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Student’s vision for landmark pub

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Interior design student Katarzyna sets out her vision for Preston pub.

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has come up with a way to breathe new life into a landmark former pub which has been sitting empty for over a year.

Interior design student Katarzyna Rajch wants to turn The Shawes Arms, on London Road, Walton-le-Dale, into a haven for cyclists and walkers using the Guild Wheel, which the pub sits on.

Her vision, which she sets out in her final year project for the University, would see the 19th century watering hole transformed into a place where thirsty Guild Wheel users could stop to relax and enjoy the building’s riverside setting.

The designs, which were displayed to the public at UCLan’s annual degree show celebrating students’ creative work, include a smoothie bar, bike workshop and hire store, and a spinning room, as well as a chandelier made entirely of bicycle wheels.

Katarzyna, who is originally from Poland, says she wanted to choose somewhere from Preston for her project because she feels the city has limited places for like-minded people to gather.

She explained: “The idea was to create something which would improve life for members of the Preston community; somewhere people can meet, relax and enjoy beautiful views.

“Being on the Guild Wheel, The Shawes Arms is ideal for cyclists but I also really liked the location and the panoramic scenery that surrounds it.”

The empty building, which has become run-down since it closed in 2014, was recently bought by a Lancashire businessman who said he was open to ideas for the pub’s future. 

The idea was to create something which would improve life for members of the Preston community; somewhere people can meet, relax and enjoy beautiful views.

Katarzyna says she would love to see her vision become a reality but is currently focusing on her role as a designer for Preston-based Lumenata Lighting Design.

The job offer came about as a result of UCLan’s relationship with Lumenata, which regularly takes on graduates from the University’s talent pool.

Katarzyna has lived in Preston for 10 years and chose to study at UCLan having previously been unable to study interior design in her native Poland.

She said: “Studying interior design has always been my dream. Back in Poland I enrolled onto a course but just as it was about to start, the course was cancelled. I was heartbroken.

“Years later somebody suggested I look into studying here in Preston. I didn’t think I would be able to but I took a foundation year and progressed onto the interior design course. I’ve enjoyed every minute and I’m really happy to have achieved my dream.” 

Press Office | 23 June 2016