Vision for new cinema and market key to Preston City Centre

9 June 2015

An ambitious vision for a cinema development and market is at the heart of the re-generation of Preston City Centre.

The Markets Quarter development aims to deliver ‘game-changing’ cinemas and improve and enhance Preston Markets with a new, exciting market right in the heart of Preston City Centre.

And in another sign of growing confidence in the City Centre, the former Post Office building on Birley Street, is to be actively marketed for hotel and leisure development.

Welcoming this vision for the Markets Quarter development, Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council, said:

“The Markets are important to Preston and a key part of the city’s culture and heritage.  So we want to invest in the markets and provide a new market that is better for customers and traders alike.  The next stage is to consult with market traders to make sure we can deliver a market that is vibrant, sustainable and fit for the city of Preston

“This Markets Quarter development is at the very heart of our ambitious vision for Preston.  Our goal is for a game changing, new cinema development.  City Centres have to offer much more than ever before.  It’s no longer just about shopping.  It’s about vibrancy, uniqueness, culture, heritage, events, food and drink and things to do.  Through the Markets Quarter development, Preston can offer this and more.

“It’s an exciting time for Preston. The city is fast becoming one of northern England’s brightest development hotspot through the £430m City Deal and other major investments including those at Preston Bus Station, Preston Guild Hall and the Markets Quarter.  We’ve already had a lot of interest in the former Post Office building and the timing is right now to look to develop this unique, Preston building for possible hotel and leisure development. ” 

County Councillor Jennifer Mein, Leader of Lancashire County Council, added:

“The Markets Quarter development is a great vision for the future of Preston and we are fully behind it.  Preston city centre is an important part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and its success acts as a major economic driver for the county as a whole.   It is essential that we continue to create the conditions for the city and the surrounding area to flourish, and this new development will be a key part of that, alongside other important projects such as our plans to develop Preston Bus Station and ongoing work to improve Fishergate and other gateways to the city centre."

Jim Carter – Chair of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal Executive, said:

“This is a golden opportunity for Preston City Centre.  There’s already a great deal of investment going into the City Centre, including the funding  the Enterprise Partnership is putting into improve the main shopping areas, but the Market’s Quarter development is an significant step forward.

“It is crucial to build on the strengths of Preston as an important regional and cultural centre as well as an historic market town.  The Markets Quarter development aims to do this and in turn expand the offer and potential of Preston for even further growth and future investment.”

Mike Horner – Regional Director, Muse Developments Ltd, also commented:

“Preston is a great city and a great place to invest.  It has huge potential and we are delighted to be on board with the Markets Quarter development.   These really are exciting plans for Preston, indeed for the North West.  We are looking at a major cinema development – one that would draw people from across the county.  And with a cinema you also attract a wide range of restaurants and bars that will really compliment the re-vitalised markets and Preston’s cultural offer.  So, lots for Preston to be positive and proud about.”

John Sullivan – Head of Consulting at Cinema Next said:

“The cinema study for Preston that we completed last year clearly demonstrates the enormous potential for a major new cinema development in the centre of this stunning city.  Historically Preston has been at the forefront of cinema development in the UK and the cinema industry is beginning to wake up again to the potential that this city is once again leading the way.”

Architects visual of new Preston Market and Cinema development

• The Council is currently consulting markets traders on the proposed market development to help refine and improve the final plans.
• Subject to this trader consultation, the next stage is to amend the final plans and seek planning permission during late 2015/early 2016.

ENDS   Media Enquiries, Stephen Parkinson, Head of Communications, (01772) 906476

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