£1.2m funding for Preston’s Winckley Square given the go ahead

Winckley Square visuals - ellipse area

Winckley Square visuals - ellipse area

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A £1.2m project to breathe new life into Preston’s historic Winckley Square Gardens will go ahead after a funding bid was approved.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund have today announced almost £950,000 has been granted for the restoration project.

We’re delighted to see so much hard work come to fruition. We started this campaign because we felt Winckley Square was in danger of permanent decline.

David Gill

The news comes four years after a campaign to renovate the gardens was launched by the Winckley Square Community Interest Company. The project, which is also receiving funds from Preston’s Business Improvement District, will enable a “sympathetic restoration” of the gardens to get underway as early as 2016.

The transformation will include the restoration of the Robert Peel statue, work to resolve flooding issues, new lighting, creating a social space, historical reference points and more.

David Gill, chairman and a co-founder of the WSCIC, said: “We’re delighted to see so much hard work come to fruition. We started this campaign because we felt Winckley Square was in danger of permanent decline.

“By the community coming together we have managed to create and fund an exciting new future for everyone connected with the square. I’m sure everyone connected with Preston can’t wait to see this sympathetic, yet transformational restoration come alive.”

The campaign to renovate the Gardens started in 2011 when six local professionals started the WSCIC.

Andrew Darron, executive director at designers Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside, said: “We’re over the moon at this announcement. Winckley Square is such an iconic part of Preston’s landscape, and to have the city put its faith in our team to plan its future has been a privilege for us.

“The way in which the local businesses have come together to drive this project forward has been an inspiration.”