It’s third time lucky for Preston Bus Station.
It has been confirmed as a grade II listed building, making it a building of national importance and special interest.
Bus Station campaigners, who want to stop the building being demolished, have tweeted to say “It’s official. Grade II listed status.” with a picture of a thumbs up super-imposed over the Bus Station building.
Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, was due to make a decision earlier this month but that decision has now been made – in favour of listing.
A letter from Stella Jackson, senior designation co-ordinator for English Heritage, to Bus Station campaigners, states: “As you may know we have been considering adding the above building to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Having considered our recommendation, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has decided to add Preston Central Bus Station and Car Park to the List. The building is now listed at Grade II.”
The current plan for the Bus Station by Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council is to demolish the building and replace it with a smaller bus station.
The listed status mean this would be more difficult, but not impossible, for the councils to achieve and they may have to consider other options.
Commenting on this decision councillor Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “Obviously it’s not the outcome we were hoping for. We’ve always said the bus station is too big, provides relatively poor facilities for bus passengers and costs Preston taxpayers over £300,000 a year to maintain.
“We will have to take some time now to consider the listing decision and the options for moving forward.
“In particular, we need to look at costs and the impact on budgets and how it affects Preston taxpayers. We will work closely with Lancashire County Council as transport authority to consider the next steps.”
Councillor Rankin also tweeted his congratulations to the Bus Station campaigners.
Congrats to ‘Save the BS’. Now we need vigorous campaign to raise some money. Minister listed BS but no funding!
— Peter Rankin (@pcc_leader) September 23, 2013
Angela Brady from the Royal Institute of British Architects tweeted to say “well done” to those involved in the Save Preston Bus Station campaign.
The listing bid was led by English Heritage who have described the building as an excellent example of brutalist architecture. Two previous attempts to have the building listed failed.
A statement from Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, welcomed the listing decision.
He said: “A dramatic building which combines innovation with architectural panache, the Bus Station fully deserves this marker of special recognition.
“With an unusual blend of New Brutalist architecture mellowed by the curves of the roof and the sweeping ranks of the car park, this ‘megastructure’ was designed to recreate a sense of the monumental within the British town scene: it is a landmark in the innovation of transport-related buildings as well as a landmark of Preston.
“The Heritage Minister’s decision recognises the ingenuity with which the car park and the bus station are combined – strikingly uniting simple forms with the details required by a building with a heavy-duty function.
“It is a bus station which aspired to the glamour of other forms of travel, combining rational modernity with expressive architectural forms. During a time of optimism in progress and modernity, it was devised to provide the added facilities needed by the town as well as long-distance services made possible by the opening of the M6 and gave Preston a unique place in coach travel.
“Preston Bus Station is truly remarkable; the boldness of vision, the ingenuity of the design, the attention to detail and the aesthetic impact mark it out from the vast numbers of public buildings built since the Second World War.
“Listing will not prevent changes being made, provided that the architectural significance of the building is protected. We are aware that Preston City Council faces challenges in maintaining the structure and integrating it effectively with the city centre and that, as a result, it has decided that it wishes to demolish it.
“We will however continue to explore with the Council how these challenges can be addressed so that the building can once again play a key role in the life of the city.”
Want more Bus Station? See Tony Worrall’s photos ‘the beauty of Preston Bus Station‘ and see how the Bus Station has got Twitter talking.
What do you think about the decision? Are you glad it’s been listed? Or not? Let us know in the comments below