City centre to be illuminated at night with lights shining across iconic buildings

Part of the city centre is set to be illuminated at night under new plans. Parts of Preston's iconic features would be lit up as part of the new lighting installation scheme.

Formal plans have been lodged for the long-proposed ‘Illuminate’ scheme, which – if approved – will see a combination of column, canopy and wall-mounted lights shining across an area centred around the Harris Museum, Cenotaph and covered market.

The new fixtures will replace some existing lights and complement others on a total of ten streets – Lancaster Road, Friargate, Market Street, Market Place, Birley Street, Earl Street, Old Vicarage, Lowthian Street, Orchard Street and Anchor Court. According to documents submitted to preston-city-council>Preston City Council planners – by the authority itself – for consideration, the project will mix modern and heritage-style lights, with the latter being used to ensure the new installations are in-keeping with the existing appearance of the corner of the city where they will be erected.

The scheme – the cost of which will be covered by a share of Preston’s £20.9m allocation from the government’s Towns Fund, awarded in 2021 – is designed to improve safety, with the lights acting as a natural guide through the area’s attractions. As the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed last year, a related project, ‘Integrate’, is set to see a small stretch of Lancaster Road – behind the market, between Old Vicarage and Earl Street – closed to traffic. New paving, seating and tree planting would then be introduced in an attempt to create an environment that encourages people to to stop and relax.

Two types of lighting column will be used as part of Illuminate – one being six metres tall and the other almost 10 metres in height. The planning documents state that the “appropriate” sized fixture will be installed in all of the proposed locations.

One of the column styles – to be used on Market Street – will be internally lit rather than having a ‘luminaire’ on top. The scheme proposes the installation of 23 new columns across Lancaster Road, Old Vicarage, Market Street, Market Place and Birley Street. .

Meanwhile, eight canopy lights will be put in place across Earl Street, Lowthian Street and Market Street and 10 wall lights will be replaced on Lowthian Street, Orchard Street, Market Street, Market Place, Friargate and Anchor Court.

Sixteen existing columns on Old Vicarage, Lancaster Road and Birley Street will be removed, as will six canopy lights on Lowthian Street and Earl Street. More than two dozen heritage luminaires will also be refurbished atop their current four metre-hgh columns on Harris Street, Birley Street, Market Street and Market Place.