A £50,000 funding pot has been set up to help create events on the new public square.
Hyndburn council has also revealed a list of heritage and cultural events and activities lined up to take place on the square after its completion next year – and plans to ‘shine a light on our magnificent buildings’.
The announcement comes following criticism by the Conservative group, which claimed the space was a ‘white elephant waiting to happen’.
Council leader Miles Parkinson told the recent full council meeting: “We will be setting aside money for 2018/19 and 2019/20 for events, making total of £50,000.
“There’s also an additional £15,000 from heritage to mark those sacrifices and how the town has changed from the turn of the last century.
“We are also looking at lighting up the buildings and projecting. But I’m not making that decision, it will be the stakeholders in the township and the public.
"As many towns up and down the county highlight their magnificent buildings, I believe our buildings should be magnificent.
“I know there is always controversy with change but we must have somewhere where people can congregate, come together and have events which create footfall in our town centre.
"A road through it will not do that, just add pollution.”
Coun Clare Cleary, portfolio holder for the town centre, said the heritage funding will ‘deliver an approved list of activities based around heritage and training’.
These include guided walks around the town centre conservation area, promoting the Acorn and Heritage trails, heritage workshops, traditional games, dancing and entertainment from local troupes, art exhibitions and fairs.
She told the meeting: “We work effectively with stakeholders doing events such as the food festival.
"We have a very positive attitude with the chamber of trade so I can’t see any problems with the events.”
Conservative group leader Tony Dobson, whose party made an unsuccessful last-ditch bid to scrap the proposal, said the funding was only promised as a result of their campaigning.
He told the meeting: “If this opposition group hadn’t been pushing the controlling group as hard as we have we would not have got £50,000 in the budget.
“Up to then it doesn’t matter what organisation you were, the story was ‘we are putting the town square in and not doing any events’.”
Coun Dobson also told the meeting that Hyndburn Labour MP Graham Jones shared Tory scepticism about the project.
Coun Dobson said: “I’ve had it from his own lips that he wanted a road through. He said it in front of the minister that came to town a couple of weeks ago, and he came and joined us and said he was in favour of a road going through.”
Speaking after the meeting, Labour MP Mr Jones said ‘opening it up should be an option’ but there has been a ‘good and thorough debate and I can live with the proposal’.
He said: “It was only because of the name of the Pals and my intervention that the council managed to get any heritage money at all. Whether it’s opened up or not, that’s the past now.
“There are only two options: a rundown town with boarded up shops that the Conservative council presided over, or we access Heritage Lottery money, and that means the council needs to find a scheme that fits their criteria.
"If Tony Dobson wants the town to be boarded up, which seems to be his view, then that’s his choice but the Labour group doesn’t believe in that.”