Preston outlines key projects supported by £434M City Deal

Preston Market Illustration

The Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal was the first of 20 second wave City Deals to be agreed and was signed in September 2013. The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency are working together to deliver this once in a lifetime opportunity for the area.

New investment of £434 million will expand transport infrastructure in Preston and South Ribble at an unprecedented rate, driving the creation of some 20,000 new jobs and generating the development of more than 17,000 new homes over the next ten years.

In addition, the public sector funding is expected to leverage a further £2.3 billion of commercial investment into housing and employment sites.

Key highlights of the City Deal investment include…

Fishergate Preston
One of the main high streets in Preston city centre has been upgraded to create a contemporary shared space for both pedestrians and vehicles.  The new tree lined street with modern furniture is already creating a better place to visit and do business with the same effect  being continued along the entire stretch with an eventual improved route along Lancaster Road to the bus station.

Preston Bus Station
The plan is to create a modern and vibrant hub, focused on facilities for young people, bus and coach transport, as well as an attractive open public space, while preserving the building's unique architecture.

The plans see the building continue to run as a bus station and car park but with significant changes and improvements, with a part of the site becoming home to Preston’s new youth zone. The Youth Zone Plus will include a range of facilities for young people and take up part of the existing bus station as well as provide a new build sports and activities hall on the site.

The plans will also see the area on the city side of the bus station, facing Tithebarn Street, transformed into an open space for the public.
Following a design competition which took place to come up with the best idea to take the vision forward, a revised design has been put forward for the new youth zone and improvements to Preston Bus Station.

Taking into account the aspirations of Historic England and The 20th Century Society, the youth zone will now ensure a clearer view of the Grade II-listed building, with a revised shape and separation from the bus station structure.

Preston Markets Quarter and Cinema
A new cinema is proposed for the heart of Preston City Centre on the site of the indoor market. The indoor market building needs a huge investment and as part of city deal we will be looking to reshape this area of the city centre by knocking down this building and creating a new multi-plex cinema complex and re-housing the market area.
Preston’s Market is also undergoing a major transformation, with a new market to be built under the existing, Grade II listed Victorian Market Canopy – one of the finest structures of its type in Europe. 

University of Central Lancashire
In addition, as one of the biggest universities in the country, the city deal project  is helping to improve the university campus and will see the construction of a new Engineering Innovation Centre building due to start in 2017.  The University is investing over £100m in its Preston campus.

Lancashire Enterprise Zone
The Lancashire Enterprise Zone, one of only 24 nationally, will form a centre of excellence for high technology manufacturing, generating wealth-creating benefits for the whole county.

Our Enterprise Zone is being developed at two world-class locations – BAE Systems’ sites at Samlesbury and Warton – where we are already gearing up for growth.
Up to 6,000 highly skilled jobs will be created directly, plus a further 5,000 to 7,000 in the local supply chain.

A number of potential occupiers have expressed an interest about coming on board at either the 72-hectare Samlesbury site or the 75-hectare Warton location, the first of which have already moved in although its adjacency to BAE Systems’ operations is key to the Enterprise Zone. The Zone is also a focal point for a broad range of advanced engineering and manufacturing businesses – by no means limited to aerospace.

The Enterprise Zone heralds an era of high quality commercial development on a grand scale to attract global knowledge intensive businesses.
Firms in the Lancashire Enterprise Zone can improve their bottom line performance thanks to business rates relief worth up to £275,000 over a five year period, along with superfast broadband that means they can work faster, smarter – and with greater efficiency.

A streamlined planning process will enable building development schemes to get off the ground quicker and without hassle, enabled by Local Development Orders now in place at both sites. Lancashire Enterprise Zone's central location at the heart of the national motorway and rail network means it is in easy reach of all major northern cities, as well as Manchester Airport and Liverpool Superport.

The Samlesbury site is set in rolling countryside east of Preston, a short drive from the M6, while the Warton site is next to a village west of Preston on the Ribble Estuary and is part of a secure airfield wth a 2,400 metre runway.