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Plans progressing to transform Amounderness House into multi-use workspace hub

Posted on - 21st February, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Redevelopment
Amounderness House currently stands empty Pic: Paul Swarbrick
Amounderness House currently stands empty Pic: Paul Swarbrick

Plans to transform the Grade II Listed Amounderness House into serviced offices and managed workspace accommodation have moved a step closer.

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Preston City Council and its development manager Maple Grove Developments have identified W_rkspace as the preferred tenant to lease the former police station and magistrates courtĀ situatedĀ in Lancaster Road in the city centre.

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W_rkspace operates seven business centres in the North West of England including five in Preston.

Following a complete refurbishment of the property by the Council, W_rkspace will occupy and operate the 23,842 sq. ft. across three floors in the property from late 2025.

TheĀ Ā£7.4mĀ scheme is one of six major projects planned under the Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme, for which the city was awarded Ā£20.9m from the Governmentā€™s national Towns Fund initiative in March 2021.

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Read more: An update on Prestonā€™s Ā£20.9m Towns Fund award one year on

Harris Quarter in the city centre is undergoing a Ā£200m investment programme to transform its historic buildings, sites and public realm into a diverse culture, leisure and employment offering, with Amounderness House located beside the Ā£45m+ Animate cinema and leisure complex granted planning permission in March 2022 and due to open in 2024.

Having considered a report on the future use of Amounderness House by the Director of Environment and Property, the City Council:

  • Approved W_rkspace as the preferred tenant to operate Amounderness House as serviced offices and managed workspace accommodation
  • Authorised theĀ Council to enter into an agreement for lease with W_rkspace as the preferred tenant for a pre-letting of Amounderness House
  • Authorised theĀ Director of Environment and Property to negotiate and agree any further terms that may be required to enter into the leasing agreement with W_rkspace
L-R: Nik Puttnam, Senior Development Manager, Maple Grove Developments, Julie Palmer, Regeneration Manager, Preston City Council, Councillor David Borrow, Executive Member for Planning and Regulation, Adrian Phillips, Chief Executive, Preston City Council, and Christian Lincoln, Sales Director, W_rkspace
L-R: Nik Puttnam, Senior Development Manager, Maple Grove Developments, Julie Palmer, Regeneration Manager, Preston City Council, Councillor David Borrow, Executive Member for Planning and Regulation, Adrian Phillips, Chief Executive, Preston City Council, and Christian Lincoln, Sales Director, W_rkspace

Councillor David Borrow, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation,Ā said: ā€œThis is a significant step forward in the rejuvenation plans for one of Prestonā€™s grandest buildings.

“It will be wonderful to see new life breathed into a heritage property that has had such a rich history and impact on the city centre over the years.

“Not only will it repurpose an empty property, generating income for the city, but it will boost new footfall in the area, provide new jobs and support local businesses and the city centre economy.ā€

Read more: Amounderness House to be sold off by Preston City Council

W_rkspaceā€™s growing portfolio accommodates more than 100 physical office clients and over 150 virtual office businesses.

Rizwan Seth, managing director of W_rkspace, said:Ā ā€œWeā€™re delighted with the recent announcement that W_rkspace has been chosen to be the principal operator for the new flexible workplace business centre within the Amounderness House development.Ā 

ā€œW_rkspace brings its own unique brand of flexible working solutions to the heart of the city. Offering outstanding opportunities for local established companies, alongside fantastic facilities to help start-up businesses looking to achieve first steps of their business journey.

ā€œThe W_rkspace team feel proud to accompany this exciting city development and look forward to many fruitful and rewarding partnerships with the proud business community within Preston.ā€

Read more: Main building phase starts at Prestonā€™s Animate entertainment and leisure complex

Nik Puttnam, senior development manager with Maple Grove Developments, said: ā€œThis is an exciting milestone in this project and Maple Grove are proud to be working with W_rkspace and the City Council to bring forward the redevelopment of Amounderness House.

“The building offers an opportunity to create an exciting workspace within a heritage asset and work will now start with the team to work up the planning application and listed building consent.ā€

Read more:Ā See the latest Preston news and headlines

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