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New future for Preston bus station as youth centre

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Preston’s grade II-listed Brutalist bus station is to be given a £23 million overhaul with part of the BDP-designed landmark set to become a new youth centre

Lancashire County Council, the bus station’s owners, and Preston Youth Zone this week announced ‘ambitious proposals’ to transform the 1969 neo-Corbusian concrete building into a ‘vibrant place’ for young people.

The threat of demolition had been hanging over the bus station for nearly a decade. But last September Ed Vaizey listed the popular bus station, which had been voted BDP’s second best building in the practice’s history (AJ 23.09.14)

The landmark was due to be pulled down to make way for the £700 million, Lend Lease-backed Tithebarn shopping scheme. However, that development collapsed in 2011 and, despite calls from the likes of Richard Rogers to save the bus station from demolition (AJ 31.05.13), its fate has remained in doubt.

The new scheme includes re-vamping the 1,100-space car park above the transport interchange, a new public space, and the creation of 36 new bus bays.

According to the local authority this ‘smaller’ bus and coach facility will take up just half of the existing ground floor paving the way for a £6 million Youth Zone Plus within the building.

The centre includes a separate sports hall, outdoor pitches, a climbing wall and arts facilities.

Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: ‘These proposals not only secure the bus station’s future, they represent a major investment in young people, transport and the regeneration of the city centre. 

‘We aim to breathe new life into the building and the space outside, making it a far more welcoming gateway to Preston. 

‘Much has been made of the historic place of the bus station but these proposals show how we intend to make the building a valuable part of Preston’s future.’ 

The planning application is expected to be submitted in April 2015.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I think it is a complete misnomer to continue to refer to this epic building as "Brutalist". Iconic, Structuralist but NOT Brutalist please! Wonderful that it now has the possibility to be saved, with a positive use for the future.

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  • Great news that something is being done to provide additional use to Preston Bus Stattion - but this shouldn't be restricted to 'Youth'.

    We need more places where the generations can meet and interact - not necessary all doing the same thing, but mixing and interacting. We really have to get used to designing places for everyone (without making them bland nothings).

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