Consent for £13m Preston Youth Zone

Lancashire County Council has given the green light to the construction of a £13m youth facility next to Preston’s grade two-listed bus station.

The Preston Youth Zone will house a wide range of activities for young people including sports, arts and music. The Youth Zone will be housed in a free-standing building designed by New York-based John Puttick Associates, on the city centre side of the bus station. The buses would continue to use the opposite side of the building.

The bus station and surrounding yard is owned by Lancashire County Council.

The total budget for the bus station improvement work and construction of the Youth Zone is around £24m. Preston Youth Zone will contribute £1m towards the project, with funding also coming from the Preston, South Ribble & Lancashire City Deal.

When the revamp of the bus station was first proposed last year, the Youth Zone was going to be built as an extension of the station. However, feedback from Historic England and The 20th Century Society criticised plans to construct directly onto the station’s listed Brutalist façade, so the buildings were separated.

The Youth Zone was one of several planning applications in process for the bus station.

Other changes include the creation of new public space outside the bus station on the city centre side, as well as alterations to the road layout, the bus station concourse and the car park levels.

A start on site for the Youth Zone is expected in autumn 2017.

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