Lancashire’s business chiefs have said the masterplan for improving Preston’s city centre will succeed or fail depending on the private sector.
The city council is consulting on its preferred options on regeneration for the high street and other areas of the city.
It released its second draft last week to ask the public how they think the city centre should be developed – following the collapse of the Tithebarn scheme in 2011.
Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s deputy chief executive, Hugh Evans, has spoken out about the plans.
He said: “The proposed city plan is a clear indication that things are starting to move forward for Preston.
“The challenge facing our local politicians is to fully engage the private sector in its development and implementation.
“The role of the public sector is to lay the foundations for success and developing the infrastructure needed for investment and growth.”
The council has indicated its desire to refubish the Bus Station, following the building’s listed status being granted.
A new cinema could be created around the Bus Station in the City Centre North area which could also include changes to the markets.
Winckley Square would be earmarked for more housing to try and tempt people to live in the city centre.
An area below Church Street, known as Stoneygate, should become a mix of restaurants, offices and cafes according to the council’s planning officers.
The area towards where Homebase is at the junction with New Hall Lane could see a new supermarket created.
While over towards Corporation Street and Friargate the land would be most given over to student accommodation.
View the map below showing a rough outline of the five key areas
Mr Evans says the business community must take a central role in how the city centre could change.
He said: “However Preston’s business community will be the key driver in revitalizing the city’s economy. This can only work if there is a strong effective partnership between the public and private sector.
“Preston’s Business Improvement District is an excellent example of businesses “doing it for themselves” whilst working in collaboration with the city council and an appropriate model for taking things further.”
The consultation will run until December with residents encouraged to have their say on the council website.
of the city centre is crucial. We must look at elements of the City Centre Plan from all angles to ensure the council’s aspirations, and those of local residents, are met in future developments.
“Securing the Preston and Lancashire City Deal was the first step in creating growth in the area and bringing new investment to the region. This latest consultation on the future of the city centre is extremely important and gives local people the chance to have their say on the development of where they work, live, study and spend their leisure time.”
Do you run a business in Preston? What’s your take on the city centre plan? Let us know in the comments below