Preston Bus Station could be the “unique selling point” for the city according to a new report.
Representatives from English Heritage visited Preston in October last year and have sent an 11 page dossier to the city council outlining their desires for the city.
They focus on the Bus Station building and its potential for how it fits into the regeneration of Preston city centre.
English Heritage write: “Distinctiveness can take many forms and not necessarily that of commonly-accepted ideas of beauty, but in the view of the Panel (English Heritage) the power and presence of the bus station is undeniable.”
They go on to say Preston should look to use the bus station as a very visible symbol of the city.
The Bus Station has recently been transferred to Lancashire County Council who will operate the building – after the city council signed it away for £1.
English Heritage say although it will continue to operate as a Bus Station they feel other uses could be explored.
The report states: “A creative and imaginative approach is required which could harness the substantial goodwill towards the building evident within architectural and other circles.
“The approach could include a programme of interim or pop-up uses and possible an international designer/developer competition to explore future long term uses and how it might better link with the city centre and other complexes such as the Guildhall Centre, whilst at the same time providing new uses needed in Preston.”
It goes on to liken the building to Tate Modern, Millennium Dome and Park Hill in Sheffield for modern buildings reborn with alternative uses.
The last time English Heritage visited Preston was in 2003, before the collapse of the Tithebarn regeneration project.
The report is due to go to the city council’s next cabinet meeting on Wednesday 14 May to be discussed.
You can view the full English Heritage report on the city council website.
What do you think about English Heritage’s view? Valid points or living in a fantasy land? Let us know your views in the comments below