Major plans for the Fishergate Shopping Centre including a new cinema for the city centre have been formally lodged.Advertisement
A former TJ Hughes shop is proposed to be replaced with six new shops, Vue cinema and five restaurants.
Fishergate’s parent company Benson Elliot said they were investing £25 million in the centre and expected it to create more than 250 new jobs.
A display of the plans in the shopping centre has triggered nearly 1,000 responses from members of the public.
Fishergate bosses claim 93 per cent of Prestonians support their plans and nearly the same amount feel the centre is a good location for the cinema.
Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot said: “The overwhelming reaction to our proposals from the public has been hugely positive.
“People really want to see our plans turned into reality, and they can see the vibrancy it will add to the city centre, which is massively encouraging.
“We’ve received some great comments and suggestions and we’ve taken these on board in putting together our planning application, which has now been submitted to Preston City Council.
“The message we have delivered to the public in our consultation process is that the Fishergate Shopping Centre wants to up its game and play its part for Preston.
“We hope the city council will agree with us that our plans will encourage people to spend and enjoy more time in Preston that it adds to and complements the other great initiatives we are seeing to improve and revitalise the city centre.”
The plans for the Fishergate centre come at the same time as Preston City Council is seeking to invest in a multi-million pound regeneration of Preston Market – which would have a new cinema and restaurant complex also at its heart.
Vue Cinema is expected to move from the Walton-le-Dale base at the Capitol Centre to the new Fishergate site, with the current cinema on the outskirts being demolished to make way for new retail units.
Fishergate’s proposals have received backing from Preston’s MP Mark Hendrick and the owner of the Guild Hall Simon Rigby.
University of Central Lancashire interim vice-chancellor Professor Mike Thomas said: “The new cinema, retail and leisure development in the Fishergate Centre, and indeed the exciting regeneration work taking place throughout the city, is fantastic news for the university and our students on so many different levels.
“The provision of an excellent university experience is a top priority for us in terms of academic, employment and social experiences and the new Fishergate proposals fit all three.
“From involvement in real-life case studies and academic project work to the opportunity for part-time jobs and leisure facilities, this project will enhance the city’s reputation among students as an attractive place to live, work and study.”
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