Preston pushes city living with fresh strategy

Cushman & Wakefield has produced a city living prospectus for Preston City Council as the authority seeks to attract investment into residential projects within the city centre.

Chris Hayward, director of development at the council, said: “We are committed to delivering a step change in our residential offer and we are in a strong position to support developers who share our vision. Our city is full of opportunities for investors and we are already seeing major public-private initiatives in hotels and leisure.

“We want to see homes built for the people who want to live in the beating heart of the city and live, work and play in Preston.”

The prospectus references existing projects such as Etc Urban’s £2.5m loft apartments scheme at 44-56 Guildhall, baced by the Growing Places Fund and described by Preston City Council’s principal urban designer Nigel Roberts as “exactly the sort of scheme we are looking to encourage and support”. The city centre has 8,000 residents at present.

Bodies including Lancashire County Council and the Homes & Communities Agency have contributed to the packaging up of the Preston sites that could attract developer interest. Around £51m is currently committed to developments across the Preston, South Ribble & Lancashire City Deal area.

Preston CcSites identified as ripe for development include the area around Winckley Square for conversions and new build, and Station Gateway, linking to the university area. The Harris Quarter could provide opportunities for apartments close to amenities currently under development such as the Guild Hall, Old Post Office and Markets Quarter.

Caroline Baker, partner at Cushmans and author of the City Living Strategy, said: “Manchester became the success it is today because of the public sector setting out its vision and working hard to deliver it. Institutional investors bought into the vision and momentum has now been achieved.”

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