Work is complete on the Union Carriageworks loft apartments

Posted on - 9th January, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Housing, Preston City Centre
The Union Carriageworks

The £3.5 million transformation of an historic carriage works in Preston into the city’s first loft apartments and offices has been completed.


Etc Urban Developments has successfully redesigned the late Victorian building in Guildhall Street to retain original industrial features in 18 spacious duplex apartments created in an urban loft style.

Neil Thornton, director of Etc Urban, has lived in Preston for 25 years and is passionate about regenerating the city centre.

Etc Urban uncovered the history of the former carriage and auto car manufactory, built in 1897 by Preston carriage builder James Walmsley & Co and named The Union Carriage Works, and the original name has now been restored to the warehouse style building.

Read more: Inside the first genuine loft apartments in Preston

The new homes, now known as The Union Lofts, are on sale through Preston estate agent Michael Bailey and sit above 4,000 sq ft of industrial chic ground floor space suitable for fit out to Grade A office standards.

There is also a street level unit with planning consent for office use for sale through Preston’s Morgan Martin.

Living space at Union Lofts, Guildhall Street

A spokesperson for Etc Urban said: “The Union Carriage Works sits in the heart of the Winckley Square Conservation Area, but had lain derelict for decades despite being just 150m from Fishergate.

“It is one of the first historic buildings in the city centre to be reinvented for the 21st century and forms a leading part of Preston’s City Living Strategy for the next decade, which aims to see similar, high quality residential schemes across the centre.”

Read more: Plans to create an urban village in the Stoneygate area have been unveiled

The whole project has been designed by Chase Architecture, whose head architect, Philip Thornton, was one of Sir Terence Conran’s chief designers for 15 years and is one of the UK’s leading urban residential architects.

Work on the 3, 2 and 1 bedroom apartments has being carried out by Manchester-headquartered Workspace Design & Build and includes a secure basement car park for owners and residents.

A show apartment is open to view unveiling the design and style of the apartments and the full use of original features.

The show apartment at Union Lofts

Nine of the spacious apartments, which measure up to 1,025 sq ft, come with large west-facing roof terraces overlooking Winckley Square.

Etc Urban Developments is a property company specialising in original, high-quality city living projects and its ambitious city centre apartment plan has been supported by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s £20 million Growing Places Investment Fund.

The team behind Etc Urban, which is based in Preston and London, has wide experience delivering innovative, high-quality city centre residential projects across the UK.

Neil Thornton, director of Etc Urban Developments, said: “The Union Lofts are complete and the wait is over. All 18 loft apartments are unique and we are extremely happy with the quality and style.

“It’s taken a lot of vision and belief to have converted a forgotten 123-year-old warehouse, that had been left abandoned for decades, into a stylish residential scheme that is now a flagship development for Preston.

“For people who want to live in the heart of the city, there really is nothing else like this available to buy their own home which has character and history.

“The commercial space, too, will bring life and vitality at street level and the mixed use scheme can act as a catalyst for further regeneration and residential projects, helping to drive economic growth and create jobs in and around Preston’s city centre.”

The Etc Urban Developments team has 20 years’ experience designing, converting and marketing city centre residential and commercial projects.

The company’s architects, designers and sales and marketing experts have worked on regeneration projects across the UK, including the Northern Quarter and Ancoats in Manchester, Liverpool waterfront, Southbank in London and residential-led regeneration schemes in Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Cardiff.

It has also been involved in projects in London, New York, Tokyo and Berlin.

The Union Carriage Works sets a benchmark of quality architecture and interior design providing a real sense of space.

For more information about Etc Urban Developments and the Guildhall Street project please visit:

What do you think of the latest regeneration in Preston city centre? Let us know in the comments section

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