Preston needs more high-quality retail and leisure space in the city centre, according to a new study.Advertisement
A study by Deloitte LLP, commissioned by Preston City Council, says the next 15 years could be good for trading in the city – but only if modern, quality, spaces can be created.
The assessment claims despite the growth in internet shopping there are still many major high street brands and restaurants who could expand into Preston.
Deloitte’s also say an eight-screen cinema and 30,000 gym membership places are needed by 2027 to meet the needs of a growing population in the Central Lancashire region.
Based on a survey of towns and cities for attracting national retailers, Preston sits 60th in the UK.
Councillor John Swindells, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said of the report: “The council welcomes the findings in this report. It is pleasing to find it supports the ongoing regeneration work in Preston and it gives us a new focus for our continued efforts in attracting businesses and developers into the city.
“Driving up footfall into the city centre and improving the leisure and night time economy for residents, workers and visitors are two of our main priorities that will help to maintain Preston as the principal commercial centre serving Lancashire.”
Major work is currently being undertaken on Fishergate to improve access for pedestrians and both the city council and Lancashire County Council are hoping this makes the area more attractive to retailers.
The report follows a hotel study showing the city needs more hotel rooms to cope with growing demand, especially for more boutique hotels.
The city council say the Deloitte study will feed into a Preston City Centre Plan which will be put out for public consultation in the Autumn.
What do you think can be done to improve the city centre? Let us know your views in the comments below