The Citizen, Thursday, 11th October, 2007

Competition on to design ancient square
By Nazia Parveen

A design competition is being launched to revamp Preston's Winckley Square. The competition will see a number of landscape architects battle it out to turn their designs into reality in the leafy city centre area.

In July 2006, Nicola Turner, city vision manager at Preston Council, said the revamp of Winckley Square was on the council's prioritised action plan list but funding was still being sought.

However, this funding has now been obtained from the North West Development Agency and 54,000 will be used to launch the competition, covering administration costs, and topographical and arboricultural surveys.

Ms Turner said: "It is a very popular, well loved square and we want to enhance it in a way which retains its original character but makes it more usable and attractive all year round and also we want it to become a link between the city centre and Avenham and Miller parks."

Once an architect has been chosen and a contractor has been enlisted the council are looking to spend around 2 million on the refurbishment of the park.

Coun Ken Cole, who represents the Town Centre ward, said: "I think this is an excellent idea. Winckley square has a lot of potential, it is a magical place.

"It just needs a little bit of attention and it could be a green oasis right near the city centre."

In recent years the area surrounding the square has undergone a renaissance with the Georgian offices being turned into apartments, marketed for 450,000.

The competition will be officially launched later this month, with work predicted to commence in 2009.

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© The Citizen October 2007