The Lancashire Evening Post, Friday, 18th January 2008
Designers compete to redesign park By Suzanne Harvey
Work has begun on a major project to redevelop Preston's prestigious Winckley Square.

The city council and Preston Vision have been given cash from the North West Development Agency to redesign the square and make it more attractive to users.

Five landscape designers have now been invited to submit applications and the winning design will include a piece of public art to draw visitors from Fishergate.

The plans will also include improved lighting and drainage and all must be sensitive to the square's conservation area status.

Click on the green audio link to listen to a podcast interview with Mike Brogan, City Vision manager about the improvements.

Councillor Anthony Gornall, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The design competition marks the start of an exciting regeneration project that will breathe new life into Winckley Square.

"Although it has always been an important feature of the city centre, the square currently feels a little tired and is underused, but this project will address these problems and transform it into a vibrant space that will be used for a variety of activities.

"We're already running a number of regeneration projects such as Tithebarn and the improvements to Avenham and Miller Parks and this scheme is another key programme which will add to the vibrant city centre and make Preston even better."

Mike Brogan, city vision manager, said: "There have been a number of improvements to the square over the years, but this work has been uncoordinated and doesn't make the best use of the space provided."

The competition has been coordinated by the Landscape Institute, who will lead the search for a suitable competition winner.

The winning designers will receive 5,000 prize money and in return, the council will be given the right to use all or part of their design for the improvement scheme.

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© The Lancashire Evening Post, January 2008