Last week we published an article going into some depth about why investors are now considering the Lancashire city of Preston. In this article we’re going to give you a quick rundown of the 10 things that best make Preston one of the best places to look out for in 2020.
1. Most improved City 2018
Preston was named as the UK’s most improved city in 2018 by thinktank Demos, which uses a range of measures to assess factors beyond mere economic output – including employment, workers’ pay, house prices, transport, the environment, work-life-balance and inequality. On an index of 42 UK cities, Preston was seen to have improved the most.
2. Strong Business
Preston is a centre for business of all finds, being home to major technical manufacturers including BAE Systems and energy company EDF, who operate two nuclear power stations in the area
As well as numerous other important manufacturers, Fox’s Biscuits and Warburton’s to name just two, there are also a number of public sector employers in the area including NHS establishments, one major university (plus several other campuses) and the Lancashire Constabulary
Of all Lancashire’s 14 districts, Preston has the most business enterprises, with 5,165 individual registered businesses.
Preston is part of a tremendous £435 million investment process to improve the city’s infrastructure development. The initiative, called the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, will allow Preston and Lancashire to take forward 4 new road schemes, enabling over 17,000 new homes to be built, freeing up land for new development, and creating more than 20,000 jobs.
4. Growth and Yields
Industry experts Savills predict the North West to be the number one highest capital growth region in the UK, with prices rising by 24% over the next five years. Investors should invest soon to make the most of this predicted growth while price points are still low. Of course, capital growth is only one side of the investor’s coin. Rental yields in the centre of Preston are well above the UK average, in excess of 7%.
5. History and Character
Preston is a historic town located in the north western county of Lancashire. Lancashire itself is actually one of the youngest traditional counties, though still came into existence officially as far back as 1182, Preston, however, appears in the Domesday book of 1086. Remaining largely unassuming as a market town for centuries, the city – or town as it was then – adapted to Lancashire’s new mechanical focus during the industrial revolution – becoming home to numerous manufacturers, especially around cotton.
Preston’s heritage is honored via a number of museums and well conserved listed buildings, from libraries to barracks to old mills. This classic architecture gives and historical heritage lends a sense of pride steadfastness to the City.
6. Student Population
There are three Universities in and around Preston, including UCLan, Lancaster University and Edge Hill. UCLan is located in the centre of Preston, and employs 3,000 staff and is home to over 30,000 students. Graduate retention is a focus of northern cities as they fight to retain the talent that their local universities have nurtured. Figures from 2014/15 suggest that Preston’s graduate retention rate is 22%.
7. Lifestyle and Location
Preston is located about 35 miles from both Liverpool and Manchester, which alone gives residents access to two of the most exciting cities in the UK. A location near to the Lake District also gives Preston’s residents access to some of the most beautiful countryside in the whole of the UK. Lake Windermere, for example, is less than an hour’s drive away. Transport connections, particularly by rail, and motorway make Preston a very well connected location.
Preston itself has an abundance of attractions and amenities for residents, from clubs, bars and restaurants to a range of museums.
What does all this mean? It means that Preston is one of the most up and coming locations in the UK, reaping the rewards that come from a location in the highest growth region in the country. Property investors are paying attention.