Work set to start on £18m Friargate project

Vision: An impression of how the development will look
Vision: An impression of how the development will look
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Work is set to start on a £18 million regeneration project which will transform the Friargate area of Preston.

Portergate Properties has appointed long-established Preston-based builder the Eric Wright Group to deliver the ambitious mixed-use development.

The appointment follows Portergate’s pledge to utilise the skills of as many local companies as possible on the landmark scheme.

The transformation of the strategic, but run-down 1.5 acre site will bring two new retail premises and the creation of a 253 bedroom building aimed at providing boutique hotel-style accommodation to students at the nearby University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Part of that high-quality accommodation on offer is also aimed at post-graduate students at the university and apprentices and key workers in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and new Enterprise Zone.

The Eric Wright Group’s Construction Division has been appointed to the scheme and plans to start demolition work on the site in late autumn.

The whole project will take 12-14 months to deliver.

Anthony Jackson, chairman of Portergate Properties, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Eric Wright Construction to deliver our vision for Friargate.

“The appointment underlines our commitment to utilising the skills of local companies wherever possible during the construction work, helping to create and secure local jobs in the sector.

“That is very important to us as a North West company.

“This will be the biggest building project in Preston and the development will play a key role in our continued expansion plans in the North West.”

John Wilson, managing director of Eric Wright Construction, said: “The fact we have been appointed to such a high-profile scheme in our home city is fantastic news.

“Portergate has done an amazing job in moving this development forward and we can’t wait to get started.”

Up to 200 workers will be employed on the Friargate development site.

The development plan has been created by architects Leach Rhodes Walker.