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Preston Youth Zone plans lodged for Preston Bus Station site

Posted on - 4th September, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Charities, News, Preston Bus Station, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Redevelopment
Another view of the Youth Zone alongside the Bus Station

Another view of the Youth Zone alongside the Bus Station

Final plans for Preston’s new Youth Zone, in the shadow of Preston Bus Station, have been submitted.

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A scaled-back version of the original design the public voted for was revealed in May.

Now councillors at Preston City Council will be asked to decide whether the multi-million pound building can go ahead.

Lancashire County Council is building the Youth Zone on the western side of the Bus Station, facing the city centre.

Charity OnSide, who already operate a number of other youth zones in Lancashire, are to operate the building and are contributing £1m towards the project.

Leader of the county council Jennifer Mein said: “This planning application for the Youth Zone is another big step forward for the redevelopment of the bus station site.

“Our overall plans will provide this exciting new Youth Zone and new outdoor space next to the bus station, as well as improved facilities for public transport users and motorists.”

A view of the Youth Zone from the Ringway

A view of the Youth Zone from the Ringway

The Youth Zone is to open seven days a week and offer 20 activities per session for youngsters aged eight to 19, or up to 25 for those with disabilities.

Read more: Youth Zone must ‘learn lessons of Bolton’

Chairman of the Youth Zone Guy Topping said: “This is an exciting step towards building and opening what will be an amazing facility for the young people of Preston.

“Preston Youth Zone will provide world class facilities and will give our city’s young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to. A lot of hard work has gone into getting us in a position where we can submit this application.

“OnSide has built an amazing legacy with the Youth Zones already in operation across the country and it is extremely exciting that Preston can be part of its future.”

Inside the new Youth Zone

Inside the new Youth Zone

Architect John Puttick and the county council faced criticism back in May for amending the winning design voted for by the public.

Puttick said: “One of our key objectives has been to design a building maximizing available public space in and around the bus station to create a major new square for Preston. This supports the civic quality of the project.

“It has also been important to respond to the proudly utilitarian quality of Preston Bus Station by designing a new neighbour that shares and celebrates this robustness just as a youth centre used for sport and as a place for creativity should do.

“Part of the building’s youthfulness, we hope, will be its openness and ability to engage young people, as well as provide them with a wide range of exciting facilities for them to explore.”

Work on restoring the grade-II listed Bus Station has already begun, with a total £23m budget set aside for the building and the Youth Zone.

Workmen on the now mothballed Bow Lane site

Workmen on the now mothballed Bow Lane site

Original proposals for a Youth Zone, promised to the city since 2009, saw it being built in Bow Lane. Demolition of the old Weights and Measures offices had taken place to create the space.

What do you think of the Youth Zone? Will your kids be using it? Let us know in the comments below

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