Plans to revive and protect Winckley Square’s heritage have moved a step closer.Advertisement
The Heritage Lottery Fund have granted £22,500 to the project which wants to bid for £1 million to restore the Square.
Winckley Squares Futures Project wants to make improvements to enhance access, security, drainage and celebrate the heritage of the area.
The project is being run by the Winckley Square Community Interest Company in partnership with environment charity Groundwork Lancashire and Preston City Council.
The latest funding follows an award of £41,664 in April last year for the council to appoint a heritage expert to work on the bid with the Winckley Square partnership.
David Gill, chairman of WSCIC, said: “This is wonderful news and the culmination of a lot of hard work that has gone on behind the scenes since 2011.
“There is a lot of work still to be done to secure the funding but the fact HLF support the outline plans is a huge step in the right direction.
“Everything we are doing is geared towards creating a sympathetic improvement of the Square, improving its usability. That is what the community stipulated in our public consultation in 2011 and 2012.
“We passionately believe that Winckley Square and the surrounding district has the potential to be a historical, yet vibrant, visual, cultural and intellectual outdoor experience, bringing delight to the people of Preston and visitors alike.
“We are now working on a detailed stage two application which will be ready for summer 2014.”
Andrew Darron, executive director, Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan, said: “We know that over the years it’s not been easy to arrive at a vision for Winckley Square that meets the needs of past, present and future. Our philosophy has been to develop an in-depth understanding of the space, its uses, and what people value about it now, and build from there.
“The consultation has delivered a really exciting vision for Winckley Square, where nature, landscape and heritage can come together right in the heart of the city. We’re really looking forward to bringing more people into the discussion as we develop the next level of detail for the project.
“It’s great that we have been able to bring our expertise and approach to bear on such an important green space in Preston, to such a positive outcome.”
Councillor Robert Boswell, cabinet member for environment, said: “This is fantastic news for the whole city.
“This announcement reaffirms the Heritage Lottery Fund’s support for the area as it has already proposed to support a project to restore the buildings on the square. It will give the whole area a lift and hopefully kick start investment and regeneration which will bring economic benefits.
“We are committed to working with Groundwork and the Winckley Square Community Interest Company to deliver a vision for the square which will enhance this city centre gem.”
The funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund means the project can now draw up a full proposal to compete for £1 million.
What do you want to see happen with Winckley Square? Let us know in the comments below