Town Hall approval for £1.2m square makeover

Artist's impression of how the Winckley Square Gardens project could look
Artist's impression of how the Winckley Square Gardens project could look
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A major project to transform Preston’s historic Winckley Square Gardens is to go ahead after Town Hall bosses rubber stamped the plans.

It was revealed earlier this year that a funding bid had been approved for the £1.2m makeover, including better drainage, the restoration of original railings and improved footpaths.

Now councillors have given the green light to the revamp scheme, meaning it will be implemented over the next three years to create a “vibrant area of events and activities”.

The project, led by a partnership between the council, Groundwork and the Winckley Square Community Interest Company, was given a stage two pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) after a successful application.

Coun John Swindells, Preston Council’s deputy leader, said: “It’s one of the final pieces of work necessary, one final document that will have to go to the HLF to free up the money for work to start on this.

“Hopefully, in the new year, spades will actually go in the ground. This partnership with the Community Interest Company is one of the best examples of partnership working we could ever wish to see.”

A group of local historians, who helped derail controversial plans for the garden in 2009, have also played a lead role in the new designs.
Coun Swindells said: “They came together with Lancashire County Council and the parks department to try to come up with a scheme that would be fitting. People have given hours and hours of time for the people of Preston, to make what is a great park now even better.

“This is going to be a great asset for Preston for years to come.”

Councillors voted to approve the scheme at last week’s full council meeting.