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Preston Markets scheme remains ‘on track’ despite stalling claim

Posted on - 21st September, 2017 - 8:12pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Redevelopment
The view from Orchard Street looking up towards the Markets
A new cinema complex is due to be built in place of the current Indoor Market

Claims the Preston Markets plan for a new multi-screen cinema and restaurant complex are on hold have been rebuffed.

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Preston City Council faced an allegation from the owners of the Fishergate Shopping Centre.

In a letter to South Ribble Borough Council about the IKEA-led Cuerden development, which the owners of the shopping centre Benson Elliot are objecting to, they threw doubt on the £50million redevelopment of the Markets.

DP9, acting on behalf of Benson Elliot, write: “The other key town centre site in PCC (Preston city centre) discounted by the applicants, as accepted by WYG, is the Markets area, on the basis that this was anticipated to come forward as a leisure based scheme underpinned by a multi-screen cinema operated by The Light.

“After making no progress for the last 12 months, our understanding is that the delivery of this scheme has stalled, with the future of the development now uncertain.”

However, this claim about the Markets scheme facing a Tithebarn-esque end has been swatted away by the city council who say everything remains on track.

Read more: How Preston’s city centre cinema battle played out

They are planning to demolish the current Indoor Market building and Market Hall car park and in its place build the cinema and restaurants complex, and a new car park.

The cinema complex itself, which will be run by The Light chain
The cinema complex itself, which will be run by The Light chain

Leader of the city council councillor Peter Rankin told Blog Preston: “We welcome the multi-million pounds worth of investment in new businesses and thousands of new jobs that would result from the Cuerden development. This would create much needed job opportunities for the people of Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire. The interest shown by an iconic and global company like IKEA is a real sign that the City Deal is working and we are an attractive place for investment. Naturally we expect to see concerns of scale and types of retail offer addressed within conditions applied by the planning process.“

“In recent years there has been significant investment in the city centre, both public and private, in recent years, with the city centre continuing to diversify through an ever-expanding food and drink offer combined with an exciting mix of events and cultural activity, bringing additional visitors into the centre.

“Complementing this, the programme of works for the Markets Quarter project, including both the new Preston Markets and cinema development, are both progressing well. It is crucial for the success of city centre that both are delivered as scheduled.”

Read more: Chorley demands compensation if Cuerden goes ahead

Preston’s new Indoor Market glazed structure, under the Outdoor Market canopy, is due to begin trading in the first week of December. With demolition of the Indoor Market expected to begin during early 2018.

What do you make of the Fishergate Centre’s comments? And councillor Rankin’s response? Let us know in the comments below

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