Leyland and Preston allocated regeneration funding

A pair of Lancashire towns has been allocated multi-million-pound funding pots by the government in this year's Spring Budget.

The money comes from the Towns Fund and has been granted to successful applicants who submitted bids in 2020.

Leyland is to receive up to £25m to invest in town centre improvements including a new public square, improvements to Leyland Market and the development of BASE2 – a business hub for skills, events and workspaces.

The bid was developed by Leyland Town Board, which is made up of local and regional businesses and stakeholders including Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Maple Grove Developments, Stonecreate, Job Centre Plus, UCLAN and Runshaw College. The board is supported by South Ribble Borough Council and is chaired by Jennifer Gadsdon of Birchall Blackburn Law.

Jennifer Gadsdon said: "It is brilliant news for Leyland. The funding will allow the improvement plan to become a reality and help to address the economic growth potential with a focus on digital connectivity, skills, enterprise and improved transport links."

Preston has been awarded £20.9m to support redevelopment projects highlighted within the new Preston City Investment Plan (CIP) which sets out a 15-year vision and strategy to transform the city centre.

The sum includes the £1m Preston had already secured from the Towns Fund for its Harris Quarter Pop-Ups project which is aimed at attracting more residents and visitors into the city centre. The Harris Quarter includes the buildings, public spaces and streets surrounding The Harris Museum, Preston Markets, The Guild Hall and the bus station.

Plans to create a Preston Youth Zone have also been revived after previously being shelved.

John Chesworth, chair of the Preston Towns Fund board, said: "This money from the Towns Fund is fantastic news for our city. The City Investment Plan that underpins this funding sets out a 15-year vision for improving the city centre to attract more residents, workers, students, visitors, and investors, making it a more inclusive location for everyone.

"The projects within the plan will not just regenerate buildings and public spaces, they will strengthen our leisure and cultural offering, creating jobs and economic growth. They will enable the city centre to have a thriving day and night-time economy which will be vital in the years ahead."