Exclusive images showing a vision for the future of the Winckley Square area have been unveiled.
Stunning visuals have been released for the area that connects with Fishergate and Avenham and Miller Parks, including Winckley Square and neighbouring streets.
And project bosses are now asking for feedback from the public on the “sympathetic, simple, yet transformational” designs.
Images for the gardens, improvements to buildings and upgrades to public spaces have been published ahead of consultations at the Winckley Weekend, starting on Friday.
Two projects in the area have received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The £1.4m Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), led by Preston Council and Lancashire County Council, is hoped to bring buildings in and around the square into use and improve the appearance of surrounding streets.
The £1m Winckley Square futures project, led by Groundwork, the Winckley Square community interest company (CIC) and Preston Council, is intended to renovate the communal gardens space.
Paul Crowther, Winckley Square THI officer from Preston Council, said: “This is the first time people will get to see the new vision for the square and the area, and we really want to hear people’s views.
“It is exciting to see how the investment will improve the area and increase footfall and trade for the businesses located here.”
Architects’ impressions have been produced, showing revamped frontages of Cannon Street shops including timber shutters and new signs.
Mr Crowther added: “We are trying to introduce a palette of colours that is tasteful and still gives individuality to the owners.”
Nigel Roberts, Preston Council’s principal urban designer said: “It is trying to change the character of Cannon Street and trying to make it alternative and vibrant.
“There are a lot of independent traders and it’s about trying to create a high quality environment for them to thrive and get more people down the street.”
If funding is secured, work is hoped to start on Cannon Street from the end of this year, with work hoped to begin in the gardens at the end of next year, subject to approval.
Leaders hope to create “shared spaces” in the streets around the square.
Paul Dunne, public realm manager for Lancashire County Council said: “It is fantastic that we are starting to see more investment in Preston and this work will compliment the work we have been doing to improve the gateways into the city centre along Fishergate and Corporation Street.”
Simon Turner, a director of Winckley Square CIC, said: “The plans are sympathetic, simple, yet transformational.
“There is a lot of hard work skilfully going on behind the scenes by public bodies, the private sector, community and volunteer groups, and it’s great to see plans now taking shape.
“There is great belief that investment in the area can transform the Winckley Square area into a thriving conservation district and we must keep this momentum going and make sure these plans are delivered.”
Gethin Owens, principal landscape architect for Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan, said proposals for the gardens were focussed on a sympathetic design that interprets the squares “rich history”, as well as making it a more usable and accessible space.
He said: “There’s an opportunity for an open space to one side and a more informal seating area to the other side for people to come out from the offices.”
An online consultation has been set up at www.preston.gov.uk/winckleysquare.