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Could Fishergate Shopping Centre and new look Winckley Square be linked?

Posted on - 5th March, 2016 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Preston City Centre, Redevelopment, Winckley Square
How the Fishergate Cinema looked and tree works in Winckley Square

How the Fishergate Cinema looked and tree works in Winckley Square

A new pedestrian crossing could link the new look Fishergate Shopping Centre to Winckley Square.

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Benson Elliot, who own the shopping centre, have £40m plans lodged to convert the former TJ Hughes store into a cinema along with a number of new shops and restaurants.

Now they want to link the Garden Street side of the shopping centre to Winckley Square.

The current link between Fishergate Centre and Winckley Square Pic: Google

The current link between Fishergate Centre and Winckley Square Pic: Google

The Georgian Square is undergoing a £1m revamp of its own and Fishergate bosses say they want to ‘join up’ the two areas.

Peter Cornforth, director of retail at Benson Elliot, said: “As well as a massive investment in Preston and the Winckley Square area of the city, our plans mean the public realm improvements can be so much greater and spread over a much wider area than before.

“Our scheme will improve pedestrian links across our site, specifically aligned to make them more accessible to the railway station and the potential for a new route into Avenham Park.

“We are discussing a raised platform pedestrian crossing at the exit point of our site and up Garden Street and will design and install prominent new wayfinding specifically directing people to Winckley Square.”

Fishergate Centre plans were dealt a blow when it was revealed in early documents their multi-million pound plan may be listed for refusal by city council planning officers. A report stated the lack of a signed off city centre plan for Preston means it may be ‘premature’ for the Fishergate revamp.

Work on Winckley Square has already begun with a number of diseased trees being felled, and the first funding for restoring some of the unused buildings within the Conservation Area also being signed off.

David Gill, chairman of the Winckley Square Community Interest Company, said: “Winckley Square is undergoing its own renaissance, which will include improved walkways and the introduction of low level lighting on the main thoroughfares, work on which will start later this year.

“The carefully researched restoration will draw upon the historic appearance of the gardens and provide information about some of the square’s original residents.

“The opportunity to join up with the Fishergate Shopping Centre to make greater improvements is one we would welcome.”

What do you think of the idea? Do you remember when this area was more joined together? Let us know in the comments below

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