Leading figures from Preston’s arts and architecture scene have made a direct appeal to Lancashire County Council to save Preston’s Bus Station.
A letter sent to every county councillor says how “the future of Lancashire’s greatest civil building of the 20th Century is in grave peril.”
The building, regarded by many as an architectural masterpiece, is facing demolition under current plans by the city council.
An open letter signed by the likes of designer Wayne Hemingway, the owners of the New Continental and They Eat Culture plus a host of senior architects and artists in the city, outlines a third way for keeping the building.
They write “what we implore is that you consider a third option, which would keep the current internationally recognised, triumphant structure, without committing to any new spending.”
The letter explains the third option would use funding earmarked for rebuilding the bus station to be used to create a 25-30 stand station.
The rest of the £8.2 million rebuilding fund would be spent finding a creative solution for the other half of the site.
Campaigners feel an international design competition run in conjunction with the city council would find an innovative use for the rest of the building.
Jeremy Rowlands, owner of the The Continental and soon to be launched city centre pub, said they wanted to send a message to all of the county councillors.
He said: “It became quite clear which body was driving the demolition process and who had the funding to save the building.”
The letter makes it clear the city’s artists and architects feel demolition of the Bus Station would send a negative message about how Preston sees itself.
It states: “Preston Bus Station is internationally recognised as one of the greatest civic buildings of its generation. Revitalised this could be a catalyst for the regeneration of the whole of Preston. It could be one of the jewels in Lancashire’s crown.
“We should be talking about how, for instance, we can create a city garden on its rooftop, a fabulous new City Square on its front apron. Innovative new retail and leisure in its Concourse. This could be a tourist attraction in itself and can show the world how Lancashire is at the forefront of innovation and radiate civic pride.”
You can view the full letter below
Preston Bus Station:L Preston artists and architects letter to Lancashire County Council by BlogPreston
What do you think? Does the ‘third way’ have legs? What do you think should happen? Let us know in the comments below