Property experts re-appointed as Preston bids for share of £2.3bn housing fund

Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) has been reappointed to advise Preston on delivering a successful city living strategy.

The property expert was initially brought in by Preston City Council a year ago to devise a City Living Prospectus, which would identify sites and opportunities for developers and investors to capitalise on Preston’s emerging residential market in the centre.

Now, council chiefs have asked the real estate consultancy’s Manchester office to work alongside council planners to make sure delivery follows strategy and meets the city’s ambitions for the next decade.

Led by partner Caroline Baker, C&W has advised Preston on making a bid for a share of the Government’s £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund (HiF) designed to unlock development in areas of greatest need where lack of key infrastructure such as roads, schools, utilities, is seen to be hindering housebuilding.

C&W will also be advising on specific residential projects already identified within Preston city centre since the launch of the City Living Prospectus in April this year.

Nigel Roberts, in charge of City Living delivery for Preston City Council, said: “Making a strong, competitive case for HiF support is key to getting our ambitious plans for Preston city centre up and running as quickly as possible.

“A successful bid will potentially unlock several sites and enable us to work quickly and efficiently to see many new homes build across the city centre.

“Having Cushman & Wakefield alongside to help and advise has been crucial in making a hopefully successful bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government.”

The Housing Infrastructure Fund is designed to:

 

  • Deliver new physical infrastructure to support new and existing communities

 

  • Make more land available for housing in high demand areas, resulting in new additional homes that otherwise would not have been built

 

  • Support ambitious local authorities who want to step up their plans for growth and make a meaningful difference to overall housing supply

 

  • Enable local authorities to recycle the funding for other infrastructure projects, achieving more and delivering new homes in the future

 

Caroline Baker said: “Preston has shown itself to be both ambitious and forward-thinking. The council has embraced the new City Living strategy and is keen to see some results in the form of new homes being built, proposed and on the drawing board.

“Our role is to guide the council and its partners to encourage and facilitate the right sort of quality new builds of all types and for all sectors of the residential market to benefit the whole of Preston city centre.

“There are certainly examples of best practice from other UK cities that are well worth adopting to get the best development for the city and we can help deliver that.”

The City Living Prospectus is now being used to promote the city centre, specifically newly identified housing zone sites, as a key location for new residential development.

It sets a framework for development that meets broader place-making aspirations and addresses key issues including identifying opportunities to promote and develop the private-rented-sector/build-to-rent markets, student accommodation and homes for sale.

Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “This is a key reappointment and shows we are serious about transforming the residential future of Preston city centre.

“We have a very good development team at the council which has a clear vision for our city’s continued regeneration and this is just one of the many initiatives we have in place to make Preston a more prosperous city for all our residents.

“The more we can show the outside world of investors and developers that Preston is a city of opportunity, a fantastic location to live and work, the more inward investment we will attract.”

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