After six years of standing empty, an iconic Preston building is set for new owners.
Cash-strapped Lancashire County Council has announced it has agreed in principle to the sale of the kidney-shaped former Deepdale Day Centre, on the corner of Blackpool Road and Sir Tom Finney Way.
Pending planning permission, it is hoped a new private care home will be opened on the site, though questions have been raised about the loss of a community facility.
County Councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of the council, said: “This property has been empty for some time, so we’re pleased that a sale is in the process of being agreed.
“This will raise money for the council, while also creating jobs in any new development on the site.”
Deepdale Councillor Terry Cartwright, who has been calling for action on the decaying building for years, cautiously welcomed the news, but called on LCC to provide more for the people of his ward.
He said: “If the end result is that it becomes an elderly care home, then I can’t see a problem with that.
“But the issue, yet again, is that Deepdale has lost a community building.
“I know it’s been empty for six years, but there is nothing for community use in the Deepdale ward area.
“I’m going back a long time now, but they’ve built all over the retail park area, the fire station has taken up land, and St Oswald’s Youth Club has shut.
“It’s a pity that the Day Centre can’t be used for the community. I know the argument will be about a lack of cash, but money is put into other places like Moor Nook Community Centre. Why’s that?”
He added: “I just hope that whoever takes over the site will retain the lovely curved shape at the front, that is quite important.”
No details have been provided on how much the sale amount is, or who the buyers are.