Preston Youth Zone has moved a step closer after being approved by councillors.Advertisement
The new multi-million pound building is to be built on the western side of the grade-II listed Preston Bus Station.
Original plans showed it being directly attached to the car park and bus station but it was amended to become a free-standing building.
Preston City Council’s planning committee has approved the Youth Zone proposal – part of the £24 million revamp of the Bus Station and surrounding area.
Leader of Lancashire County Council, who now own the Bus Station, county councillor Jennifer Mein, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve got approval for this exciting project, which will provide a major new space for young people.
“This planning approval is a major step forward for our overall redevelopment plans on the bus station site. There’s a great momentum building on this project, with car park repairs, concourse improvements and now the planning approval for the new Youth Zone.
“Our overall plans will also provide new outdoor space next to the bus station, as well as improved facilities for public transport users and motorists.
“It’s important news for our young people, as well as this part of the city centre.”
The Youth Zone is to be run by the charity OnSide who are contributing £1m towards the costs of the building.
It will be open seven days a week and offer 20 activities each session for young people aged eight to 19, and up to the age of 25 for those with a disability.
Read more: How many stands there will be at the new Preston Bus Station
Chairman of Preston Youth Zone Guy Topping said: “This is a significant step forward in the development of the Youth Zone and we are absolutely delighted that the hard work it has taken to get to this point, has now paid off.
“The potential the Youth Zone has for the whole of Preston and its future generation is unprecedented – it will change the lives of thousands of young people.
“The young people of Preston want and need this facility and with the planning application given the green light, we can now look ahead to construction work commencing.”
Plans for the Youth Zone were drawn up by award-winning New York architect John Puttick.
He said: John 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.”
Read more: Farewell to the subways as Bus Station to be restored to 60s glory
The Youth Zone is due to be built by 2018, with work beginning in September 2017.
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