Five reasons we love our Preston
After a report named Preston the best city to live and work in north-west England - we look at the best things about the place.
Preston incredibly beat off competition from Manchester and Liverpool according to an annual assessment of the UK’s largest cities but what makes us so special?
Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and thinktank Demos, who published the index, scored the city highly for jobs and business start-ups.
And Peter Rankin, leader of Preston council, believes Preston’s location and its cheap houses were the secret behind the success story.
“In the past we have been a bit shy about our achievements, almost under-marketing ourselves,” he said. “But we are rapidly catching up and we are following in the footsteps of Manchester who are very good at overselling themselves.”
Less than an hour’s drive from the beautiful countryside of The Lakes District and a similar distance from Manchester and Liverpool, Preston could be considered an ideal hub to base yourself.
London can be reached in just over two hours and with more than 17,000 homes being built across the city, Preston is only getting bigger and a more popular place to be.
2: Preston Bus Station
Opening as the biggest bus station in Europe in 1969, Historic England says it is to this day “a little-altered and remarkably good example of integrated 1960s traffic planning that still functions as originally intended.”
The station is still said to be the second biggest in Europe and despite being threatened with demolition by the council, it was saved and given listed status in 2013.
It was after residents petitioned to save the long-standing depo and a campaigner’s survey showed 80 per cent of the city felt attached to it. Now it could be set for a multi-million pound revamp although plans have seen concerns raised by conservationists.
3: Preston North End
Founded in 1863 and now affectionately known as PNE, the Deepdale-based side was a founding member of the Football League and completed the inaugural season unbeaten to become the first league champions in 1988-89.
The club also won the FA Cup that season without conceding a goal to become the first club to achieve the English football ‘double’. Preston’s unbeaten League and Cup season earned them the nickname ‘The Invincibles’. The club has gone to win their division a further seven times as well as another FA Cup success in 1938.
Deepdale was also home to one of the game’s greatest ever players in Sir Tom Finney, who scored 210 goals from 473 appearances. His statue still proudly stands outside the ground.
Now in the Championship with Simon Grayson at the helm, the club are enjoying a purple patch having lost only one of their last eight in the league, winning five.
4: Avenham and Miller Parks
The picturesque park located just off the city centre has won several awards for its beauty. As recently as June, it was awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, meaning it had been given consistently great reviews and ratings.
In the heart of the city, the park is home 5k and 10k runs and offers a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life just yards away from the main street.
5: The Guild Hall
Built in 1973, it has been host to some of the most iconic performers and artists across the world. Led Zeppelin, Cliff Richard (left), David Bowie, the Jackson 5 and Thin Lizzy are just some in a long line of famous acts to have graced the Grand Hall.
To this day, high-profile bands and comedians still take the stage with comedian Sean Lock and 70s group Boney M both performing before Christmas.