Launch for Completed £3.4 million Fishergate Central Gateway Project

21 October 2014

Council chiefs came together today to celebrate the completion of works on the £3.4 million Fishergate Central Gateway Project.

The project, funded by £1.38m from the European Regional Development Fund and £2m from Lancashire County Council, aimed to improve key gateways into the city.

By creating a more pedestrian-friendly and attractive city centre, less dominated by cars, the project will attract more commercial investment and boost growth in the area.

Now that work on the project has been completed, highways chiefs at Lancashire County Council are reminding motorists that there is no on-road or pavement parking on Fishergate or Corporati! on Street. And motorists who park on the new pavements can expect a £70 fixed penalty charge.

County Councillor John Fillis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

"This project represents the most significant investment in Preston's city centre in a generation and it has completely transformed Fishergate. The result is a much more attractive environment, which is already attracting new business to the city.

"I'm proud to see the new Sainsbury's here and look forward to welcoming Tesco in due course. I'm confident that they will be the first of many businesses to choose to come to Preston's city centre and I'm sure the project will bring a boost to existing companies.

"I'd like to thank people for their patience while works were completed. We always knew that a degree of disruption was unavoidable but I am glad that we were able to keep Fishergate open throughout a complex building project. We will be able to bring that experience to bear as we get started next year on the second, £6m phase which will extend the improvements through to the bus station.

"Having created this attractive, open environment, I'd like to reassure people that we will not tolerate thoughtless people spoiling it by parking on the pavements. We have created allocated bays for loading and unloading for Fishergate's businesses and anyone not using them for that purpose or parking outside one of these bays will be liable to a £70 fixed penalty charge."

Councillor John Swindells, Deputy Leader of Preston City Council, said: "The new tree-lined Fishergate, with its wide pavements and contemporary, clutter-free spaces is a huge improvement. It is a much more attractive place to spend time as a pedestrian and I'm sure that it will be a real boost for the commercial heart of Preston.

"Preston plays a key role in Lancashire's economy so new jobs and investment have a positive impact on the rest of the county. Transforming Fishergate is the first phase of a longer term strategy that we're working on with Lancashire County Council to develop the city centre and surrounding area."

Ben Hamilton-Baillie, international expert on shared space schemes and a consultant on the Fishergate scheme, said: "Like all towns and cities, Preston needs renewal and regeneration to take advantage of new business opportunities and the growth of the university. To attract people and money, the public realm has to be attractive. Over the years the accumulated clutter of signs, signals and markings have not been kind to Preston’s streetscapes. The recently completed renewal of Fishergate and the surroundings of the railway station represent a bold and determined first step by Lancashire County Council and its partners to put this right.

"The new street designs provide a fresh and distinctive palette for the City, to create low-speed, attractive streets and spaces that can accommodate traffic whilst attracting more pedestrian and cycle activity. The scheme introduces a new era for Preston, one based on shared space and civility."

The aims of the Fishergate Central Gateway project were 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.

A related £250,000 project to improve Preston Station forecourt, joint funded by Lancashire County Council and Virgin Trains, will see the front entrance open again on 27 October.

The Fishergate Central Gateway Project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.

For more information visit [ ERDF regional guidance north west]

For further information please contact: Andy Swain on 01772 532781
[email protected]

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