Environmental experts have been brought in to lead the restoration of Winckley Square.
The Georgian Square is due to have better drainage, lighting and get an all-round makeover.
Groundwork will supply landscape artists to work alongside arboriculture specialists from Myerscough College and UCLan’s architecture school.
The plan to improve the square come from the Winckley Square Community Interest Company who have been backed by a £30,000 per year investment from the Preston Business Improvement District.
David Gill, chairman of the WSCIC, said: “As a group, we have undertaken a lot of preliminary work and we needed to find a partner to pull it together and prepare a vision.
“Groundwork will be an important partner for us. It has a track record and shares our values being a community-themed organisation. More significantly, Groundwork understands the funding frameworks intimately and this vision will be designed with specific funding streams in mind.
“The brief is simple. The community wants a sympathetic restoration of the square as highlighted through our public consultation of 2012. The vision will be incremental so that it can be done in phases if required.”
Ben Williams, of Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan, said they had been impressed by the community spirit surrounding the Square.
He said: “It’ll be challenging given some of the usability problems that the Square is currently facing surrounding the drainage but the opportunity to be part of the team for this project is extremely exciting.
“We’ve had experience of similar projects. We’re currently working with United Utilities and the Rivington Heritage Trust to lead a Parks for People application for the Terraced Gardens in Rivington. We also led the design and delivery of a Heritage Lottery funded project at Stanley Bank Triangle in the Sankey Valley.
“The Winckley Square Community Interest Company team has impressed us and it’s great that they’ve come together so strongly over this project. It demonstrates a real commitment to the area and a determination to make a difference to the community. We’ll also seek to use the project to provide training, volunteering, employment and work experience opportunities.”
Councillor Robert Boswell, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Preston City Council, said: “This is another important step forward in restoring Winckley Square. The Community Interest Company deserves immense credit for the professional way it is taking forward the restoration project. Winckley Square is a key part of the city and we are delighted to see the restoration plans are now taking shape.”
What do you think about the changes to the Square? Do you use Winckley Square? Let us know in the comments below
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