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April 2017

Preston: A Property Hotspot

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With affordability in London stretched, many are now looking to England’s northern regions, including Preston, where prospects for capital growth look far more promising, as illustrated by the latest Hometrack property report.

The property market in northern England, supported in part by the Northern Powerhouse concept, has attracted a lot of media attention, not to mention both domestic and international investment, especially from China. Large-scale investment and regeneration programmes, such as the £440m City Deal, which along with other investments, is expected to create upwards of 20,000 new jobs, boosting the local economy to the tune of £1bn over the next decade.

The recent opening of Friargate Court, a luxurious accommodation complex taking design inspiration from boutique hotels, is part of a wider movement providing high quality educational and training facilities that will please students and parents alike.

Each well-appointed apartment or studio includes a fully furnished living space and fitted kitchen complete with appliances, utensils and crockery. Bedrooms are also fully furnished and include bedding and towels. Everything you need to start out in student life is provided. The designer shower rooms have all the luxuries you would expect from a boutique hotel.

The University of Central Lancashire, which currently boasts a staff and student community approaching 38,000, recently announced plans to invest a further £200m into its City campus increasing numbers to over 50,000, making it the fourth largest university in England.

2016 marked a huge turning point for Preston, according to Matt Eastham, director at Easthams & Co.

As well as a £50m investment into the Markets Quarter to develop an 11-screen cinema complex with seven restaurant units and a new multi-storey car park, the creation of a youth zone and public square, and the restoration of the Guild Hall with a £15m makeover, the council’s new City Living strategy is refurbishing Winckley Square – one of the finest Georgian squares in the UK, Eastham explains.

Ideally situated, Preston is the geographic centre of the UK offering easy access to the M6, M61, M65 and the M55 motorway networks and is also less than an hour’s drive from Manchester, Liverpool or the Lake District and just two hours by train from London and Glasgow.

Management School Redevelopment

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Plans have been lodged for the redevelopment of the Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) which span more the 200,000 sq feet across a host of new and existing buildings on the University’s Bailrigg Campus.

The full planning application has been lodged with Lancaster City Council in a bid to construct a Western Pavilion, Eastern Pavilion, Lecture Theatre, and Hub Plus. The scheme aims to provide a consolidated home for the LUMS within the University’s campus, which also involves refurbishment of the Gillow House Building, the Graduate Management School and the Lancaster Leadership Centre.

Architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) said: “The redevelopment of Lancaster University Management School builds on the school’s reputation of delivering a holistic, world-class student experience.

“The building will provide a balance of open and individual research facilities to support the needs of international academics, including open and inviting accommodation conducive to a range of study and social learning patterns.”

“Located on the Bailrigg Campus, the proposed scheme forms a major new centre within the southern campus.”

Alongside LUMS’s redevelopment, the newly-opened student accommodation at Friargate provides a bespoke, modern living facility as part of a network of high-quality educational and training facilities in a central Preston location.