Debate: Developing Central Lancashire

Preston and Central Lancashire are on the up, driven by major investment and regeneration projects including the City Deal. We brought our panel to Slater + Gordon in the city to gauge their thoughts on how it can build on the momentum.

What does Preston and Central Lancashire have to offer investors and developers?

Lorraine Norris:

The City Deal is underway with its £434m investment. We’ve got ambition as well and quality of life. There is an all-round package to attract developers. It’s got something to offer in terms of commercial and housing development and eventually we will see more city living and more office space.

Michael Conlon: It’s also the fact there are so many skills here. We’ve got fantastic skills at Samlesbury and Warton that are attracting people to enterprise zones.

There’s also the cultural side of things which is starting to flower; the Harris Museum, events like Lancashire Encounter last year. It brings people in and is part of the uplift.

Mark Alexander: There is massive potential within Central Lancashire. You only have to look at the City Deal and what is projected. There is so much going on in terms of regeneration so for a firm coming into the area there is tremendous opportunity everywhere you look. Preston is a sleeping giant; it has been for a long time. It has been in the doldrums following Tithebarn, which in terms of what was actually needed didn’t really fit. What is on the table now is far more sustainable and far more appropriate for what the local economy needs.

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