A proposal to ensure the future of Preston Bus Station could see part of the structure converted into a youth centre, as part of a £23 million renovation. The proposal by the building's owners, Lancashire County Council, involves halving the number of bus bays used by the structure to 40, freeing up the western end of the building for other uses, including a sports hall, climbing wall, art centre and outdoor sports pitches.
In addition to the youth centre, the £23 million budget covers renovation to the existing structure and improvements to the surrounding highway. Funding for the proposal will come partly from the council and partly from Preston Youth Zone.
More on the proposal after the break
The building was designed by BDP and completed in 1969, and had been slated for demolition. However, last year a campaign to save the brutalist structure ended with it being listed at Grade-II, preventing the council's development plans. "The heritage listing made it clear that the bus station is here to stay and our proposals will ensure it becomes an asset to Lancashire for decades to come," said County Councillor John Fillis.
Removing the bus bays from the western end of the building will also enable the extension of the "shared space" initiative on Fishergate, improving the pedestrian access between the building and the city centre. "Preston bus station is not only centrally located it is also extremely accessible to young people, making it an ideal location for us to deliver youth services," added Guy Topping, chairman of the Preston Youth Zone.
A planning application is expected to be submitted in April, and if approved the work will begin next October.