SHOPPERS in Preston can take a ramble to a colourful mosaic in the centre of town as part of a new project to commemorate a historical location.

The newly completed work of art is situated along one of the town's main pedestrian routes from the top of Orchard Street to the covered market, near the historic Market Taven pub.

It has been created as part of the an initiative to secure environmental improvements in the town centre with the lavish art work representing the council's commitment to public art.

The huge creation is located on Starch House Square -- one of the town's most popular meeting points for many people -- where the council have installed low-maintenance, natural stone seating. Quadrants of coloured mosaic represent the four elements -- air, earth, fire and water -- surrounded by stainless steel inscriptions with the paving forming an amphitheatre.

Preston mayor, councillor Joe Hood, said: "We hope the space will be used as a place to rest or just even for people to take a few moments out of their busy routine. Preston has a rich heritage and it is fitting that we have been able to celebrate this through the restoration of Starch House Square."

The square was originally occupied by Starch Houses, built around 1791, which were used for starching and sizing cloth. Founder of the Methodist movement John Wesley preached nearby in 1790.

In 1913 the houses were demolished, leaving the gap known to Prestonians as Starch House Square.