University of Central Lancashire set to open shop in Preston city centre

Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott

Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott

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Preston’s university is branching out - into the high street.

The University of Central Lancashire is planning to open a city centre shop providing a weekly menu of services and activities for the general public.

An exterior shot of the planned site of UCLan's In The City shop

An exterior shot of the planned site of UCLan's In The City shop

It is all part of the institution’s plan to strengthen its links with the local community.

The university is taking over a former building society premises in Lune Street for the new shop, In The City, which is set to open by the end of March.

Currently empty, the premises will undergo a refurbishment over the next few weeks.

It will host both UCLan-led and community group activities such as exhibitions, health and wellbeing services, business and legal advice workshops and science clubs.

The shop’s activities will be published online in advance on a weekly basis with people being encouraged to send in their own proposals for possible events.

UCLan’s head of communications and engagement Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott is working on the initiative.

She said: “UCLan is committed to developing strong links and partnerships with the local community and our ‘In the City’ shop will be a melting pot for new ideas and initiatives which can really drive our city forward.

The new facility will be open-access and most sessions will be run free of charge.”

Suggestions so far in the running include first aid workshops provided by the UCLan School of Nursing, a Saturday morning children’s science club run by the UCLan and Royal Institution Young Scientist Centre and live literature projects such as storytelling and creative writing events.

People can also call in to find out more about UCLan courses and take part in drop-in taster sessions.

Anyone wanting to know more about the initiative or wanting to propose a workshop idea can contact the In the City shop team at InTheCity@uclan.ac.uk