Strengthening community links

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has unveiled plans to further strengthen its links with the local community.

It’s a move that has been welcomed by Portergate as its £18 million Friargate student accommodation vision continues to take shape on the city skyline.

The university has revealed plans to open a city centre shop providing a weekly menu of services and activities for the general public.

‘In the City’ is the name of the new shop on Lune Street which was previously the Britannia Building Society.

It set to open by the end of March, hosting both UCLan-led and community group activities such as exhibitions, health and wellbeing services, business and legal advice workshops and science clubs.

The shop’s activities will be published online in advance on a weekly basis with people being encouraged to send in their own proposals for possible events.

UCLan Head of Communications and Engagement Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott is working on the initiative. She told the university’s website: “UCLan is committed to developing strong links and partnerships with the local community.

“And our ‘In the City’ shop will be a melting pot for new ideas and initiatives which can really drive our city forward.

“The new facility will be open-access and most sessions will be run free of charge useful source.” Suggestions so far include first aid workshops provided by the UCLan School of Nursing, a Saturday morning children’s science club run by the UCLan and Royal Institution Young Scientist Centre and live literature projects, such as storytelling and creative writing events.

People can also call in to find out more about UCLan courses and take part in drop- in taster sessions.

Anyone wanting to know more about the initiative or propose a workshop idea can contact the In the City shop team at

Meanwhile, Portergate’s stylish development is moving towards a much anticipated opening later this year.

The 1.5 acre Friargate site is being transformed with three new retail premises and the creation of a 244 bedroomed building aimed at providing Portergate’s brand of hotel-style accommodation to students at UCLan.

The regeneration project sits on the edge of the city’s thriving University Quarter.

Part of the high-quality accommodation that it will offer is also aimed at post graduate students at the university and apprentices and key workers in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and new Enterprise Zone.

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