A major project to improve cycling across Preston will help unlock the city’s ‘true economic potential’.
City leaders have today united to back a raft of projects as part of the landmark City Deal.
The work will see parts of the Guild Wheel resurfaced and a new cycling hub at the railway station, as well as other improvements, including a £2m cycle link.
Coun Peter Rankin, leader of Preston Council, said: “This is exactly what City Deal is all about – major investment in Preston’s transport and community infrastructure.
“This is game changing investment that’s creating new, sustainable communities and unlocking Preston’s true economic potential.
“New roads, new cycle ways, new homes, new business and thousands of new jobs are all on their way.
This is exactly what City Deal is all about – major investment in Preston’s transport and community infrastructure.Coun Peter Rankin
“It’s a hugely exciting time for Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire and we can just start to see now exactly how City Deal will benefit the city and surrounding areas.” Speaking about the investment in cycle ways across the city, Coun Rankin said: “It shows that we are very serious about cycling in Preston.
“We are endeavouring to improve cycling by providing more facilities and more cycle ways, to add to what’s already been done with the Guild Wheel.”
Town Hall chiefs are set to approve, in principle, cash allocations from the City Deal community infrastructure plan, to projects around the city.
A £2m cycle link and station cycle hub are among the schemes, which is set to be funded through Lancashire County Council, Network Rail and Virgin Rail, along with a £200,000 contribution from the community infrastructure plan.
County Coun Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We’re pleased that City Deal is bringing significant investment across Preston and South Ribble and transforming the area.
“Working with our partners, the county council is delivering major new infrastructure, as well as improving the areas where people live and work.
“We want to see thriving communities and these schemes will improve local areas, open up new job opportunities and make it easier for people to get around.
“This is already a great place to live and will get even better. We’re already seeing benefits coming directly from the work taking place for City Deal, with many more still to come.”
Projects earmarked for Preston include:
City Deal Cycling Strategy
The £45,000 project is hoped to allow new cycle infrastructure for the City Deal area, building on the legacy of schemes including the Guild Wheel.
It will set out a list of objectives for improving cycling across the zone.
A £30,000 contribution from the City Deal community infrastructure plan is proposed.
Guild Wheel upgrades/links
Blackpool Road/canal link (A)
A £100,000 project involving the surfacing of an off-road section of the Guild Wheel, to allow all year access between Blackpool Road and Lancaster Canal towpath.
£80,000 is proposed to be contributed from City Deal.
Bluebell Way alternative route (B)
This £60,000, City-Deal-funded project is to allow the delivery of the Bluebell Way alternative route section of the Guild Wheel before the development of the employment land at Preston East.
Watery Lane - Fishwick link (C)
The £50,000 project will allow for the resurfacing of Watery Lane, to provide a link for cyclists to access the Guild Wheel and Fishwick from the Inner East Preston area.
It links to the planned New Hall Lane corridor.
East Cliff cycle link/ Station cycle hub
A £2m project for a cycle link from South Ribble and Avenham and Miller Parks to the train station and city centre, including a new cycle hub at the station.
Work will include the replacement of the East Cliff Bailey Bridge with a new permanent bridge, which will open up access from the parks to the station.
A £200,000 contribution from City Deal is proposed.
Winckley Square Gardens
The £1.233m project is set to restore and enhance the gardens.
It is being delivered through the Heritage Lottery Fund in partnership with the Winckley Square Community Interest Company, Groundwork and the community.
A £30,000 contribution from the City deal community infrastructure plan is proposed.
A total of £25,000, with a £12,500 contribution from City Deal, is set to be spent developing a masterplan to establish a “vision and framework” for the housing-led regeneration of the area.
It would then form the basis for planning guidance for the area.
Bosses say it will allow a “co-ordinated approach” to the area’s regeneration.
Preston Council and Lancashire County Council are planning to work together on an “enhanced cultural facility”.
The £165,000 project, with a £45,000 City Deal boost, proposes a new management structure and improvements to the building.
Funding for initial work has been secured from the Arts Council England.
Expanded City Cultural Development Programme
A three-year-project of artist-led research, artwork and debates are set to be delivered by the In Certain Spaces group.
Expected to cost about £447,000, with £150,000 from City Deal, it is set to look at the characteristics of places on the edge of Preston, as well as the challenges faced by their residents.
It will have an emphasis on mobility, access to culture, and the implications of large scale housing developments planned for the site.
It is set to take place in North West Preston, North East Preston and Preston city centre.
A £30,000 project is set to be launched for drainage improvements to the football pitch, which is unplayable for most of the season because of poor drainage.
£25,000 is proposed to be contributed from City Deal.