Garden party celebrates FWP Ltd’s six decades of growth

A belated 60th birthday celebration for architecture, design and masterplanning practice FWP Ltd saw more than 80 guests enjoy spring sunshine and hospitality at a garden party held at its Preston head office.

The business had to postpone its original milestone anniversary plans in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the 60th anniversary of FWP’s move into its office on Ribblesdale Place in Preston’s business district, gave the opportunity to arrange the special gathering.

Staff, business associates and clients, past and present, came together in the terraced garden of the premises, with its spectacular views over the city’s Avenham Park, for a spring garden party blessed with good weather.

Guests were treated to music from North West based professional singer and songwriter Charlotte Day, a barbecue served by caterers The Travelling Pig from Todmorden and ales from the Preston-based Chain House Brewing Company.  They also left with bag of gifts, including wildflower seeds to sow in their gardens.

David Robinson, FWP Ltd’s managing director, said: “It was so great to see friends and colleagues from far and wide coming together to help us celebrate our 60th anniversary and to enjoy delicious food, beautiful music and some great beers.

“We had a wonderfully relaxing afternoon catching up with old friends and people we have worked with over the decades on projects across the North West and beyond.

“When we had to cancel our original celebration because of the pandemic we thought the opportunity had passed. Then someone mentioned the anniversary of moving into our Preston office and we thought it presented a great chance to get the party going again!

“As a business with our roots firmly in Preston and the North West, it was also a chance to show off our office, which has a fascinating past, and the fantastic garden that we have, with its wonderful views of the park and the river.”

Founded in Preston, over six decades the business has played an important role in delivering iconic developments both in its home city and across the UK.  Its work today covers all aspects of construction, from cost management to architecture and masterplanning services.

FWP’s early projects include helping deliver the Tickled Trout hotel on the outskirts of Preston. It spearheaded the regeneration of Preston North End’s Deepdale ground and created the Mill Farm sports village at Kirkham.

More recently the practice led the £5m award-winning regeneration of Preston Markets, including the restoration of its iconic market canopies.

FWP, which has offices in Manchester and Preston, also has a strong track record of delivery in healthcare. and hospitality sectors, including providing its full range of services for the comprehensive internal remodelling of the restaurants and exhibition spaces at the Rheged visitor attraction near Penrith.

It has worked on a wide range of NHS projects, including the delivery of the award-winning £9.4m Wesham Rehabilitation Centre on the Fylde Coast, the Life and Urgent Care centres at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and The Minerva Centre in Preston North End’s Deepdale ground.

And at the end of last year an inspiring new home for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Stockport, which was delivered by FWP, opened its doors to young people and families.

The Charters Restaurant at the Royal Preston Hospital has also undergone a major makeover led by its award-winning design team which was unveiled last month (April).

The FWP office, near Winkley Square, has an interesting history.  It was once the home of Avice Pimblett, a woman of ‘Preston firsts’. She was the first woman town councillor, its first woman Alderman and its first woman Mayor, and today a blue plaque outside the office celebrates her amazing achievements.