‘Enormous’ potential of bus station

Photo Ian Robinson'Preston landmarks'Preston bus station
Photo Ian Robinson'Preston landmarks'Preston bus station
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Preston Bus Station could be the city’s “unique selling point”, according to an official review.

Representatives from English Heritage visited the city in October last year, to offer support on the city centre regeneration.

And in a detailed report, bosses said the brutalist structure had “enormous” potential, and urged council leaders to celebrate the Grade II listed building.

An urban panel review paper from the government body said the power and presence of the bus station was “undeniable”.

It said the bus station had the potential to be “the unique selling point for Preston, a positive marketing opportunity and a very visible symbol of the city”.

Ownership of the bus station has now been transferred to Lancashire County Council, and English Heritage said while a bus station will still operate from the building, other uses should be explored.

The review said: “A creative and imaginative approach is required which could harness the substantial goodwill towards the building evident within architectural and other circles.”

It added: “The potential of the bus station is enormous and the challenge is to enable others to see that potential.

“It has been done elsewhere with remarkable effect, eg Tate Modern, Battersea Power Station and the Millennium Dome.”

The paper will go before Preston Council’s cabinet next week, where members will be asked to agree recommendations and agree that officers will work with English Heritage to support the objectives of the collaboration agreement between Preston Council and Lancashire County Council.

Leader Coun Peter Rankin described the report as “very positive” and “full of good advice”.

He added: “We are working very closely with them on this and the city centre generally - we have signed the collaboration agreement which is a highly important decision, so we are very keen to get the work done on the bus station.”

Liberal Democrats group leader Coun Bill Shannon said: “Now that it’s been listed we’ve got to make the most of it and it is a unique selling point as far as Preston is concerned - it is going to define the city.

“But it’s only going to succeed if we can get the funding.”

Deputy Conservative group leader Eric Fazackerley said: “My favourite would have been to get rid of the bus station and start again on that site.

“However, the next best thing is what’s being proposed, to make it the unique selling point.”