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Preston City Centre Public Realm Improvement Projects

The physical transformation of Preston City Centre is already underway. Creating better places for people to live, work and enjoy through investment in public realm can be the catalyst which sparks regeneration and supports existing business.

Reducing car use and increasing other methods of transport infographic

The aims of the public realm improvement projects are to continue the physical transformation of the city centre to create great streets and spaces, which can help to add value to places, businesses, and homes, whilst contributing to a thriving city and reducing the necessity for private car-use in getting to/from the city centre.

These projects will also work towards achieving one of the key priorities in the city's overarching City Investment Plan in terms of achieving a step change in sustainable movement and accessibility in the city.

Transforming Cities Fund

In March 2020, Lancashire County Council was granted £40m from the Transforming Cities Fund to invest in public and sustainable transport and connectivity projects across Preston.

The funding is set to be used to support improvements in the city to promote public transport and encourage more people to engage in active travel in the form of walking and cycling.

For more information on the successful bid visit Lancashire County Council - Transforming Cities.

Current and recently completed projects

The following information gives an overview of current and recently completed public realm improvement projects taking place across Preston City Centre:

Transforming Friargate South (planned start date - Autumn 2024)

Friargate South Project aerial image

Following successful funding from 'Active Preston' Levelling Up Fund Programme, the proposed Friargate South and Orchard Street schemes present an exciting opportunity to further improve the street scene across the city centre, improving the public realm and a sustainable transport network, to encourage regeneration.

For more details on the project see Transforming Friargate South.

Transforming Ringway and Friargate North (ongoing)

Ringway transformation aerial view

As part of the successful bid for Transforming Cities Funding, Lancashire County Council has allocated £15 million of this award to Transforming Friargate North and Ring Way. The funding will also be used towards a range of complementary improvements in and around the city to promote public transport, walking and cycling, enabling more people to leave the car at home.

For more details on the project see Transforming Ringway and Friargate North.

Fishergate public realm improvements (complete)

Fishergate public realm aerial view

The project, funded by £1.38 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £2 million from Lancashire County Council, aimed to improve two of the key approaches to Preston City Centre. The main areas involved were the stretch from Preston railway station up Fishergate as far as Lune Street, Corporation Street from the junction with Ringway up to Fishergate, and along Ringway to the Friargate crossing.

Preston's new look city centre is now a 'shared space' where pedestrians and vehicles have equal priority with less clutter, more space and no traffic lights. 

For more details on the project see Fishergate public realm investment.

Canon Street public realm improvements (complete)

Cannon Street post refurbishments

Originally a one-way street with vehicles travelling uphill between narrow pavements, the public realm in the Cannon Street area underwent significant transformation into a new shared space as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Tired old tarmac road and concrete slab pavement were replaced with natural stone blocks and cobbles. The improvements also made a clear link between Fishergate, the main shopping high street, and Cannon Street, helping to draw people down off the main street into this attractive quieter area.

This shared space now allows vehicle movement whilst providing visitors with a spacious welcoming layout and quality outdoor environment for cafes to spill out in front of the shopfronts along the street.

Investment and development opportunities 

If you are an investor or developer interested in finding out more about current investment and development opportunities within Preston City Centre please contact Invest@preston.gov.uk