The partnership behind a £1 million bid to renovate Preston’s historic Winckley Square Gardens is inviting people to have a say on its final designs before they are submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund at the end of February.
A public event will be held on Friday, February 20th, from 10am until 4pm, at Preston’s Flag Market, in front of the Harris Museum.
Experts from environmental charity, Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan, will be on hand to discuss the proposals and answer any questions.
The bid has been developed in a partnership between environmental charity, Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan, Winckley Square Community Interest Company (WSCIC), Preston City Council, Preston Business Improvement District (BID) and Lancashire County Council.
As part of the bid, a dedicated conservation management plan – which sets the policy for the new designs – has been created by a number of prominent local historians who created a Save Winckley Square group in 2009 following a plan to modernise the Gardens, which was eventually shelved. The conservation management team includes:
Ben Williams, project manager from Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan, said: “The bid is the culmination of four years of listening and interpreting the wishes of the community.
“By having such an influential local group drive the conservation plan, we can be sure our plans have conservation and heritage at its core, while enabling a sympathetic improvement of the gardens and the best outcome for the people of Preston.”
Andrew Mather of the Preston Historical Society added: “We are thrilled to have been heavily involved in what has been a very considered, intricate and correct process of arriving at the vision for what is one of Preston’s most important, yet neglected areas. We’re all looking forward to hearing the views of the public.”
The proposals will address a number of issues including improved and attractive circulation routes, new pathways, new heritage interpretation devices, event space, tree surgery, drainage, accessibility and targeted repairs to original features such as boundary railings, walls and the statue of Sir Robert Peel.
Final designs will be submitted to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) at the end of February. A Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) panel expects to make a decision in summer 2015, with works potentially starting in 2016 if planning is approved.
The final submission comes one year after Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) gave a first-round pass to the partnership’s outline vision, awarding £22,500 to develop detailed plans for the project
The visuals and a link to the final plans can be viewed here on Blog Preston tomorrow morning.
Will you be on Preston’s Flag Market on Friday morning to have your say? Let us know in the comments below.