A multi-million injection of cash into new roads and housing in Preston is due to launch on Tuesday.Advertisement
Lord Michael Heseltine, advisor to the Prime Minister on economic growth, leads an event which declares the City Deal officially started.
More than £430 million is being ploughed into Preston and South Ribble and government officials say it will create more than 20,000 new jobs, 17,000 new homes and be worth more than £3 billion to the city and area’s economy.
Projects include the Garden City in the North West of Preston, the Preston Western Distributor linking the M55 to the Docks and the Broughton Bypass.
View a map below showing where City Deal schemes will impact in Preston, or click here to view the map if you’re using our app.
Work has already begun on a number of City Deal schemes, including the roadworks costing £8 million to widen the A582 into Preston near Chain House Lane.
Tory peer Heseltine said: “It’s fantastic to see the rapid progress that has been made in Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire over the last six months.
“The City Deal has given the area the opportunity to unlock significant economic growth and leverage considerable commercial investment.
“The area can now build on the excellent progress of City Deal and pave the way for securing future growth through the Growth Deal process.”
Preston and South Ribble bid for the government cash to kick-start major infrastructure projects in the region, and Lancashire County Council are the authority responsible for delivering boots on the ground.
County Councillor Jennifer Mein, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The City Deal is a once in a generation opportunity that gives us the certainty to plan for the long term. It is very exciting to see work starting on the first of the major transport projects that form the backbone of the delivery plan and will provide the ideal conditions for Preston, and Lancashire as a whole, to reach their full economic potential.
“Taken alongside our existing work to create jobs and a! pprenticeships it will provide the ideal conditions for companies to invest and create employment.”
Preston City Council has drawn up its masterplan for a new Garden City in the North West of Preston, which is where the council wants to see thousands of new homes built.
Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “We know that developers and businesses want to invest in Preston and we also know that there is demand for houses from families and professionals but we have been held back because of the lack of infrastructure required to give developments the go ahead.
“City Deal will change all that and developments in North West Preston and East Preston are already moving forward.
“This is the biggest thing to happen to Preston in decades and will ensure that we establish long term sustainable growth which will deliver, jobs, housing and higher living standards for local people.”
Edwin Booth, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “We reached this landmark deal because central government had confidence in our economic potential and our ability to deliver major projects, so it is great to have justified that confidence by being the first of the second wave of City Deals to physically start work.
“By freeing Preston and the surrounding area from the shackles of the existing infrastructure we will enable the local economy to really take off and create the jobs and housing that we need. This is a very exciting time for the Lancashire economy as a whole.”
Lord Heseltine is expected to tour the current works on the A582 and then will be at a panel discussion that follows at County Hall to see what he makes of the progress so far.
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Image credit to Policy Exchange