Work begins on £18m regeneration project in Preston

Work is set to start on a £18m regeneration project which will transform the Friargate area of Preston following the appointment of the construction company which won the contract to turn the vision into reality.

Friargate sketchPortergate Properties has appointed long-established Preston-based builder the Eric Wright Group to deliver the ambitious mixed-use development.

The appointment follows Portergate’s pledge to utilise the skills of as many local companies as possible on the landmark scheme, which will be the biggest building project in the city.

The transformation of the strategic, but run-down 1.5 acre site will bring two new retail premises and the creation of a 253 bedroomed building aimed at providing boutique hotel-style accommodation to students at the nearby University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Part of that high-quality accommodation on offer is also aimed at post graduate students at the university and apprentices and key workers in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and new Enterprise Zone.

Portergate, which already offers hotel-class student accommodation in Salford and has plans to roll its concept out across the North West, believes the Friargate scheme will play a major role in reviving the area.

Eric Wright Group’s Construction Division has been appointed to the scheme and plans to start demolition work on the site in late autumn. The whole project will take 12-14 months to deliver.

Eric Wright is a leading construction and civil engineering group with a strong track record of delivery in high-profile development projects.

John Wilson, managing director of Eric Wright Construction, said: ““Portergate has done an amazing job in moving this development forward and we can’t wait to get started to turn their vision into reality. The development on Friargate is a great site and will be high quality, well-designed buildings that will play a big part in the regeneration of that quarter of the city." At the height of the building project around 200 workers will be employed on the Friargate development site.