Preston Partnership secures fresh funding and relaunches with new board

Posted on - 18th October, 2023 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
Preston Partnership board Rob Binns, Beckie Joyce, John Chesworth, Karen Hirst, Rizwan Seth, Simon Turner and Adrian Phillips

A membership organisation aimed at driving forward Preston’s growth and potential has relaunched.

The Preston Partnership, originally formed in 2018 with more than 100 members, has secured new funding and has a new chair and board.

The organisation has secured £80,000 of funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the Partnership will now work with Preston City Council, the University of Central Lancashire and Lancashire County Council on how further regeneration can take place in the city.

Read more: Preston creative agency establish new bursary with UCLan for graphic design

Chair John Chesworth said: “There is positive change flowing through Preston. The £200m Harris Quarter programme is gathering momentum, we have a world-class university that has transformed the city, an award-winning city living strategy, numerous public realm projects and a growing cultural and independent leisure offering.

“Preston also has a hugely diverse and talented private sector that wants to be better represented. Our ambitious membership sees huge opportunities to grow Preston as a place to live, visit, invest in and do business, and we want to harness this ambition with the public sector to shape Preston’s future.

“We don’t aspire to be another Manchester or Liverpool. We have our own identity and strengths, and an opportunity to be a small giant of a modern city at the heart of Lancashire’s evolution.”

The Partnership has appointed Beckie Joyce, founder and chief executive of regeneration consultancy Radics Consulting to lead the Partnership’s operations.

She was previously head of strategic development at Lancashire County Council and has held senior development roles at Bolton Council and Manchester City Council, working alongside Sir Howard Bernstein.

The Partnership’s boad includes:

  • owner of Cotton Court, Rob Binns
  • director of Cassidy + Ashton, Alban Cassidy
  • managing director of Maple Grove Developments, Karen Hirst
  • chief executive of North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Babs Murphy
  • chief executive of Preston City Council, Adrian Phillips
  • founder and managing director Wrkspace, Rizwan Seth
  • chief executive of Freshfield, Simon Turner
  • director of communications and events at UCLan, Ginette Unsworth

The Partnership was part of securing £20.9m of funding in 2021 for the city’s Towns Fund bid and John Chesworth’s track record includes securing £1.2m of Heritage Lottery Funding to help regenerate Winckley Square Gardens in 2016.

John added: “Preston’s Towns Fund success and the Winckley Square project are perfect examples of how partnership can impact places and lives. We believe that by working together we can grow Preston, positively impacting its people, communities and businesses.”

Adrian Phillips, chief executive of Preston City Council, added: “The relaunch of Preston Partnership provides an important platform for the voices of Preston’s business community, and is a significant step forward in harnessing public and private sector collaboration.

“Building and strengthening our existing partnerships and creating new ones is the key to successful future regeneration and investment in the city.”

Membership of the Preston Partnership has been set as free until August 30 next year and new members can join via the Partnership’s website.

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