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Preston's Levelling up Bid

Preston's Levelling Up Fund Bid (LUF) - 'Active Preston: Transforming our Community Infrastructure'.

Preston's Levelling Up Fund is focused on supporting the city's growth recovery through high impact, visible projects and creating a liveable, healthy, sustainably connected city which brings real quality of life benefits to its local communities. It will create a more sustainable attractive and greener city, which will support the growth of the city and its neighbouring boroughs within the Central Lancashire region.

Preston's £20m award is part of almost £200m awarded to Lancashire by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to 'spark transformational change' and is among more than 100 across the country awarded a share of £2.1bn from round two of the government's flagship Levelling Up Fund.

The government has also confirmed there will be a further round of the fund, providing more opportunity to level up places across the UK.

We have identified a match funding package to support our LUF bid. This funding has been identified from various sources, including the City Council, third parties and Lancashire County Council.

Key areas of investment

To support the city's economic growth, as well as improving the health and well-being of our residents, we have successfully obtained Levelling Up funding in the following two main areas:


New active travel infrastructure, including major public realm works and a new bridge link over the River Ribble.

Investment in active travel improvements will provide a coherent network of safer, greener walking and cycling connections linking our residential, educational and employment areas, parks, city centre and neighbouring districts. It will improve linkages to the UCLan campus and to key employment areas, such as the city centre, Lancashire Central and via the Guild Wheel / A59 to the proposed National Cyber Force Centre HQ at Samlesbury.

The improvements will complete the gaps in the current network to help people to walk or cycle for local trips, such as going to work, college, leisure or the shop.

Improvements include:

Proposed LUF funded improvement works to Friargate South


A cross city project focusing on the regeneration and improvement of our four major city parks - Waverley Park, Moor Park and Ashton Park and Grange Park.

The funding will deliver new, higher quality and more accessible sports, community facilities and pitches, pavilions, public realm and heritage safety and infrastructure improvements.

The improvements to the city's major parks through the provision of new leisure, play and sports facilities will help people stay active and healthy, as well as make them more attractive quality places, improving the well-being of communities and inspiring a sense of local pride.

Improvements include

  • Ashton Park - the major redesign and renewal of the 32ha park, a new community sports hub and sports pavilion, 3G sports pitch and several adult and junior football pitches, with associated landscaping.
  • Moor Park (Grade II* listed) - heritage and public realm improvement works including lake restoration, bridge works and new phase 2 visitor facilities. The first phase was funded from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
  • Waverley Park - a range of sports, visitor and community facilities and access improvements
  • Grange Park - accessibility and lighting improvements to support the re-opening of a building to support community use

Proposed sports hub pavilion at Ashton Park

About the Levelling Up Fund

The government's Levelling Up agenda is designed to improve opportunities for people across the UK by: 

  • boosting productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging 
  • spreading opportunities and improving public services, especially in those places where they are weakest 
  • restoring a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost 
  • empowering local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency

For more information about the government's plans for levelling up visit the Levelling Up Campaign.

The Levelling Up Fund is designed to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. The £4.8 billion fund will support a range of schemes across the UK. Preston City Council is a priority 'category 1' and can submit a bid based on three themes, transport, regeneration and culture. 

Further details can be found by visiting GOV.UK - Levelling Up Fund Round 2.

Image captions:

  • First image - visual of proposed LUF funded improvement works to Friargate South
  • Second image - proposed sports hub pavilion at Ashton Park

Active Preston Levelling Up Fund Bid

Active Preston Transforming our Community Infrastructure brochure

Other key city investment and development projects

To find out about other key city investment and development projects taking place in and around the city visit Invest Preston - key project, strategies and plans.

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