Preston is about to embark on a major regeneration plan worth in excess of £1.8 billion transforming the city into a major player in the North West economy
Situated in the heart of Lancashire, Preston is one of the largest and most important commercial cities in the North West attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
Its history dates back to the Domesday Book and more specifically to 1179 when a Royal Charter was granted, which gave Preston the right to hold a Guild Merchant every 20 years, with the next one planned for 2012.
Preston is about to embark on a major regeneration plan worth in excess of £1.8 billion transforming the city into a major player in the North West economy. It has an enviable location and is strategically placed at the very heart of Lancashire’s business and transport networks – with Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake District all within an hour’s journey. The University of Central Lancashire is located immediately adjacent to the city centre and is one of the fastest growing universities in the UK.
The city’s Docklands area has also expanded its mix of redevelopment uses, including further quality office units and a planned £25 million development of high class offices and luxury apartments on the last key waterfront site at the dock entrance. Another major project planned for Preston is the £650 million Riverworks programme that aims to offer new residential and leisure facilities around the River Ribble, Riversway Docklands and the Lancaster Canal.
Preston city centre is an expanding sub-regional shopping centre, serving a hinterland with a population of around 450,000. Pedestrianisation and CCTV schemes, plus private sector investments, have dramatically enhanced the city’s shopping provision over recent years – including the £25 million extension of St George’s Shopping Centre and extensive refurbishment of The Mall. The Mall has also had £37 million expansion plans approved to create ‘FC2’. The city’s future is also set to be enhanced with the proposed £750 million Tithebarn Project which will dramatically boost its commercial, leisure, cultural and residential offering.
Linking the University of Central Lancashire to the heart of the city centre, Friargate blends a strong mix of independent and national retailers, traditional and modern pubs and clubs with a selection of chic coffee shops in a friendly and bustling atmosphere. The centre also offers both the student community and local citizens a friendly and relaxed atmosphere to socialise in.