The Winckley Square Community Interest Company is welcoming almost £1million to be invested on Winckley Square by Preston City Council.
It will become the latest part of Preston to see regeneration after Preston City Council received initial support for a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The council and partners have also been awarded development funding of £41,664 to progress plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
According to Preston City Council, the scheme will look to deliver the following:
– The enhancement of townscape quality through the repair and refurbishment of key groups of buildings to support an attractive environment for commercial investment.
– Bring vacant floor space back into use to provide modern high quality commercial, office and leisure accommodation.
– Develop a partnership with property owners, businesses and the wider community to secure a sustainable future for the area.
– Works to the public realm to enhance the area’s historic streetscape.
– Training in heritage skills for contractors, property owners and others involved in the management of the historic environment.
Planners at Preston City Council will now work with partner organisations including Preston BID and Lancashire County Council to develop detailed plans to apply for a full grant later in the year.
Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “This is fantastic news so soon after the announcement of improvements to Fishergate.
“Bringing existing buildings back into use will restore the historical feature of the square but also create new business opportunities and residential space.
“I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund who have been so supportive of Preston in the past and who continue to be so; as well as partners who have supported the bid.”
Simon Turner, director of the Winckley Square Community Interest Community, said: “The WSCIC has supported Preston City Council throughout the process so we are delighted with the news.
“It was important that the HLF backed this initiative as not only will it help bring some buildings back into use but it will give the area a much needed confidence boost. Hopefully it can act as a catalyst for further improvements.
“College House is a prominent site on the Square and bringing it back into use can bring both architectural and commercial benefits.
“It is a significant development in the ongoing revival of Winckley Square and the surrounding district. The timing is perfect as we work on our vision for the Winckley Square gardens.”
Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Winckley Square is one of this country’s finest Georgian squares and is set to play an integral part in Preston City Council’s ambitious plans to regenerate the city centre. This project is shaping up well with a good balance of residential, leisure, office and shop spaces within a much-loved historic setting.
“We’re delighted to have awarded initial support under our Townscape Heritage Initiative programme enabling the project to progress to the next stage of development.”