The vision for a new Preston Station Quarter Regeneration has been laid out and would include a re-designing of the Fishergate Shopping Centre and it’s car park.
Plans suggest that the entire area could look drastically different in the next decade as investors and the Council look to give a radical revamp to the city’s railway station and surrounding area.
The vision according to plans is to create a mix of retail and leisure outlets, along with the kind of modern, high-quality office space that is currently unavailable in the city.
A “Welcome Square” would greet passengers coming from the railway station and be the main way to walk up to Fishergate and beyond. This new Square would see greater links to Winckley Square and Avenham Park, while also including more housing and flats to connect students with UCLan’s recently redesigned Adelphi Square.
The regeneration plans has been adopted by Preston City Council following a public consultation earlier this year. Lancashire County Council and UCLan have also given their approval to the suggested plans.
The regeneration plan will split the city centre into four distinct areas and suggest new uses and appearances for each area – Fishergate, Winckley, Adelphi and Tithebarn.
Preston City Council’s cabinet member for planning and regulation, David Borrow, said: “You can name somewhere as a city, but you’ve got to get to a certain stage before it becomes one.”
“Preston has got the characteristics of a city in terms of demography and employment – and just the feel of it. There are a number of things happening around the city centre which just take Preston to a different level compared to anywhere else in the county.”
“The aspiration now is to position some grade A offices right next to the station – that’s a big positive for the city, because there is a shortage of such space and that’s the obvious place for it to be developed.”
“I think that the sale of the Fishergate Shopping Centre last year to the Martin Property Group shows they are interested in developing the site which gives us an opportunity to do something with that.”
“We would also like to bring more people into the city centre to live, rather than feeling that all the population growth has to be on the outskirts of the city, using up greenfield.”
The proposed plans are based on enhancing the first signs visitors see when they arrive in Preston.
A document states: ““As Lancashire’s largest and busiest railway station with excellent national connectivity, including future high speed rail services, the station is a major asset that can serve to attract new city centre development and investment.”
“This could enhance the sense of arrival into Preston and contribute to improving its wider identity and, by association, the identity of other partners, most notably UCLan.”