Setting a context for regeneration helps establish regeneration principles in locations where development potential needs to be drawn out and managed in a comprehensive way. The Station Quarter in Preston is one of these locations and the task here was keep Preston’s 3 anchors Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council and University of Central Lancashire engaged in all stages.
With the arrival of HS2, proximity to the University of Central Lancashire, and the changing role of retail, the Preston Station Quarter needs a forward looking vision to reinforce the City’s role as the commercial capital of Lancashire. Lancashire’s local government structure is a two tier system and this system can be difficult for the private sector and stakeholders to navigate. Retained by Lancashire County Council and with strong local knowledge and a sense of what could be achieved, and what needed to be done, in 2020 Beckie talked to senior leaders at 3 anchor institutions – the City Council, the County Council and the University to gauge the appetite for a collaborative approach. All three organisations expressed interest to work collaboratively and Beckie drew up a scope for the work, advised on cost and partner contributions, proposed a structure of governance for the work and set out a procurement strategy and timeframe. Once this information had been reviewed the 3 organisations committed to jointly funding a Strategic Regeneration Framework.
Following a competitive process which Beckie oversaw a masterplan team were appointed in early 2021. Beckie will remain on the project implementation team and will play a key role in managing the consultant team and has responsibility for reporting progress to senior leaders of the three anchor institutions.
“The University has significant ambitions for the City of Preston and beyond, exemplified by our £200million Masterplan, due to be completed in the first half of 2021. We are continually responsive to local and regional challenges, essential to which is our active working partnership with Lancashire County and Preston City Councils on civic initiatives and wider regeneration. Beckie’s creative articulation of the mutual benefits to all three partners has enabled The Station Quarter development to progress into an exciting shared vision for this part of the City Centre and the physical links to our main campus.”