An abandoned orphanage in Preston city centre, a car park and a former high school could all hold the key to easing the demand for new homes in Preston.Advertisement
Preston City Council has been handed £165,000 to try and attract interest in developers taking on crumbling buildings mainly in the city centre and turning them into homes.
Branded the ‘Preston Housing Zone’ the money is to be used to help deliver 776 new homes in the next five years.
Among the sites is the long-mooted development of St Joseph’s Orphanage, the former Mount Street Hospital, into 81 homes.
Councillor Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “This is another major boost for Preston. It’s about promoting development and encouraging city living right in the heart of Preston. Our focus is on re-developing empty buildings and also bringing brownfield sites back into use
“What we are saying to the investment and development community is there is a marvellous opportunity here.
“Preston is a great place to live with excellent communication and transport links, beautiful parks, a thriving university, world-class businesses and a growing economy. There’s also a real hunger and appetite for development in the city centre, so all the ingredients are there to take forward the development of city living in Preston.”
Related: The history of St Joseph’s Orphanage
Part of the funding is to be used to market Winckley Square and estimates show 232 homes – mainly apartments – could be found in this area.
Winckley Square is currently subject to a major restoration project with nearly £1m being invested by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Funding for the Housing Zone project comes from the government, and is on top of the £430m being spent in the Preston and South Ribble City Deal.
Jim Carter, chair of the City Deal and Lancashire Economic Partnership board member, said: “Developer interest in Preston is increasing and this move to Housing Zone status is a key step forward. I am optimistic that it will stimulate a response from the market.
“The City Deal will unlock the economic potential of the area. We’re putting infrastructure in place to provide the new roads that are needed across Central Lancashire. This will help people to get around, helping them to access new jobs and opportunities.”
Related: Inside the former St Joseph’s Orphanage
Councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “There is high demand for housing in Preston and across Lancashire. It’s vital that we support and enable the growth of sustainable and well-connected local communities.
“More people living in and around the city centre in turn will create greater demand for retail, leisure and restaurants. We want Preston to capitalise on this.”
– Former Tulketh High School, Tag Lane, (45 homes)
– Argyll Road, Deepdale (150 homes)
– Former St Joseph’s Orphanage, Mount Street (81 homes)
– Winckley Square, various properties (232 homes)
– Avenham Lane Car Park (200 homes)
– Alliance Mill (68 homes)
What do you think of the funding? Do you think these sites will be developed? Let us know in the comments below