South Ribble’s £10m vision unveiled

A £10m vision has been revealed for South Ribble as part of the ground-breaking Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

city-dealBoasting a strong focus on enhancing the borough’s rural nature, the plan sets out South Ribble Borough Council’s ambitions for how the money will be spent over the next three years.

The proposed schedule will be considered by the City Deal Executive Board in April, with a further £8m to spend on similar projects after the initial three-year period.

A range of significant regeneration schemes for towns and villages across the borough are among the top priorities in the report to the council’s cabinet members.

Aspirations for the borough include improvement projects in the hearts of Bamber Bridge, Leyland, Penwortham and Lostock Hall. These would complement major public transport improvements which will take place throughout the area under the government-backed deal.

Investments in leisure and existing open spaces like Worden Park are proposed, along with the vision to create the huge new central parks.

Initial discussions have also taken place with businesses about adding more gateway features at prominent sites in South Ribble, like the popular Centurion Tank and ‘Norma’ the fire engine.

South Ribble Borough Council has already committed £50m over the next decade to the City Deal pot. This is an up-front commitment against money set to be gained through the development process during that time.

This will enable roads and other amenities to be put in place earlier, unlocking the development potential of the sites identified previously in the local plan.

The City Deal Executive Board is made up of the leaders of South Ribble, Preston and Lancashire County Councils, and it is chaired by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. Progress has already been made on some projects, while further work would be needed to scope and plan new initiatives if the proposals were adopted by the board.

Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, councillor Margaret Smith, said: “This sets out our ambitions for the borough and how we want to manage its growth in a coordinated way. “We will be delighted to welcome new businesses, residents and community improvements, and we must do so while ensuring that we enhance South Ribble as a top class place to live, work and do business. That is why there is a lot of emphasis on parks, leisure and urban centre regeneration: we want our communities to benefit from the long-term gains which will far outweigh any short-term disruption like road works."