Preston seeks funding in support of city living push

Cushman & Wakefield has been reappointed by Preston City Council as the Lancashire city looks to build momentum in its city centre residential market with a bid for Housing Infrastructure Fund support.

The consultancy was appointed in July 2016 to prepare a strategy that would “accelerate delivery of a thriving residential core” and delivered a City Living Prospectus this April.

As part of its brief, it has worked with the council on a bid, submitted last week, for a share of the government’s £2.3bn HiF, which is designed to unlock development in areas with need of additional infrastructure such as roads, schools and utilities.

Nigel Roberts, who as principal urban designer holds the brief for city living delivery at the council, said: “Making a strong, competitive case for HiF support is key to getting our ambitious plans for Preston city centre up and running as quickly as possible.

“A successful bid will potentially unlock several sites and enable us to work quickly and efficiently to see many new homes build across the city centre. Having Cushman & Wakefield alongside to help and advise has been crucial in making a hopefully successful bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government.”

Wigan developer Heston Group is now onsite with the high-end Sorting Office scheme, which will bring 31 apartments to a grade two-listed building in West Cliff, while ZDP Properties is also onsite, with 11 apartments at Church Court.

This summer Ladson completed the acquisition of two office blocks with conversion consent in the Winckley Square area, where 80 of the proposed 122 apartments have been pre-sold.

Negotiations have been completed on appointing a contractor to Etc Urban Developments’ £2.5m warehouse conversion scheme, which will bring 18 apartments to Guildhall Street. Plannning approvals have been granted to Equitas Solictors’ 30-apartment Glovers Court scheme and Callaway Estates’ 45-strong Miller Arcade project.

Schemes now in for planning include Eastern Estates’ 69-dwelling Church Row, and two schemes by  Northern Estates, totalling 60 homes across Garden Street and Market Street.

Director Caroline Baker is leading the project on behalf of C&W. She said: “The council has embraced the strategy and is keen to see some results in the form of new homes being built, proposed and on the drawing board.

“Our role is to guide the council and its partners to encourage and facilitate the right sort of quality new builds of all types and for all sectors of the residential market to benefit the whole of Preston city centre.”

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