Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has added to the multitude of tributes paid to honorary alderman and former council leader Peter Rankin who died at home on Sunday.
A book of condolence is now available at the town hall for the council veteran who had been battling a brain tumour.
A funeral to celebrate his life will take place on Monday, June 25 at Preston Minster from 11.30am.
And town hall officers have issued their gratitude for the “wonderful” tributes that have been “pouring in” throughout this week.
Mr Corbyn said his party colleague was a “hugely respected figure” and referenced the recognition the local authority had received for implementing its economic approach now referred to as the Preston Model.
He said: “I’m sad to hear that Peter Rankin died at the weekend.
“He was a hugely respected figure in local politics who was utterly committed to working for the people of Preston.
“Under Peter’s long leadership of the council, Preston was named our UK Council of the Year and a ground-breaking project brought jobs and money back into the local economy.
"My thoughts are with Peter’s family and friends.”
Honorary alderman Rankin received the Labour award on behalf of the council at a London ceremony in December.
He said: “I was so pleased to receive this award. It was a thrill and a fantastic credit for everything we have been doing in Preston.”
The 67-year-old was first elected to the city council in 1982, serving 28 years as a councillor including two spells as leader.
An online book of condolence is available at the council’s website in addition to the physical version at the town hall.
A town hall spokesman said the funeral would be open to the public. They said: "The Rankin family warmly welcomes all who wish to attend, to join them in remembering Peter Rankin at this service.