Campaigners fighting to save Preston Bus Station from demolition have celebrated it gaining Grade II listed status - and said there is funding available to revamp the building.
John Wilson, from the Save Preston Bus Station group, said: “It’s fantastic news but it is only the tip of the iceberg.
“We have got to convince Preston Council to think the way English Heritage think.
“They have got to take a positive attitude and take the advice of professionals - the people who know about buildings.
“This opens up the doors now for heritage lottery funding and Ed Vaizey has said there are billions of pounds in there. Preston Council have got to take a positive line and say ‘we’re going to save this building, redevelop it and save it for the people of Preston’, and not take a negative view and look to get a certificate to demolish a listed building.
“I doubt they will take that route now, but the option is open to them.”
Mr Wilson has long disputed Preston Council’s figure of an estimated £17-23m cost to refurbish the building.
He said: “English Heritage sent their team in and when you break down the figures the money you need for refurbishment and repairs is less than £5m. All the rest is add-ons.
“They have got vastly inflated figures to sway public opinion in these times of austerity. We’re not asking them to spend that kind of money.
“There is £8.3m sitting in the county council kitty that runs out in May. There is £23m in capital funding for Preston BID, and they’ve just got £430m from the City Deal.
Angela Brady, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, has been a key supporter of the campaign and the English Heritage application.
She said: “I am delighted that Save Preston Bus Station has been successful and the bus station has been listed.
“This decision is the right one for the community and the future of architecture heritage.
“It is a key part of the history of architecture of Preston and tells a real story of 1960s architecture style. It will save a magnificent, much loved building for future generations to change to suit their needs, to keep the building alive within the community.”