What are the plans?
A deal in 2016 between County Hall and its own pension fund paved the way for the iconic Park Hotel overlooking Miller Park to be restored to former glories. It has been closed for approaching 70 years.
In essence, not much. The ins and outs of the deal are still being hammered out but the county council has said the plans remain on track.
What is the latest update?
The transfer of the site at East Cliff to the Lancashire Pension Fund is in its final stages, which means works could finally get underway later this year, although it remains too early to speculate on an opening date.
Is a company in line to run the hotel?
Yes, but County Hall is remaining tight-lipped. Leader Geoff Driver said: “An experienced company is being lined up to run the new hotel, and their views have also been taken on board as part of this process. This is a landmark building and it is essential that the redevelopment is done carefully, to make the most of this important site. The transfer of this site to the Lancashire Pension Fund is currently being finalised. Once this has been completed, the next stage of this work will involve redeveloping the site to create a new hotel and office space.Sales can sometimes take time to agree, due to the level of investment required for the redevelopment, the complexity of the plans and the needs of the future commercial operation.
Why is the building so significant?
In its heyday the hotel played host to the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) as well as PM Stanley Baldwin and entertainer Gracie Fields. It was formerly the home of the Simpsons who owned Preston’s gold thread works.