Ice rink or concert venue? Plans for Preston bus station forecourt are submitted.

A PROPOSED new public square in front of Preston Bus Station could have a dual life as an outdoor concert venue or an ice rink and mini market.

Monday, 9th January 2017, 4:28 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 5:46 pm
Flashback: (from left) Architect John Puttick, leader of Lancashire County Council Coun Jennifer Mein and Jerry Glover, senior consultant for Preston Youth Zone - celebrated last year as initial plans were announced to revamp Preston Bus Station

Lancashire County Council has unveiled details of its latest proposals for the regeneration of the bus station site in a new planning application which envisages thousands of visitors attending outdoor concerts there.

It wants the station’s Tithebarn Street forecourt to be developed so it can be transformed, when desired, into a multiple use entertainment/event space and concert venue..

The ambitious proposals detail how the square and, when required, an adjacent lawned landscaped area, could be utilised for a variety of events. New smaller attractions could range from a 15m x 25 m ice rink or 18 pop-up back-to-back market stalls, to larger one day events with capacity to welcome up to 4,400 people.

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Lancashire County Council's deputy leader, County Coun David Borrow

County Coun David Borrow, the county council’s deputy leader, said: “I’m sure there will be lots of comments on different ways of using the space. But having seen how space is used in other towns and cities whether for ice rinks or concerts I’m sure Preston can become a bigger destination for events and entertainment.”

The application seeks permission to close the bus station’s existing western apron, which buses now travel across, to create the new square. In future buses will access from the opposite side of the bus station. A drop off zone for the new Preston Youth zone will also be created. The proposals, submitted by architects Cassidy & Ashton, are the latest in the multimillion pound revamp of the Grade II listed Bus Station building. They detail how the operator of the adjacent Guild Hall has advised on facilities required for “high end” performers.

These would include real loos, possible on site showers, a lounge dressing room area and private catering area, plus several cabins for production offices/ site security etc. Details of the plans are on the council’s website.

• What would you like to see the square used for?

Lancashire County Council's deputy leader, County Coun David Borrow