A curated programme of pop-up events, installations, visitor attractions and street food markets is coming to Preston.Advertisement
The project, known as Harris Quarter Pop Ups, will be funded by an extra £1 million grant from government as part of the Towns Fund.
The main objective of the project is to encourage city centre visits from residents and visitors alike, to help re-establish the area as a safe destination of choice in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A long list of ideas has been drawn up with consideration being give to ensure a Covid-safe environment, including:
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Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council, said: “We are now working on an implementation programme, following which a more detailed programme of activity will be published.
“The project has the combined benefits of being used for these activities in the short term whilst leaving a longer term legacy for the city by reinventing how underused parts of the centre can be used.
“This early momentum forms part of the Towns Fund bid by transforming the Harris Quarter into the cultural heart of the city. Much of what is put in place under Harris Quarter Pops Up will be there for many years but, like the best creative locations, will adapt and evolve to stay fresh and meet changing demands.
“As with all places across the country, Preston city centre needs an immediate boost to help its recovery following the Covid crisis and Harris Quarter Pops Up will go a long way to help this. Being both locally-focussed and centrally located with great accessibility on foot, by bike or by public transport, the Pops Up concept meets the Council’s and government’s aspirations for clean and green growth.
“While the Harris Quarter Pops Up project is funded through government’s Towns Fund programme it is additional to the submission that the City of Preston Towns Deal Board made for £25m investment to support the cultural regeneration of the Harris Quarter.”
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The £1m accelerated funding should be received in the next few weeks, and must be spent within eight months.
A working group has been set up with Maple Grove Developments – the firm involved in the Preston Markets cinema plans – acting as project and development managers.
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What do you think of the plans for the Harris Quarter? Will it encourage you to visit the city centre? Let us know in the comments.