Analysis of the socio-economic and residential market has identified the following target residents for Preston city centre:
The sub sector that drives residential living in all the major cities should be harnessed in Preston due to the city’s employment opportunities (including world class employers within the local area such as BAE Systems and within commuting distance of a large number of the regions employment hubs including Manchester city centre) and the wider existing amenity offer.
Students and Postgraduates
The University of Central Lancashire's existing education offer in the city centre creates a great foundation upon which to build. Scope exists to deliver better quality student accommodation which would be more attractive to international students and graduates. In addition, the provision of accommodation targeted at postgraduates and young professionals such as the Corporation Street/March Street scheme currently under construction offer a great opportunity to improve graduate retention. There is also potential to target nurses and doctors training at the Royal Preston Hospital.
Families and Couples
Unlike some of the established larger cities, Preston has the benefit of being more compact and having existing schools within the city centre. As a consequence where Manchester city centre loses people as they move out once they start to have a family or particularly when the children reach school age, Preston has the potential to retain these occupiers as school places are available within the city centre.
Although currently not a major market, given the accessibility of the city to attractive countryside and its cultural offer, if the right type of accommodation can be delivered retirees should be a potential growth sector.
Where are we now?
Preston already has an existing city centre population, vibrant student population and young/growing population. Analysis shows that scope exists within the city to attract a broad range of occupiers including; young professionals, additional students, retain more postgraduates, retirees and families. Preston has the potential to provide modern quality accommodation and good quality conversions within walking distance of award winning parks and affordable modern family housing in the eastern part of the city.
There is potential for the following products in the city centre to meet the needs of the target population:
- New homes for rent (private and affordable)
- Homes for sale
- Mix of apartments and houses
- New builds and quality conversions