Lancashire County Council has put three 1960s office buildings up for sale in Preston City centre with development potential including for residential use.
Two of the buildings up for sale are Winckley House and Guild House, which overlook Winckley Square, on either side of Cross Street. 58-60 Guild Hall Street, located around the corner from Winckley Square, is also available.
Lancashire County Council is in talks with Preston City Council’s planning department over potential demolition. Others uses being considered include retail, restaurants and hotel.
The square sits within the Preston housing zone where the city council has identified potential for up to 750 units. Cushman & Wakefield is advising Preston.
The offices are currently still being used by the county council, but will be vacated next year. Cllr Jennifer Mein, leader of the county council, said: “Winckley Square is an important base for some of the city’s professional services, so we believe that these properties offer great development potential that could bring new jobs, housing and economic activity into the city centre.
“By making changes to the ways our services work, we’ve been able to reduce the number of buildings we need. This reduces the cost of running our services and means that we can dispose of buildings, such as these, that we’ll no longer need.”
The county council is currently maximising the use of its existing properties and office space, in order to save millions of pounds by reducing the number of buildings the council owns and rents.
Lancashire County Council needs to save £200m by 2020/21, as a result of ongoing government cuts to its budget and rising demand for services.
Offers are sought on the individual buildings, all three or a combination. Winckley House is approximately 41,000 sq ft, Guild House is 27,700 sq ft and Guild Hall Street is 14,400 sq ft.
Cllr Mein added: “This is an exciting time with major investments and improvements coming into the city. Improvements are planned for Winckley Square, the railway and the bus station, and there are exciting redevelopments planned for the former Park Hotel, and the Markets Quarter.
“In addition, our multi-million pound Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal is helping people to get around, creating new jobs and new homes. This is a once-in-a-lifetime funding programme to transform Central Lancashire, creating thousands of new jobs and homes, while increasing the size of the local economy by £1bn.
“As a result of all of these factors, we’re hoping that there’ll be strong interest in the sale of these buildings.”
CBRE is marketing agent for Lancashire County Council.