Council seeks input on Friargate improvements

By Tim Aldred

22 Dec 2023

Preston Friargate

A public consultation has been launched for a scheme that will improve the public realm along one of Preston’s main retail thoroughfares.

Business owners, landlords and the general public are being invited to comment on the improvement scheme that is anticipated to start on Friargate South in Autumn 2024.

The scheme is being delivered with funding secured through Preston’s £20m Active Preston Levelling Up Fund Programme. It will be delivered by Preston City Council, working in partnership with Eric Wright Civil Engineering.

To support a package of Active Travel schemes being delivered under this Levelling Up Programme, Lancashire County Council has allocated in principle £1m match funding from its Levelling Up Investment Fund.

The improvements are designed to encourage cycle and pedestrian movement through Friargate South (between the Flag Market and Ringway), Cheapside and Orchard Street and connect with the public realm improvements that have already taken place on Fishergate, Friargate North and the Market Hall, as well as planned improvements under the Towns Fund-supported Illuminate and Integrate Scheme.

A design for Orchard Street has been included in the development plans however, funds are not currently in place for implementing the proposals for Orchard Street. If funds are secured, this element of the scheme will also be brought forward. The design proposals for both Friargate South and Orchard Street are therefore being consulted upon.

The works will continue to improve the street scene in the city centre, making the city more people-friendly, encouraging active travel with new cycle paths that link to the rest of the cycle network.

Councillor Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, said: "There have been a number of proposals to improve pavements, lighting and safety throughout the city centre and the Fishergate South Scheme is the missing piece of the puzzle.

“The works that will include new pavements, cycle paths, seating, trees and landscaping, will tie in with what has already been achieved in other areas of the city centre, providing better links with the Harris Quarter and the University of Central Lancashire campus, as well as other existing pedestrian and cycle networks in the city.

"It will also make the area more attractive to encourage new retail outlets to the area and fits in with our plans for cultural enrichment and diversity of leisure and entertainment in the central hub.”

County coun Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth at Lancashire County Council, said: "These plans are another great example of joined up partnership working that help us to realise Lancashire’s economic and regeneration ambitions. We can level up our county by improving our local public realm and delivering active travel networks that better serve and connect local communities."

Further information and the online consultation can be found at www.preston.gov.uk/consultations and is live until Sunday 21 January 2024.

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