Work to begin on £3.4m Preston plan

Improvements to Preston’s infrastructure will begin on Friday with a view to encouraging increased inward investment into the city.

The main areas involved will be the stretch from Preston railway station up Fishergate as far as Lune Street, and Corporation Street from the junction with Ringway up to Fishergate and along Ringway to the Friargate crossing. This second approach leads to the UCLan campus and Preston's central business district.

Lancashire County Council has received £1.38m from the European Regional Development Fund towards the Fishergate Central Gateway project and will itself contribute a further £2m to the project.

The council said the vision for the project is to use a variety of measures to create areas that are less dominated by traffic and friendlier for pedestrians. It will reduce traffic flow in the hope of creating a more attractive, less cluttered, "shared space", with fewer barriers and better pedestrian links between key parts of the city centre.

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Preston is a very important part of the Lancashire economy. Creating jobs and bringing money into the city has a very positive impact on the rest of the county.

“We're obviously delighted that we've been able to bring this ERDF money to Lancashire. This is the first stage of this project, which will develop a long-term strategy to deliver economic growth to Preston City Centre. “By improving the city centre, we believe that the Fishergate Central Gateway Project will help to bring forward potential commercial development sites. According to estimates, this could boost the Lancashire economy by more than £90m, which is why we are supporting the project with £2m from the county council's own funds.”