North West Design Collective


Not only do we advocate for sustainable reuse, we practice what we preach!

This is evident when you visit our colourful little studio in the heart of Preston. No. 3 Syke Street is located in the Winckley Square Conservation Area and above the old River Syke, which used to supply drinking water to the people of Preston. In 2021 we took over the building with fellow Architect Lee Ivett of Baxendale. Together we transformed it into our architectural studio as well as creating an accessible community space in the city – SHOP.

Charity Shop Rwanda…

No. 3 Syke Street…

The building opposite the multi-storey…

Or near the burnt out Odeon…

However you refer to our little building, it is a familiar place to the community and people of Preston!

We have amassed a collection of prints, paintings and photographs documenting the building over the past 20+ years. Like the much loved former charity shop, we aim to continue this legacy of a space central to the Preston community, one where you walk past and never quite know what you will find, who you might meet or what exciting new thing is happening.

No. 3 Syke Street

The building is located on the corner of one of the oldest ‘streets’ in Preston, Main Sprit Weind, and the site has quite a history! We sit almost right above the river Syke which we believe to have been culverted. Both this source of water and the name ‘Main Sprit Weind’ are evidence of a historic spring or fountain that used to provide the inhabitants of Preston with their drinking water.

We are collecting evidence and images to chronicle its history and will keep updating this page. We join in with the national Heritage Open Days event to celebrate and showcase our building’s heritage and history.

We believe our little building was once the offices for the John Whitehead & Co. Foundry which was located on the car park and former nightclub next door. We discovered a trap door when renovating the space which unearthed the business archive from Whitehead & Co. from the late 1800s up to their eventual administration in the early 1960s. This snap shot of an important Preston business and capsule of social history is still intact in our office until we can get funding and interest to get it safe in the archives where it should belong. If you are interested in learning more, be sure to contact us or visit on our Heritage Open Day event in September this year.

You can find out more about the work we do as SHOP Preston on the dedicated webpage or visit our instagram account @shop_preston

To keep up to date on everything NWDC is up to, including site visits, planning approvals and more, be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages.