The charity who would operate the city’s new Youth Zone has defended the revised design for the building.Advertisement
A redrawn design shows the new Youth Zone no longer attached to the Bus Station and smaller in size.
Lancashire County Council says its new plans for the building, put together by architect John Puttick and Preston-based Cassidy + Ashton, mean there are reduced running costs for the youth zone.
The 20th Century Society and Historic England are understood to have raised concerns about the original Youth Zone design, voted for by the public, causing it to be redrawn.
OnSide, the charity who will operate Preston Youth Zone, said the new facility will still have everything young people need.
Chairman of the Youth Zone Guy Topping said: “We feel this new and improved design is hugely exciting for the city. The changes have been major steps forward in providing the young people of Preston and surrounding areas with a safe and inspiring place to spend their leisure time, whilst at the same time preserving the architectural integrity of the listed bus station.
“It was important for us to work closely with all stakeholders so that the final design has the best chance of securing planning consent and delivers the quality and range of facilities that Preston Youth Zone is determined to provide.”
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The Bus Station and Youth Zone project is costing £23.3 million and investigation work on repairing the Bus Station’s ageing car park entry and exit ramps has already begun. £1m of funding for the scheme is coming from Preston Youth Zone.
The new youth zone is due to operate seven days a week, offering 20 activities every session for young people aged eight to 19, or up to the age of 25 if they have a disability.
Prestonians are invited to view the full plans for the Youth Zone, which go on display on Thursday (19 May) until Saturday (21 May). They are available to view on Stand 3 at the Bus Station from 8.30am to 5.30pm on the weekdays and 8.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.
Leader of the county council Jennifer Mein said: “Taking time to get the design right now will help this process in the future. It’s important that we develop plans to gain the necessary planning approval and ensure that we deliver this youth zone for our young people and improve the bus station for everyone to use.”
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After the public exhibition a planning application is due for approval by the county council’s cabinet in June, before being formally submitted to Preston City Council. The timescale for the opening of the Youth Zone is sometime in 2019.
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