‘White knights’ deadline is close

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Business people interested in taking over Preston Bus Station are urged to get their bids in soon.

The deadline to express interest is Thursday, January 31.

There have so far been two bids tabled for the iconic building, which faces demolition because Preston City Council cannot afford the upkeep.

One is described as a “wealthy Lancashire businessman”, and the other as a public sector business person.

Council leader Coun Peter Rankin has called for more ‘white knights’ to grant a last-minute repreive.

A spokesman for Preston City Council said: “It’s not like selling a house - there is no asking price as such.

“The bidders have to prove to us that they have the money needed to invest in the station and that they have a substantial business plan.

“The bus station must also be kept as a bus station, because we don’t want a situation in a year’s time where it faces being demolished once more.”

The council says that the bus station costs £300,000 a year to maintain, and to carry out much-needed repairs would cost £1.4m.

According to a report to councillors, the bus station would also need a further £5m of investment over the next few years.

English Heritage wants the iconic building to be protected but has already made it clear it cannot provide any monetary help.