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Thursday 23 October 2008
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About AvenCentral

The AvenCentral Partnership was a locally based regeneration partnership within the City of Preston that was established in August 2000 to oversee the management and implementation of a 20 million regeneration programme for the AvenCentral area. The programme was awarded 20 Million from the North West Development Agency via the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) which has drawn in over a further 30million of public and private funding, bringing the total inward investment to over 50 million for the economic, environmental and social regeneration of the area.

The Partnership was made up of 12 board members elected through the Public, Private, Voluntary and Community forums in Preston. And were responsible for overseeing the delivery of the programme. The AvenCentral Partnership is supported by an Executive Team who are responsible for the delivery, management, monitoring and evaluation of the eight-year programme. The AvenCentral Partnership Board funding decisions on proposed projects to ensure that the programme was complementary to other activity within Preston. The AvenCentral Partnership was sponsored by the North West Development Agency and worked towards an Annual Delivery Plan that rolled forward year on year to meet a programme of objectives, key indicators, milestones and output targets that were agreed by the NWDA yearly. The final year of the programme in 2008, brought the SRB programme to a successful closure.

The Opportunity
The City of Preston is the commercial and administrative capital of Lancashire situated at the heart of the UK with direct access to the M6, M61 (Manchester), M55 (Blackpool) and M65 (East Lancashire) motorways and the city is a principal station on the London to Scotland main line.

The City Centre contains a wealth of fine historical buildings including the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, and Market Squares. A new major multi million pound development proposal, the Tithebarn Project is due to start and when complete, will transform the City Centre with an exciting range of new shopping, leisure, entertainment, residential and commercial facilities. The proposals also incorporate extensive pedestrianisation, safe cycling routes and quality public transport links.

The Challenge For The Partnership
In 2000 when the Partnership commenced its work despite the City's growing prosperity, poverty was, prevalent within the AvenCentral area and contained pockets of high unemployment, suffered from poor health, had lower levels of literacy and numeracy and has 34% of all reported crime within the city. This formed part of the baseline position for the SRB programme of activity and the six objectives that the Partnership worked towards between the years 2000 and 2008.

The Partnership aims were to link with the city's strengths and opportunities in order to: "exploit the strategic importance of Preston City centre as a key sub-regional gateway to achieve sustainable regeneration for the surrounding deprived neighbourhoods"

In order to achieve this aim the partnership are directly supporting projects under the following objectives:

Education "More Achievement, More Achievers"
The partnership supported projects that will raise educational standards for all people who live within the area.

Business "Creating Jobs and Prosperity"
It helped both new and existing small businesses through training and advice and other support.

Health "Improve Health"
It worked with health professionals to ensure that the health of residents is improved.

Community "Improve Community Involvement"
It helped to celebrate the different communities within AvenCentral and improving community facilities for all.

CrimeEnvironment "Working Together for a Safe Area and Improved Environment"
It contributed to ensuring residents had an improved environment and a safer place to live, work and visit.

Employment "Making the Links Getting People Into Work"
It also provided funding to projects that worked together with local employers to reduce unemployment in the area, raising skill levels and improving access to employment opportunities for AvenCentral residents.

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