Category 2014 Blogs


Proud Preston: Is it coming true?

Preston Bus Station

Futuristic: Preston Bus Station

Preston is back in the national spotlight with the city council presumably unsure how to handle the good publicity.

The fight to save Preston Bus Station has been voted the winner of the UK Heritage Alliance Heroes Awards while the refurbishment of the cenotaph has made it through to the finals of the national Civic Trust Awards in March.

Aside from the uncommon recognition for good work, what these two welcome beams of positive PR for Preston should tell the city’s leaders is that bold decisions and action win prizes.

The bus station should have been top of Preston’s list for public regeneration projects years ago, while the work done refreshing the Flag Market and the fine war memorial bring a little bit of civic pride back to the public realm.

And whe...

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FWP’s great home win for Posh


The first stage of the transformation of Football League club Peterborough United’s ground by architecture and design practice Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) is now complete.

The impressive new £9 million 2,500 all-seater Moy’s End at the London Road stadium has been opened to home fans.

And it marks the first significant milestone in the masterplan for the 100-year-old football ground drawn up by the team at FWP and pictured here.

It’s also the latest in a string of successful sports stadium developments created by FWP, some of which have played key roles in the wider regeneration of their locations.

The Moy’s End work will be followed by the redevelopment of the club’s London Road terrace.

The work was started after Posh and Peterborough City Council reached agreement over the ...

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Engineering excellence in the picture

The latest in a series of fascinating short films giving an insight into the world of Web Structures has been completed and is now available for viewing.

The ‘Web Structures Spotlight” series is exploring the many different projects that the international design engineer’s team has successfully delivered across the globe.

The latest min-documentary looks at the fine work Web Structures carried out to help create the fantastic Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles, through its use of pioneering Fusion Engineering techniques.

The film chronicles Web Structures’ involvement in the complex three year project for the resort group at its luxury new development. It includes never before seen photographs and footage.

Web Structures’ team of Singapore-based engineers used all its expertise ...

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Preston’s Progress; Are We There Yet?

A generic design for a new-look Preston Market

The architects tasked with redesigning Preston’s market have an amazing opportunity to deliver a successful design and a popular new shopping destination in the heart of Lancashire.

IBI Taylor Young have completed award-winning revamps in Chesterfield and Ashton recently, including the Regeneration & Restoration Project of the Year for Chesterfield Market Hall, so demolishing Preston’s current run-down indoor market and transforming the splendid outdoor arcades should be right up their market stall.

The decision to press ahead with the redevelopment of the market comes despite not getting external funding for the project and Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston Council, says: “We are totally committed to investing in a new market [an...

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Conran leads high-rise debate in Brighton

Sussex Heights, Brighton

Sussex Heights, Brighton

Key players in Brighton and Hove’s construction sector look to the sky

By Frank le Duc, Editor, Brighton and Hove News

Architects, property developers and planners discussed ways to meet the growing demand for housing in Brighton and Hove at recent debate looking at four options:

  • Building in by using urban fringe sites and “low value” green spaces
  • Building up with high-quality high-rise buildings
  • Building out by identifying sites for large-scale housing on the other side of the Downs
  • Keeping the status quo and relying on market forces

More than a hundred people attended the debate from firms such as Cathedral, Centurion, Boho Green, Mackley and McLaren. Politicians, officials and housing association representatives were also in the audience.

The event was o...

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Money well spent? Preston’s major public assets to get long-overdue investment

Preston Bus Station - Art Deco'd

Following the official handover of Preston’s Guild Hall entertainment complex to a private operator earlier this month, comes news of a £23 million investment plan for the city’s bus station.

Lancashire County Council is the (extremely reluctant) new owner of the transport hub having bought the newly-listed building from Preston Council for just £1.

The two tier local authority structure in Preston means the county council is still responsible for public transport in the city, which is why it has been landed with the headache, sorry opportunity, to refurbish the architecturally-superb building when it is on record as saying its preferred option was demolition.

So why does a £23 million investment feel like a missed opportunity rather than an exciting future?

Probably because LCC’s ...

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Keep Library Walk open to the public


Manchester City Council has endorsed a plan, despite widespread opposition from taxpayers, to close Library Walk to the public.

This 1930s architectural gem connects Albert Square to St Peter’s Square via a beautifully curved open-air walkway dissecting the library and the town hall.

Manchester architect, Ian Simpson – who really should know better – has designed a scheme to close this public amenity and the council shamefully agreed.

However, a determined campaign has forced a public inquiry this week and it is to be hoped an independent inspector will rule the plans unlawful and against the public interest.

We have Right To Roam in our countryside, but not between two civic buildings owned by the people of Manchester apparently.

I cannot understand how two canny political operators, How...

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A vote for WNJ is a vote for the best business experts

Leading regional accountant and business advisor WNJ has been nominated for a top honour in this year’s prestigious Lancashire Business Awards.

And now they’re asking everyone to get behind them in the big vote to find this year’s Best Accountancy Firm.

They’d also like to thank all those who nominated them for the accolade in the annual awards organised by the Downtown In Business group.

To vote for WNJ please click onto this link. You can skip past all the other categories if you want. Voting closes on Tuesday October 14 at midday.

click through

And once you’ve cast your vote please pass this message on to others and post it on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Online voting counts for half the vote in the awards. WNJ thanks you again for all your support, it is appreciated!

The big night...

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Councils obliged to offer small sites for rookie developers

The Government has unveiled 11 areas of the UK that will act as a test to help would-be developers buy and build on local sites.

Housing is the key to this initiative, one assumes, whereby local authorities are legally obliged to offer small plots to aspiring self-builders who want to build more than a one-off home.

Brandon Lewis, the Housing Minister, hopes these 11 areas would be at the forefront of the government’s efforts to help those looking to build their own homes turn their dreams into reality.

The Right to Build is the latest in a range of measures designed to help those looking to build their own home...

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Preston Market needs Scandinavian inspiration

The future for Preston market could be Scandinavian – with a runaway success story in Copenhagen providing the blueprint for the future.

In a similar climate, the recently opened Torvehallerne in the Danish capital shows what can be done to attract crowds to an outdoor market.

Preston Council is looking to appoint an architect to turn the two covered outdoor Victorian markets into a 21st century mecca for food lovers.

But, with cash tight and a £5 million lottery bid unsuccessful earlier this year, both the council and whichever architecture practice gets the job, need to take inspiration from around the world – and Copenhagen is it.

Torvehallerne is simply two steel-framed glass sided halls with some 60 stalls offering a wide range of Danish food, fresh fruit and vegetables, butche...

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