/ News / What a difference a year makes

One year on from the historic signing of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, real progress has been made to ensure that the area becomes established as one of the most important, fastest growing economic centres outside London over the next ten years.

Since sealing the deal we’re very proud to report our progress as being at a considerably greater rate than most other similar arrangements across the country, with investments through the City Deal already becoming a common sight. Edwin Booth, Chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, explains…

“It is just a year since the signing but we have already made real progress, with work now underway on the ground.  As well as creating economic growth, the City Deal will make the area a better place to live and visit, creating new opportunities and improved community facilities for local people.

“And this is just the beginning. We are building the foundations for sustainable economic growth that will power the local economy for many years to come.

“The City Deal is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a catalyst for major economic growth, enabling Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire to fulfil their huge economic potential.  We are seizing that opportunity with both hands.”

The City Deal set out a detailed plan to support the creation of more than 20,000 new jobs – including 5,000 on the Lancashire Enterprise Zone – new housing developments and nearly £1billion in economic growth over the next decade.

Improving connectivity

Creating better routes in and out of the area is vital to economic growth, to improving Preston City centre and making life better for local communities.

As part of the project we are creating new roads and enhancing existing ones to improve vehicle capacity and increase connectivity across the region.

Work is well under way on the first phase of improvements to the A582 in South Ribble in order to cut congestion on this key route into Preston. The work includes improving junctions and adding extra lanes to sections of the road to create dual carriageways.  When complete, the work will double vehicle capacity between Preston City Centre and the motorway network.

We have now completed the consultation on the Preston Western Distributor road, which is a 4km dual carriageway that will link Preston and southern Fylde to the M55. This important new road will support planned housing developments in north-west Preston and improve access to the new Enterprise Zone in Warton.

We also consulted on preferred routes for two new roads linked to the Preston Western Distributor.  The East-West Link Road and Cottam Link Road will connect new and existing housing areas, providing better access for local and through traffic. The outcome of the consultation will be announced in the next few months.

Public consultation is currently underway on a new route for the long-awaited Penwortham Bypass.  Completing the bypass will improve access from the A59 to the motorway network on a road that takes traffic away from Penwortham and Preston city centre. This project also has the potential to bring investment into town and village centres, and to provide opportunities for businesses to grow.

Meanwhile, the £24m Broughton Bypass moved another step closer with the publication of a series of legal orders earlier in the summer. With more than 22,000 vehicles travelling along the A6 through Broughton every day, the new bypass will significantly reduce traffic in the centre of Broughton and improve journey times for motorists.  Planning permission for the bypass was granted in November last year and the orders will allow the council to buy land for the scheme and alter existing roads and accesses.  Construction should begin in late 2015 with the road open by spring 2017.

Creating better places to live

We’re creating better places to live and ensuring that the facilities and services which turn places into communities, such as the schools, the open spaces, the health facilities and the energy systems, are provided alongside the economic and housing growth.

Providing more good quality housing is important to our plans and we are already off to a good start, with various developments of new homes under way and in the planning stages across Preston and South Ribble.

The sites that are currently being developed, or where development is due to begin shortly, are:

  • Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge: This site continues to be developed and has the first completed houses on a City Deal Site with 42 new homes.
  • Cottam Hall, Cottam: Barratt Homes have commenced development, and is in the process of building the first phase of 100 new homes. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has selected a preferred developer for the second phase of 300 homes, and it is expected that development will begin in early 2015.
  • Whittingham Hospital, Goosnargh: Taylor Wimpey has a detailed planning application for the first phase of development of 150 homes due to be determined by Preston City Council. The demolition of the rest of the site is progressing well, and the marketing of the second phase is now underway.
  • Croston Road South, Leyland: The HCA have selected a preferred developer for this site, which will provide 175 homes. It is expected that development will commence in early 2015.

Find out more about City Deal

To find out more about City Deal see our plan for the next few years by taking a look at the infrastructure delivery plan.

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