What needs to be done to kick start Church Street back into life? And how much does it cost to restore a building like the Old Post Office to its former glory?Advertisement
These are just two of the questions being asked of visitors to the Best of Britannia North exhibition.
Architecture lecturer Ann Vanner has a room in the Old Post Office which asks visitors to re-imagine Preston.
She said: “We’ve got all these different pockets of development happening in the city centre, but how does it all link together?
“This exhibition is about getting people to understand what’s going on with our buildings. We’re not short of fantastic spaces in the city but there is a lack of vision and ideas for them.
“Part of this is the barrier of the cost in doing them up.
“But you just have to think of how Church Street used to be. I remember getting the 123 bus into the city and coming down there it was bustling. There were pubs with bands on and it was a real place to go. There has to be a way to bring that back.”
Ann’s room at the BOB North event is covered in ways for people to suggest what should happen with places like Church Street.
Related: Has the pride been lost in one of Preston’s iconic streets?
It also gives an insight into how much it costs to restore a building like the Old Post Office which has seen damage caused by damp.
A square metre of floor in the room Ann is using would cost £175 to restore.
She said: “The Old Post Office for example is a big undertaking for someone.
“There’s no disabled access, so you’d need to put in lifts and it’s an expensive project.
“How are we as a city going to ensure these buildings survive?”
Related: Preston Pride of Place Project launches in Friargate shop
The Best of Britannia North exhibition is open to the public from 5pm on Friday until late afternoon on Sunday. Entry is £4 (£2 for students). The re-imagining Preston room is on the second floor.
It is a ‘pop-up department store’ showcasing the best designs, produce and ideas the North has to offer.
What do you think should be done with Church Street? Have you been to BOB North? Let us know your views in the comments below