Hotel looks to get stamp of approval
Preston Council has been actively marketing the iconic building in the city centre, which has just hosted its second Best of Britannia North event.
Bosses say negotiations are still ongoing around the sale of the Grade II listed property, but it looks like it could become a small hotel.
Leader of Preston Council, Coun Peter Rankin, said there had been “considerable interest” in the former Post Office.
He said: “We’ve marketed the building and there’s been considerable interest, and we’ve narrowed it down to three.”
Coun Rankin said the authority was looking to sell the building, adding: “It’s going to be a very expensive building to renovate, so it’s still touch-and-go as to whether the sale proceeds because of the magnitude of the job that needs doing.”
He described the former Post Office as a “fabulous building”, and said it was vital the right owner was found.
He said: “It is a very significant building, it’s a beautiful, beautiful building and it’s been lying vacant for a very long time.
“It is a very quirky building, particularly if you go inside.
“It’s quite bizarre the way it works, it’s got different buildings tacked on to one another, it’s got different levels, it’s got the drainage running inside rather than outside.
“But it’s a fabulous building, it’s very significant, it’s in a very prominent position at the Flag Market so it’s very important we find the right owner for it and put it to a good use.
“Preston doesn’t have enough hotels, so it’s possible that might be what it would end up as, a small boutique hotel.”
Coun Rankin said any money the council achieved from the building would go into the City Deal pot, and would not help with the council’s balance sheet.
The building has been used for various temporary events, the latest at the weekend when it was transformed in a showcase of British design, fashion and manufacturing in the Best of Britannia North 2016.
The BOB event - which was launched last year - returned even bigger promoting the best of British manufacturers from across the north of England and beyond.
The “magnificent” building opened its doors in 1903, and closed almost a century later amid a storm of protest.
It was closed in 2002 in a controversial move, to shut up shop and move to a side street location off Fishergate.