Two years to the day a decision was taken in Whitehall which made permanent a building which divides Prestonians.Advertisement
23 September 2013 is the date when Preston Bus Station’s future was all but secured.
Former culture minister Ed Vaizey chose to grant the building a grade II listing, a status which meant it was near impossible for Preston City Council to proceed with knocking it down – as they had planned to do.
Save The Bus Station campaigner John Wilson is pleased with how the future of the transport hub and car park now looks.
He said: “The 23rd September 2013 is etched in my memory bank forever. Many things have happened in the last two years. The change of ownership between Preston and Lancashire Councils was a major factor in moving forward with new ideas and investment.”
A £23 million proposal for the Bus Station is being advanced by the county council and includes a new building on the Western Apron for a Preston Youth Zone.
The winning design picked by a panel which included Mr Wilson was crafted in New York by architect John Puttick.
Mr Wilson said: “I was really pleased and privileged to be included on the judges panel by RIBA and Lancashire County Council.
“The public may not have noticed changes within the building but it’s happening. LCC have set up new administration to coordinate and monitor services, cleaning and security.
“The redevelopment schedule and funding is now set out on a strict timetable by LCC. Much depends on planning decisions and how Historic England see the integration of the Youth Zone linked to the Bus Station!
“When the phased development is complete, including the public realm, Preston and Lancashire will have a modern concourse within the Grade II Listed building, the whole area will be enhanced with the revitalised Guild Hall, redeveloped St John’s centre and Markets.”
In 2019 the Bus Station will be 50 years old and it may be a little different by then…
What do you think of the Bus Station saga? Did you agree with the listing decision? Let us know in the comments below