£3.5m loft apartments project in Preston should be a 'catalyst for massive investment in the city'

A £3.5m project to create loft apartments in a former Preston warehouse should be a catalyst for massive investment in the city centre, say business experts.

Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 8:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 9:10 am
The eye-catching sign outside the new development
The eye-catching sign outside the new development

Work is under way on Etc Urban’s first project, The Union Lofts, converting a Victorian warehouse on Guildhall Street.

A large banner recently installed covers the entire scaffolding of the building with the message “Think BIG!

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership director Jim Carter said: “A key element of the Preston City Living Strategy is to see more schemes coming forward which convert historic buildings into quality residential accommodation. This process has already helped to transform the centres of other Northern cities, such as Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield, and has revitalised both the day and night-time economies of these places as a result.

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The eye-catching sign outside the new development

“We are therefore delighted that through the LEP’s Growing Places Investment Fund we have been able to help kick-start the restoration of an important commercial building in Preston from the Victorian era and give it a new use.

“Warehouse conversions such as Etc Urban’s project at Guildhall Street can also act as a catalyst for further regeneration and residential projects, helping to dive economic growth and create jobs in and around Preston’s city centre.”

Designer Ben Casey, a director of Etc Urban, said: “The spacious apartments in an authentic warehouse conversion at the Union Lofts, with their exposed brickwork and wooden trusses are, perhaps, something you might only expect to find in larger cities.”

Fellow director, Neil Thornton, said: “Preston needs to adapt quickly to the demise of the retail dominated high street.

Victorian warehouse on Guildhall Street

“City Living is a strategy that promotes new quality residential projects bringing new life to old neighbourhoods and supporting new restaurants, bars, hotels and places of entertainment.”