Preston now has a ‘sixth quarter’ as the strategy for enhancing the city centre continues to take shape.Advertisement
The original plan from the Autumn of 2014 has been relaunched as Preston City Living.
As well as proposals for a ‘Harris Quarter’, ‘Horrocks Quarter’ and the regeneration of Winckley Square there’s now a plan to create a ‘Station Gateway’.
Five original areas were in the 2014 strategy but the Railway Station and the section of Fishergate near the station are now included.
Documents released at the launch of the strategy at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery on Wednesday state: “The city and its partners are developing a new vision for the station and its surrounding areas – a new business district that will deliver a step change in the city’s office, retail and leisure offer. As the proposals are refined new residential development is likely to form part of the exciting mix.”
The updated strategy has been put together by global retail experts Cushman and Wakefield.
Preston City Council’s director of development Chris Hayward said: We are committed to delivering a step change in our residential offer and we are in a strong position to support developers who share our vision.
“Our city is full of opportunities for investors and we are already seeing major public/private initiatives taking place in the hotel and leisure sectors.
“We want to see the homes built for the people who want to live in the beating heart of the city and live, work and play in Preston.
“In terms of planning, Preston City Council and its partners have established a clear strategy to enable City Living to move quickly forward.
“We recognise the value of our architectural and heritage assets and open space and we want these to be the catalyst for high quality residential development.”
The city centre has seen a number of high profile schemes be completed or submitted for planning in recent months, with £50million being ploughed into the Markets area, a warehouse down Guildhall Street likely to become flats and Simon Rigby’s redevelopment of the Guild Hall complex including plans for an apart-hotel.
Read more: Luxury apart-hotel opening in the city centre
City Living Strategy is aimed at providing a ‘coherent plan’ for investors to be attracted to the city.
The city council says the potential of HS2 coming to Preston triggered the adding of the Station Gateway proposal.
Partner of Cushman and Wakefield in Manchester Caroline Baker said: We have advised a number of cities, including Manchester, on the critical factors for creating a platform for residential investment.
“Manchester became the success it is today because of the public sector setting its vision and working hard to deliver it.
“The institutional investors bought into the vision and momentum has now been achieved. However, the initial impetus to build a vibrant city centre was underpinned by public sector vision, determination and public sector funding.
“Preston has enormous advantages – fantastic green spaces and parks, quality and improving public realm, beautiful historic buildings – and the intention of the public sector is to try to make development viable to drive the residential market and kick-start a city living boom.”
Preston and South Ribble is currently seeing more than £430million invested in major housing and road projects through the City Deal for the region.
Read more: A ten-point plan for Preston city centre in 2017
Chairman of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal said: This is a powerful incentive for commercial developers to deliver housing and other wealth-creating schemes.
“£51 million has already been invested or earmarked for a range of commercial, leisure and residential projects in the City Deal area.
“The City Living Strategy clearly sets out the attributes Preston already offers as a place to live and the opportunities for investors and developers to work with us to deliver new homes across the city centre.”
Station Gateway – as you’ve already heard about
Winckley Square – recently revamped with £1.2million of Heritage Lottery money it has potential for further investment according to the report and be the ‘catalyst for a new wave of city living’.
Corporation Street – stretching up to the university this is likely to see more student accommodation created leading to the university’s new square.
Harris Quarter – a ‘high density’ area around the museum, likely to see more leisure activity
Stoneygate – this is the area in need of the most work, includes a large stretch of Church Street. New build homes would be created for young professionals and families.
Read more: From the depressing embers of Tithebarn we now feel like a city going somewhere
Horrocks Quarter – the Queen Street Retail Park is the main draw here – although this area includes a big chunk of Church Street too.
What do you make of the City Living Strategy? How do you feel about Preston’s future? Let us know in the comments below