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Preston City Council adopts Leighton Street Traveler site

The Traveler site is behind the Leighton Street car park, close to the university campus. Photo: Google

Preston Council has agreed to adopt the Leighton Street Traveler site and will now assume its management responsibilities.


On 24 February, Preston City Council unanimously agreed that it would adopt the Lancashire County Council (LCC) site.

A recent decision by the LCC to dispose of three county sites established in the late 1980s has raised concerns in the community over fears that the move could lead to the sale of the Preston site, higher rents and eviction of residents of their homes.

Lancashire County Council offered the site and liability to Preston City Council as an alternative to the sale.

Read more: Travelers face uncertain future as council plans to sell Leighton Street site

Leader of Preston City Council, Councilor Matthew Brown, said: “Part of our commitment to community wealth creation is to encourage greater democratic ownership and management of local assets.

“Co-operatives – business enterprises owned by their members – can play a key role in this, and the desire of the Leighton Street community to create a co-operative to run the site was a good fit with our long-term approach and principles. .”

The site community has lived in Leighton Street for over 30 years, and it is one of three sites in the county, with families well integrated into the area and their children attending local schools.

Read more: Preston political leaders unite to pay tribute to Councilor John Browne

With the support of a local group and the Preston Co-operative Development Network, community representatives proposed that if City Council adopted the site, the new Leighton Street Co-operative would take over management and operation, all residents being invited to join the cooperative.

Councilor Brown said: ‘Discussions are currently underway between the City Council and the Leighton Street Co-operative on the arrangements necessary for the management and operation of the site once the formal transfer is completed.’

Preston City Council will offer support to establish the co-operative as a legal entity and provide training to its members in key areas of responsibility.

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John Gavin, Site Manager for Leighton Street, said: “Thank you to Preston City Council for adopting the Leighton Street site.

“We appreciate all the hard work to make this possible after the unfortunate delays due to the pandemic.

“Everyone on the site is extremely grateful for the agreement, which allows us to get back to business as usual knowing that the future of the site is secure.”

John said the co-op is also grateful for the support it has received from the community, local businesses and the police.

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