Vision to improve Preston city centre reaches next stage

Shop fronts that enhance the character of the buildings - like this one -  in Preston are being encouraged
Shop fronts that enhance the character of the buildings - like this one - in Preston are being encouraged

Guidelines to shape the future look of Preston city centre will be discussed by council bosses this month.

The supplementary planning document (SPD), laying a blueprint for shop-fronts and designs has completed its public consultation phase.

It will be considered by the town hall’s ruling cabinet and could be adopted in early 2018.

The SPD outlines how business owners will be encouraged to have such things as quirky hanging signs, eye-catching title boards and continental-style canopies.

Meanwhile, over-sized signs, cumbersome security shutters and garish colours will be discouraged from planning applications.

Coun Moss, planning and regulation cabinet member, has previously told the Lancashire Post: “This document will help set out our vision for our city. It will mean developers know what we’re looking for.”

The consultation, run earlier this year, was sent to more than 200 companies, firms and consultants in addition to councillors, parish councils and members of the public were asked to contribute via the council’s website.

The report, which recommends cabinet members approve the SPD, says the majority of the responses were supportive of its aims to improve the city centre.

As a result of business owners enquiring as to whether any funding is available to help improvement works, the document includes details of available loan schemes.

It reads: “A coordinated approach to shop-front design will enhance the appearance of the built environment and help to provide an effective marketing tool for promoting the historic parts of the city to visitors and investors alike.”