Preston city centre road to close as shared space branches out

Cannon Street

Cannon Street

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A street in the centre of Preston is to be given a new look, with another shared space linking to the controversial Fishergate scheme.

Cannon Street is to be given a facelift, in a bid to appeal more to shoppers and businesses.

Because of the narrow width of the street, which is part of the Winckley Square Conservation Area, the pavements and road will be replaced with a single surface.

Bosses behind the project say it will create more space for pedestrians, making it easier for people especially those with wheelchairs and pushchairs, and encouraging motorists to slow down and give way along the road.

Cannon Street is one way from Cross Street to Fishergate and ‘access-only’ for motor vehicles, including motorbikes - with very low traffic levels on the road.

Funding for the work has been brought together by Lancashire County Council with contributions from City Deal, Preston Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) - as a part of the Winckley Square Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

The THI bid to the HLF in 2014, with £945,000 awarded.

Highways bosses say the new natural stone on Cannon Street is anticipated to increase footfall, attract new customers and “emphasise the area’s heritage”.

Work is set to start in the week beginning February 16 and is expected to take about 10 weeks, with the road closed to vehicles in that time.

Contractors have been in contact with businesses about deliveries during the work.

County Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Once completed, it’s hoped that these improvements will provide a major boost for shops and businesses based on Cannon Street.

“The refurbishment of Fishergate has attracted new businesses and resulted in higher footfall, so we’re aiming for a similar economic boost.

“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused while this work is carried out.”

Coun John Swindells, deputy leader of Preston Council, said: “This is another fantastic element of the city centre regeneration and we are pleased to be working alongside Lancashire County Council to achieve this through our City Deal partnership with them and South Ribble.”

As part of the project, grants are being provided to repair and reinstate shop fronts with original features.

The HLF is encouraging proposals to recreate Georgian or Victorian shop frontages using traditional materials and colour schemes. The plans also aim to bring vacant space back into use.

Preston Council is creating a design document, to provide guidelines on how to improve the look of shop frontages.