A vision to create a Northern Quarter-style living boom in Preston city centre is being launched today.
Preston’s City Living Prospectus – outlining key opportunities available to developers and investors – will be unveiled to a national and regional audience at the Harris Museum.
Preston’s leaders are aiming for a new wave of high quality residential development across the city centre which would be divided into six distinct districts.
For the first time, all major public sector partners are coming together for the purpose of promoting the city as “an attractive affordable alternative to Manchester and Liverpool”.
Chris Hayward, director of development for Preston Council, said: “We want to see the homes built for the people who want to live in the beating heart of the city and live, work and play in Preston.”
Chris Hayward, director of development for Preston City Council said: “We are committed to delivering a step change in our residential offer and we are in a strong position to support developers who share our vision.
“Our city is full of opportunities for investors and we are already seeing major public/private initiatives taking place in the hotel and leisure sectors.
“We want to see the homes built for the people who want to live in the beating heart of the city and live, work and play in Preston.
“We will work with developers to support new investment in the city and help them access public and private sector finance opportunities.
“In terms of planning, Preston City Council and its partners have established a clear strategy to enable City Living to move quickly forward.
“We recognise the value of our architectural and heritage assets and open space and we want these to be the catalyst for high quality residential development.”
Global real estate experts Cushman and Wakefield have produced a prospectus for the launch, showcasing the city centre’s attributes and opportunities.
The firm is now advising Preston Council on how to successfully deliver the kind of new homes people will want to buy, rent and live in.
Caroline Baker, partner of Cushman and Wakefield in Manchester and the author behind the City Living Prospectus, said: “We have advised a number of cities, including Manchester, on the critical factors for creating a platform for residential investment.
“Manchester became the success it is today because of the public sector setting its vision and working hard to deliver it.
“The institutional investors bought into the vision and momentum has now been achieved. However, the initial impetus to build a vibrant city centre was underpinned by public sector vision, determination and public sector funding.
“Preston has enormous advantages – fantastic green spaces and parks, quality and improving public realm, beautiful historic buildings – and the intention of the public sector is to try to make development viable to drive the residential market and kick-start a city living boom.”
Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and the Homes and Communities Agency are all signed up to make residential development viable for land and building owners, developers and investors who are looking at residential development in Preston city centre.
Nigel Roberts at Preston Council is responsible for delivering the City Living Strategy.
He said: “We have identified a number of existing sites that are ready to be developed and will continue to work with partners, public and private, to ensure there is an appropriate pipeline of opportunities to support our aspirations.
“We have land and will work with partners to ensure funding resources are in place and we are committed to using our statutory powers to unlock stalled sites where required.
“Developers and investors can also use us to access detailed analysis of the market to support our aspirations.
“Our existing stock and opportunity sites provide scope for a wide range of residential investment opportunities for sale or rent, private and social, houses and apartments, new builds and conversions.
“Preston can offer an attractive affordable alternative to Manchester and Liverpool, a compact vibrant city well connected to employment and leisure opportunities.”