Design ideas flood in for the future look of Preston’s iconic bus station

Preston Bus Station
Preston Bus Station
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A competition to create a vision for how Preston’s iconic bus station could look with a £13m facelift has attracted more than 90 entries.

The Grade II listed bus station is to be transformed into a vibrant public space and the home of the new Preston Youth Zone, while preserving the building’s unique brutalist architecture.

A total of 93 submissions will now be evaluated by the judging panel, before five are shortlisted for the next stage of the competition. Entries will be considered anonymously.

The panel will be led by Hugh Broughton, architect and RIBA appointed advisor. He will be joined by Rob Carter, OnSide’s deputy chief executive, members of the county council and city council cabinets, as well as architects from the county council and campaigner John Wilson as a community representative.

Sue Procter, director of programmes and project management for Lancashire County Council, said: “We’re delighted to have had such a large number of submissions. This is an exciting time for the design competition.

“The five shortlisted teams will be provided with feedback on their submissions and asked to further develop their concept designs.

“The aim is to ensure the bus station site becomes a catalyst for regeneration and to make it more appealing to passengers. It’s key to the competition that we protect the integrity of this listed building, while creating an exciting new facility for generations of young people.”

The architectural competition is being run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), on behalf of the county council and Preston Youth Zone.

As an independent charity Preston Youth Zone will be delivered as a result of a powerful combination of public, private and voluntary sector support led by OnSide Youth Zones, a charity dedicated to providing modern youth facilities based on the model of the highly successful and innovative Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Preston Youth Zone will contribute £1m towards the construction costs, with Lancashire County Council investing £5m.

Kathryn Morley, chief executive at OnSide Youth Zones, said: “Preston Bus Station is an iconic symbol in the city and it’s fantastic to see such a great response to this design competition.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with Lancashire County Council to review the submissions and develop a design that will complement the brutalist architecture of the existing bus station and provide a state-of-the-art Youth Zone for Preston’s young people.”

To find out more about the competition, visit www.ribacompetitions.com/preston.