By Joe Willetts – Online News Editor
Just over a year after Benson Elliot’s purchase of the Fishergate Shopping Centre, owners have announced their £25 Million revitalisation vision for Preston city centre.
The proposed changes to the shopping centre will include six modern shop units to replace the now closed TJ Hughes store and new mall containing five new restaurants and an integrated Vue cinema.
A planning application is about to be submitted to Preston City Council, if approved it will create over 250 new jobs in Preston and become the largest private sector investment for the city centre in two decades.
The development will also include a striking new shopping centre entrance and double height retail facades.
Together owners hope the revitalisation will deliver a customer and visitor experience comparable to other ambitious cities in the UK.
Peter Cornforth, retail director at Benson Elliot said: “Consumer expectations have shifted considerably and now it’s time to catch up and equip Fishergate to serve Preston’s community as they would expect it to.”
Keith Mitchell, Manager of Fishergate Shopping Centre added: “It’s important we provide our shoppers with places to eat, drink and relax to meet friends and family as part of their shopping trip, to enhance their overall social experience and present them with an engaging alternative to the convenience of internet shopping.”
Geoff Moore, of Vue Entertainment was equally supportive of the development saying the wealth of stores and options for shoppers will create more business and jobs in the city.
As a student dominated city, Fishergate have invited all UCLan students to a public exhibition on tomorow to look at the planned changes and give feedback for the proposed development.