage, street lighting and furniture.
The Lottery funding will be match-funded by the council using part of the £1.1m generated for public use from the Tesco store development in Accrington, known as section 106 monies. The bid will be submitted by November and the council is investigating ways of matching the funding using public and private sector sources.
Hyndburn council leader Coun Miles Parkinson said: "Miles Parkinson said: "It would mean a massive improvement to the look of that part of the town and would bring the area back to its former glory.
"The history and the heritage is already there it just needs a bit of love and care to bring it back to something great.
"The buildings around the town centre are the envy of any place and we are very fortunate to still have that heritage. Any town would love to have a centre like we have but some of the buildings have seen better days."
Environmental improvements to the grass bank on the west side of Eagle Street and the large roundabout outside Tesco have also been earmarked under the scheme.
Shop owners on Blackburn Road are backing the bid.
Tony Shirley, landlord of The Railway, said: "I like the idea and I think it will be good for the area and give it a nice uplift and make it appealing for people to walk down. With the bus station plans as well more people will be in the area and the improvements might help bring some of the bigger stores into Accrington." Imran Patel, owner of Poundtastic, said: "If they improve this road then more people will come and it will have better prestige and publicity. People like the historic look and it would be good for business."
Muhammed Mayat, director at Liberty Menswear, said: "If you look at the rest of the north west then Accrington is falling behind. The changes would make it look better and a town centre you could come into."
Tory councillor Tony Dobson said: "If they had good indication from the lottery that they can get the money then that’s fine but not if it’s just a wild stab in the dark.
"It’s alright going for these pots but they always take between six and 12 months for you to get a response."
A decision on the bid will be made next April and if successful the bid will be placed on a shortlist for consideration.