A flagship regeneration scheme for Preston city centre is making ‘good progress’, according to the council.Advertisement
Councillors from Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – as well as two independents – have backed the next stage of the development.
Branded as the Harris Leisure Quarter the 13 hectare area includes the Preston Markets scheme, the former Post Office, the Harris and the Bus Station.
In a section of the full council meeting, from which the press and public were excluded, a report was given to councillors about how the scheme was progressing.
Blog Preston reported on Monday how comments by cabinet member for finance and resources councillor Martyn Rawlinson had suggested difficulties with the Markets scheme.
Demolition work is commencing on the former Indoor Market building, the Market Hall car park and part of Lancastria House.
Read more: Demolition work at the Markets to be documented on video
In its place will be a multi-million pound cinema and restaurant complex, and a new 250-space car park.
Leader of the council councillor Matthew Brown says everything is on track.
He said: “I am pleased to say that with unanimous cross-party Council support we are able to progress with our ambitious plans for the former Market Hall and Market car park site.
“We are working hard to ensure that our plans, which include an exciting cinema and leisure offer, maximise the benefit to both Preston city centre and the wider economy.
“It is important to us that the development complements Preston Markets and the burgeoning leisure and cultural offer in the city centre, as well as deliver our core values of community wealth building and social value in every achievable way.
“I look forward to continuing to work alongside Muse and The Light Cinemas to achieve this exciting development for the city.”
What is the Harris Leisure Quarter?
A 13 hectare area it includes the Markets, both new and old at its heart.
The 1875 Outdoor Covered Market and Fish Market canopies were restored in recent years and the Outdoor Market now had the £4million Market Hall under it.
Bishopgate as it was called is an area around St John’s Shopping Centre, which is yet to be revitalised, and creating an entertainment hub at the Guild Hall which has been achieved by selling the building to Simon Rigby for £1. He’s invested in creating LeVel and letting out other entertainment units within the complex.
Read more: Call for development sites across Preston, South Ribble and Chorley
The Bus Station was sold off to Lancashire County Council for £1 in 2013 and a major revamp has been undertaken of the grade-II listed building, but the original plan references a Youth Zone for the area which has now been scrapped for the western apron which is due to become an ‘urban park’ instead.
Ring Way is referenced as becoming a ‘promotion of active frontage on Ringway and improvements to office blocks’.
Church Street also comes under the Harris Quarter, the area on the northern edge round by the Guild Hall – some of which has seen new paving.
Read more: This is what to expect in Preston during 2019
And Birley Street, with the former Post Office building, is to see a new hotel open there – The Shankly – which is due to open in April this year by the Signature Living group.