The future of Preston’s former Post Office looks set to be as a hotel.Advertisement
Currently in use as a temporary exhibition space for Best of Britannia North the grade-II listed building is understood to have been sold.
Preston City Council has been actively marketing the building and three developers are understood to have expressed an interest in the 49,000 square foot space.
A report by council leader Peter Rankin in late February said “there is strong interest from developers and end users.”
He goes on to say three bids are due, each of which ‘has a hotel and associated leisure operator on board.’
It is understood these three bids have been received and council officers are deciding which one to recommend for acceptance. The sale of the building would go some way to plugging a rapidly expanding financial black hole the city council has due to central government cutbacks.
Related: Former Post Office must be maintained if council wants a new use, says heritage expert
Best of Britannia North organisers hinted they may be looking for a new home if they return to the city in 2017.
Joe Pidgeon, event director, said: “Whether we can come back to this building we don’t know. There’s rumours and talks about it being sold. But we certainly want to come back to Preston.”
The building was bought by the city council in 2005 and they have struggled to find a use for it since.
It has held a number of temporary art exhibitions and been used as a walk-in clinic for Christmas revellers.
Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Well I think there’s been several conversations. It’s an asset and with the vision or investment, whether it becomes a boutique hotel or could be some funky offices. I think it’s about having that architectural flare within a listed building.There’s so much you can do with it.”
Previous plans to turn the building into a technical college, alongside a bid from the University of Central Lancashire, were scrapped when the Department of Education knocked back a request for funding.
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