Marsden Rawsthorn Opens The Regeneration of Preston Discussion
Tuesday 13th July 2010
Local businessmen and women were treated to a discussion on the impact and implications of the regeneration of Preston as part of Lancashire Business Week organised by Downtown in Business.
The second in a series of events was opened by Stephen Hodgson, a Chief Executive here at Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors. A Preston man, through and through, Stephen commented on the history and assets of the City and how he believes proposals for regeneration should be made local, considering the needs of those in and around the city itself.
"Despite attempts to encourage businesses to move to the centre, little action has taken place in Preston for over 30 years! This is mainly due to previous disagreements between County Councils and Preston City Council and it is therefore important to regain confidence in order to progress with any strategic plans.
Marsden Rawsthorn itself moved away from the city centre to Fulwood in order to be near good transport links, the purpose built offices boast parking spaces which were not available in the centre. Out of town developments are the only areas which have moved forward in recent years such as Deepdale Retail Park, The Capitol Centre, Uclan and out of town Business Parks. This highlights the many issues with the City Centre. Firstly it is only the main players on the high street who are gradually increasing in confidence and more needs to be done to ensure many more see the benefit of a city centre location. Secondly, though developers are active they will not commit to any ownership until there is clarity from both the council and the Government and finally the infrastructure of Preston needs to be addressed. Access to motorways and key routes in and out of the city centre needs to improve in order to encourage businesses to move into the city. In addition existing assets unique to Preston should be utilised. The Miller Arcade, Winkley Square and the Flag Market are just a few to mention, these are unique to the town and should be well connected to the High Street.
If plans for regeneration are to ever move forward, local perception and needs should be taken into account. The funding is there but only for the right deal, one which is right for Preston."
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