Lancashire County Council has indicated more money could be found to restore Preston Bus Station.
Last night we revealed how Preston City Council are putting in motion the transfer of the building to County Hall chiefs.
Now the man in charge of transport at the county council says more than the £8.3 million earmarked for improvements could be found, now the Bus Station is a grade II listed building.
Cabinet member for highways and transport, county councillor John Fillis, said: “The listing decision made it clear that the bus station is here to stay and we have to be pragmatic about how we create the most sustainable future for the building, which is why our officers have worked with Preston’s to draft these proposals.
“The arguments in favour of the transfer of the bus station are that, as the strategic transport authority for Lancashire, we have the experience and expertise gained from running other public transport hubs and would be better placed to make the bus station work.
“We also have the financial resources to attract additional funding and ensure that we could invest in the fabric of the building to provide a much better experience for the people who use it.”
Proposals to give the Bus Station from Town Hall bosses to County Hall will go before Preston City Council’s cabinet on Thursday 5 December.
Preston City Council leader Peter Rankin said it would be a weight off the city council’s shoulders.
He said: “This, I know, will be very much welcomed by the people of Preston. So too will the fact that the City Council will no longer have to find the money to run the building which, given the savage budget cuts imposed on Preston, was a significant financial strain for the City Council. Lancashire County Council simply has the scale, expertise and resources to manage such a large building.
“I’ve always understood people’s passion for Preston Bus Station and can see why many people want to keep it. Our past decision to demolish was purely a financial one. As a City Council, we couldn’t afford to either invest or indeed keep the building open.
“I am both relieved and delighted that the County Council is set to take the building on and secure the future of Preston Bus Station for the people of Preston and Lancashire.”
Bus Station campaigners, including John Wilson who has led the battle to save the building, say up to £15 million could be available to the county council.
Appearing on Radio Lancashire on Tuesday morning Mr Wilson said more funding should be available.
Preston City Council have indicated they want a refurbished bus station to sit at the heart of a regenerated City Centre North area, outlined in their new city centre plan.
What’s your view on the Bus Station transfer of ownership? Good idea or bad one? Let us know in the comments below