Public consultation for Preston’s Markets quarter development

1 April 2016

Ambitious plans for the next phase of Preston’s Market Quarter are moving forward, with the announcement of public consultation into the scheme.

Bringing £50m of new investment into the City Centre, the plans comprise a new 11 screen cinema with a large format experience screen, 7 family restaurant units and a new replacement multi-storey car park (593 spaces). 

The scheme forms part of the wider regeneration of the Markets Quarter which includes the full refurbishment and redecoration of the two listed Market canopies and the construction of a new glazed Market Hall under the larger of the two canopies, to accommodate market traders relocated from the existing indoor market. 

The consultation event, which is open to the public, is to be held at St. George’s Shopping Centre in the Upper Mall (Friargate entrance) on the following dates and times:

• Saturday 9th April: 11am to 3pm
• Monday 11th April: 11am to 3pm

Representatives from the City Council, Muse Developments and the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) will be available to introduce the scheme and answer any questions, in relation to the proposed Markets Quarter scheme.

As well as announcing the public consultation, developers Muse have also confirmed that The Light cinema chain will operate the proposed cinema facility.  It will feature state-of-the-art digital picture and sound auditoriums, VIP luxury seating and feature the latest in blockbusters, independent and international films, plus the best live opera, ballet, theatre and pop concerts.

Mike Horner, Regional Director for Muse Developments, said:

“We are working extremely hard to deliver a high quality scheme which is long overdue for Preston City Centre.  The proposals are truly spectacular and will include views out across the City Centre and beyond. 

“The Light are making a name for themselves in new cinema experiences and they are a great fit for Preston as they do not solely show mainstream cinema releases but also a wide range of other arts, culture, sporting and educational productions – it is not ‘more of the same’ in terms of cinema provision but a destination that will truly excite local residents and get people back into the City Centre.

“The Markets Quarter redevelopment is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the perception of Preston City Centre and establish it as the premier family-focused leisure destination.

“It is not a quick fix solution but instead represents the critical part of a long-term strategy for the successful regeneration of an area within the City Centre which contains a number of historic buildings and assets.

“We are extremely confident that local residents and businesses will recognise the significant benefits that the Markets Quarter will deliver to the City Centre as a whole.”

Keith Pullinger, CEO of The Light, said:

“We are extremely excited to be working alongside Muse to deliver the Council’s vision for the Markets Quarter area.  Preston is such an amazing opportunity to provide a high quality cinema facility which the city has been lacking for a considerable period of time.  Cinemas play an important role in attracting people into the city centre and we are determined to deliver a really special destination.  We offer a completely different experience to existing operators in the area and are confident local residents will really be excited by what we can offer above and beyond the main blockbusters.”

Lorraine Norris, Chief Executive of Preston City Council, added:

“The Markets Quarter is a flagship development for Preston.  It’s about breathing new life into the market and securing the wider regeneration of Preston City Centre.  It’s also about Preston raising its game and fulfilling its role as the economic and cultural centre of Lancashire.  This is a chance for people to see the scale of the ambition and the true potential that this development offers.  Markets Quarter is wholesale regeneration of the centre and complements the future investments in the Bus Station, the Guild Hall and the Harris.  These are exciting times for Preston and we look forward to hearing people’s views.”

Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Edwin Booth, said:

“Our multi-million pound investment in major new infrastructure via the City Deal is helping to strengthen Preston's position as a thriving and well connected commercial centre in the Northern Powerhouse.

“A successful Markets Quarter will make an important contribution to the growth of Preston City Centre which lies at the heart of the City Deal area. It's great to see new investment proposals coming forward which will generate new jobs and new private investment with more people also visiting the city.”

John Bridge, Frank Whittle Partnership, said:

“As a company based in the city we are delighted to be working on the Markets Quarter development, along with Greig and Stephenson Architects. We’re really looking to change the face of Market Quarter and to build a lasting legacy for the future, by both respecting our city’s heritage and moving with the times.

“It’s an ambitious project and rightly so, as the development is the key to unlocking wider development in Preston city centre.  In our sensitive vision for the new Market Hall we believe we’ve created an exciting new space for traders and customers. And we’re working with those traders to retain and enhance the city’s vibrant market offer. We’re very keen to listen to what people think.”

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