Manchester commuter town Preston now firmly on investment map

An exciting new masterplan has been revealed for Preston city centre, while seven parks have won green space awards – enticing scores more people to the area.

Preston, the UK’s newest city, is a prime example of a once hard-up peripheral area becoming a thriving hub in its own right as well as an important commuter location for nearby Manchester. It has been the target of major regeneration and investment over recent years, and the latest projects are set to enhance its reputation even further.

The latest target for regeneration is the Stoneygate area of Preston, which includes Queen Street Retail Park, Cardinal Newman College and St John’s Minster. The development zone lies on the edge of the main city centre, and the aim of the investment is to raise the area’s profile and attract even more investment and footfall.

Stoneygate-Masterplan Preston

Preston City Council, in collaboration with Lancashire County Council, will be placing a major focus on improving connectivity, highlighting walking and cycling routes as well as enhancing links to the rest of Preston.

Councillor Peter Moss, deputy leader and cabinet member for planning, said: “Stoneygate is a key area of Preston city centre with huge potential and many opportunities. We already have excellent examples of private sector investment in the area, for instance Preston Livery and Carriage Works restoration and Cotton Court – both of which showcase what can be achieved.

“The masterplan is designed to help us raise Stoneygate’s profile, and provide a clear guide to help us meet our ambitions for this area.”

New entertainment complex project underway

The old car park that was part of the former indoor market is currently in the process of being demolished as part of plans to create a new leisure complex, including a 250-space multi-storey car park and a cinema. Located next to the new Preston Markets, the scheme is designed to “enable the restaurants to spill out onto a lively new square”.

While the demolition may cause temporary disruption to the area, Preston City Council alongside Lancashire County Council said measures have been taken to minimise the effects on traffic as well as shoppers.

Councillor Robert Boswell said: “This next stage is an important step forward for regeneration in the area. This essential work will pave the way for the cinema and leisure complex including a modern multi-storey car park, further enhancing Preston city centre for residents and visitors alike.”

Green space awards for seven Preston parks

Preston’s leafy areas have been celebrated this month after seven parks were awarded either Green Flags, a Green Heritage accreditation or a Green Flag Community Award.

The parks were Ashton Park, Avenham and Miller Parks, Fishwick Bottoms, Haslam Park, Moor Park and Winckley Square Gardens, many of which have been subject to investment and regeneration in the surrounding areas. The parks have been credited for having excellent facilities, as well as being extremely well maintained.

Councillor Robert Boswell said the council were “absolutely delighted” to have had recognition for the area’s green spaces.

“We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and these awards celebrate the dedication that goes into maintaining Preston’s parks and green spaces to such a high standard.”

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