Friargate Turns Purple for Cancer Awareness

Preston’s biggest city centre regeneration project has turned purple throughout November to raise awareness for a national cancer charity.

Portergate has added its  £18million  244-room luxury student accommodation construction project in Friargate to Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights for Hope campaign, joining  numerous other landmarks across the UK raising awareness of the condition.

The idea to support the charity stemmed from a conversation between Portergate’s chairman, Anthony Jackson and the site’s former owner, respected furniture salesman Donald Bamber.

Eric Wright Construction, part of the Eric Wright Group, has illuminated its 45 metre on-site crane a vivid purple, which is situated within the 1.5 acre site in Preston’s University Quarter.

The city of Preston now sees a violet shard of light shoot 45 metres skywards – designed to symbolise the lives of loved ones dealing with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and to remember those who have sadly died of the disease, whilst also spreading a message of hope.

According to Pancreatic Cancer UK, the campaign has captured the imagination of patients, families, health professionals and campaigners since its launch last year when 60 landmarks and buildings lit up in the UK.

Anthony Jackson said: “Donald and I both wanted to support this initiative and by allowing our Friargate site to be one of the many prominent buildings across the UK to ‘go purple’ in November we feel we can help Preston play its part.

“Our focus as a company has always been to involve the local community in our projects and if we can help raise awareness of an important condition that affects many people’s lives then we will do it.”


Site manager Steve Harding from Eric Wright with the crane lighting up the Preston night sky

Stephen Harding, site manager from Eric Wright Construction, added: “We are delighted to be supporting Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights for Hope campaign. We hope that by lighting up the crane at Friargate in purple we are going some way to help put a spotlight on pancreatic cancer and to highlight a disease that many people still know so very little about.”

Figures from Pancreatic Cancer UK show that around four per cent of people diagnosed with the disease survive five years or more – a statistic which hasn’t changed in 40 years. Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of all cancer deaths in the UK and it is set to overtake breast cancer as the fourth most common cancer killer by 2030.

Alex Ford, chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “Purple Lights for Hope presents a fantastic opportunity to raise crucial awareness of pancreatic cancer, which one person is diagnosed with in the UK every hour and has the lowest survival rate of all the 21 common cancers.

“On behalf of everyone at Pancreatic Cancer UK I would like to say a huge thank you to Portergate Developments, Donald Bamber and Eric Wright Construction for helping us to spread our vital message of hope to people affected by the disease.”

To find out what other landmarks are lighting up this year, visit
Throughout the campaign, supporters will be uploading photos and updates from across the UK on Pancreatic Cancer UK’s social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #purplelights).



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