Preston is getting a second “Harris” facing the Flag Market after developers announced the renovation of the old Post Office into a boutique hotel will bear the name of the city’s famous benefactor.
Work has now begun on turning the imposing 114-year-old Listed building into the plush 65-bedroomed Harris Hotel.
It is not yet clear when the project will be completed. But it is expected that by the end of next year the city centre will have a new upmarket place to stay only yards from the Harris Museum and Library.
Liverpool-based Signature Living are breathing fresh life into the Post Office building which was opened in 1903 and closed in 2005.
The imposing structure is to get a major refit after reports that parts of the interior are in poor condition with wet and dry rot.
When it is complete the hotel will offer customers high end accommodation with restaurants, bars and a wedding venue.
While the scheme will rescue one of Preston’s most prominent buildings, the plans have been criticised by the Twentieth Century Society because they include an two-storey rooftop extension which conservationists believe will detract from the original. A lettter to the city council said the extension would “have a harmful impact on the im portant exterior of a Listed building.”
A planning report by the developers says: “The building is currently un-used and is beginning to suffer from inevitable decay because of its redundancy.
“It is imperative that a sustainable new use is established quickly before further disrepair occurs.”