Preston's Fishergate Centre and car park could be completely redeveloped as part of new "Station Quarter" plans complete with new Grade A offices and housing

A new vision for Preston city centre has been unveiled – and it signals major changes for a landmark shopping centre.

By Catherine Musgrove
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 4:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 8:34 am

Preston City Council has announced a draft Preston Station Quarter Regeneration Framework showing a completely new look for the area around the railway station, as well as the areas around the Fishergate Centre, County Hall and along Corporation Street to the university.

Although the council say “nothing is set in stone”, the stated development objectives include:

- A “comprehensive redevelopment” of the Fishergate Centre and existing surface car parks to form a “transformational city quarter”

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An artist's impression of how the new quarter might look

- The creation of a new public square near the station’s Butler Street entrance

- “Enhancements” of the station’s eastern entrance, potentially relocating ticketing facilities

- A “significant cluster” of Grade A office accomodation focused around the station entrance and residential uses towards the south

- New and enhanced pedestrian linkages connecting the station entrance, Fishergate, Winckley Square and parks (Avenham and Miller)

The objectives of the new Station Quarter plan

- An opportunity for “tall buildings” at the junction of Fishergate and Butler Street.

- Retention and refurbishment of the listed St Joseph’s Orphanage

- Creation of a Mobility Hub near the existing Cycle Hub at the station.

The Fishergate Centre

Gary Martin, group director of The Martin Group, which runs the Fishergate Centre, said: “As a landowner we seek to work in partnership with stakeholders and adjacent landowners where we can. We look forward to working with partners to support the regeneration of objectives set out in the SRF which we will be considering in detail during the consultation period”.

Management have not clarified how the plans will affect how the centre trades. The shopping centre’s largest tenant, Debenham’s, closed down in May.

Strategic Gateway

The scheme is looking to build upon the railway station as a “strategic gateway to the rest of Lancashire” and hopes to capitalise on the potential for Preston to be established as HS2 linked station.

>>>Here’s how many jobs could be created is HS2 comes to Preston.

It is also hoped the project will help retain existing private and Government-sector occupiers, attract new businesses and “provide a welcoming gateway to the city centre which does not currently exist”.

Earlier this month, Lancashire County Council made a bid for Preston’s Station Quarter to house the headquarters of the newly-created public body Great British Railways.

>>>Click here to read more about the Great British Railways bid

Feedback

People are now being asked to give their feedback on the draft.

City Councillor David Borrow said: “This draft framework outlines huge potential for this major gateway to Preston, with an aim to create civic spaces, jobs and city centre living.

"Key working partnerships with Lancashire County Council, UCLan and stakeholders, creates broader opportunities for Preston and allows greater regeneration in the city centre.

"I encourage as many people as possible to give their feedback, to help shape the future of the Station Gateway to make our city more accessible and inviting to residents, visitors and commuters.”

County Councillor Aidy Riggott said: "This is a major gateway into the city, and one which has significant potential to generate new jobs, prosperity and provide space for quality new homes.

"As well as driving economic growth in Preston, due to its excellent connectivity for rail and bus services, these new opportunities will also be accessible to people and businesses elsewhere in the county."

To view and comment on the framework, visit: www.investprestoncity.com/stationgateway