As 2018 comes to a close in the city here’s what we’re expecting to see dominating the headlines in the next 12 months.Advertisement
Preston has some major schemes and events to take place or come to fruition during 2019.
Here’s our run through of what will be in your inbox, social feeds or the talk of your local boozer.
The new £4million market under the historic covered market was one of the talking points of 2018 and the markets will stay top of the agenda.
Preston City Council is due to begin demolition of the old Indoor Market building and the Market Hall car park.
Replacing it will be a multi-million pound cinema and restaurant complex, with the cinema operated by The Light Group.
Unanswered questions remain about exactly how much of Lancastria House, due for demilition, is to be retained within the scheme. Early plans included keeping the art deco frontage of the building but this was ‘if funds allow’.
Preston’s political boundaries have been untouched for decades, but there could be a shift in Town Hall politics from May.
An ‘all-out’ election is taking place. This is seeing a big changing of the guard as many councillors decide to stand down or have to stand in new wards created by a boundary review.
Expect Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and others competing very hard for your votes as there’s lots of uncertainty about exactly how the voting will fall with some new wards created and others re-drawn.
There’s also fewer councillors, by nine, to make the decisions in the corridors of power.
Read more: What we learned from the 2018 local elections in Preston
Labour saw a surge in Fulwood in May 2018, taking two seats from the Tories. Will that momentum continue?
All eyes will be on the Shankly Hotel during 2019 as it is expected to open.
Part of the Kenwright group the hotel is expected to be the most upmarket hotel within the city centre.
It follows the opening of the Winckley Square Hotel in Camden Place.
Read more: What to expect when Shankly hotel opens
The Shankly is within the former Post Office building facing into the Flag Market. Previously the hotel was going to be called The Harris but the theme was changed to give a nod to Bill Shankly and his connections with the city through Preston North End.
The University of Central Lancashire’s masterplan continues at pace.
Major work on the Adelphi roundabout will take place throughout the year to create a new public square and a £60million student centre.
The University, which saw its vice-chancellor depart after four years at the helm, is expected to name a new chief but the £200million investment in new buildings at the Preston campus continues.
As well as the Adelphi Square you can also expect the new engineering centre to be finished and open during the early part of 2019.
Swathes of land in the North and West of the city will continue to see bulldozers hard at work.
The city council cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of housing which has opened up the floodgates to planning applications from developers.
The North West Masterplan seems to be coming to fruition but its missing major layers of infrastructure alongside it as new homes go in along Lightfoot Lane, off into Broughton, Whittingham, Cottam and elsewhere.
Read more: Empty home owners in Preston to see higher charges
Speaking of new roads, where will Preston Western Distributor end up by the end 2019?
What looked like a cut and dried scheme to ease congestion in the North and West of the city is now under-threat of ending up as a road to nowhere.
Land owners have asked the Secretary of State to intervene in the county council’s plans for the new route connecting the M55 with a new junction down to the A583 and this would also see spur-roads off to all the new Cottam developments. In the next 12 months we should know more about whether this tarmac will ever be put down.
Read more: New railway station for Cottam moves a step closer
What do you think we’ll see in 2019 in the city? Let us know your views in the comments below