£13m Preston development gets green light

An ambitious £13m plan to regenerate Preston's Friargate area has been given the go-ahead by city planners.

Preston FriargateWork will now start by the end of the year to transform run down shops and buildings on the historic city centre street into modern retail units and boutique accommodation for students at the University of Central Lancashire.

It will be the largest construction project in the city and the company behind it, Cheshire-based Portergate, believes it will play a major role in reviving the area – as well as creating much-needed local employment in the building sector.

Councillors have given the go ahead  to create 261 student bedrooms and modern retail units on Friargate. The accommodation, including six one-bedroom studios, will be in 62 clusters.

The apartments will also be aimed at post-graduate students and apprentices working in the city’s high-tech manufacturing sector and its new Enterprise Zone.

Anthony Jackson, chairman of Portergate, said: “We will play a major role in transforming the fortunes of the Friargate area and this development will encourage further investment. “This is a major construction project for Preston and that has to be good news for the city and the building industry in the area and can spark a wider regeneration of Preston if others follow our lead.”