Friargate Student Accommodation, Preston

Incredible transformation of run down area into modern student accommodation and retail units
Portergate Property Management
3,500 sqm
September 2016
Leach Rhodes Walker
Client's Specification


Portergate Properties appointed Eric Wright Construction to deliver this ambitious mixed-use development which is the biggest building project in the city.

The transformation of the strategic, but run-down 1.5 acre site brings two new retail premises and the creation of a 244 bedroomed building aimed at providing boutique hotel-style accommodation to students at the nearby University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

At the height of the building project around 200 workers were employed on the Friargate development site

The aesthetically pleasing shop and apartment complex has been designed around open garden areas while being conveniently in the heart of the city, only a short walk from the University of Central Lancashire.

The development plan has been created by Manchester architecture practice Leach Rhodes Walker.

00_hard-hat_one  135 Work opportunity weeks created      waste-recycled  100% Waste recycled     local-workforce  80.2% Local workforce      ccs-score  40/50 Considerate Constructors score

Key Challenges

This site was situated in a very busy location on the main thoroughfare into Preston city centre. It was bound by live retail units and existing student accommodation with restricted access and a 5 metre difference in level from the front of the site to the back.

Its location on the main road proved problematic when connecting services, for example the drain survey was undertaken on a Sunday evening.

The building was a very complex design which was completed in short timescales for the size of the project.

Added Value

The project has been delivered within tight cost constraints and we have worked with the client to offer alternatives, ensuring their expectations were met within budget.

We also changed the original construction methods to achieve the programme set out by the client.

During the project we held numerous site tours with the local University, UCLan and local College, Prestons’ College, allowing the students to have a real site experience.

During November 2015 our tower crane was lit up purple for Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights for Hope campaign.

Client Feedback

“We are delighted to have appointed Eric Wright Construction to deliver our vision for Friargate. The appointment underlines our commitment to utilising the skills of local companies wherever possible during the construction work, helping to create and secure local jobs in the sector. That is very important to us as a North West company. Our aim throughout the project is to play a major role in transforming the fortunes of the Friargate area and our hope is that our development and commitment will encourage further investment. We went through a detailed and thorough process to ensure that we have appointed the very best firm to deliver this important development project.”
Anthony Jackson
Chairman of Portergate Properties

Get in Touch

For all enquiries, please get in touch with the team here at Eric Wright.