Park Hotel Preston
The 1960s office building is being demolished as part of the redevelopment

Demolition underway at Preston’s Park Hotel

Dan Whelan

Contractor Eric Wright has started demolition work as part of plans to redevelop The Park Hotel, which was most recently used as offices by Lancashire County Council, bringing it back into use as a 71-bedroom hotel with a spa and offices. 

The Park Hotel in Preston’s East Cliff area opened in 1882 and the part of the building being demolished is an office block built in the 1960s. 

Knocking down this part of the site is intended to make room for a mixed-use five-storey building that will be used for offices on the lower two floors, along with a further 44 hotel rooms on the upper floors. 

The original red-brick structure will be restored, and a pavilion will be built immediately to the east of the Park Hotel building, overlooking Avenham and Miller Parks, to be used as a banqueting suite for up to 500 people. 

The mixed-use scheme is being brought forward by the Local Pension Partnership, a joint venture between Lancashire County Council and the London Pensions Fund Authority, which bought the hotel in 2016. 

Lancashire County Council Pension Fund is set to take the ground and first floor office space. 

In addition, No.8 East Cliff, a grade two-listed building on the site, will be converted from its former use as an office into a spa to serve the hotel, under the plans. 

Cassidy & Ashton is the architect and Frank Whittle Partnership is the project manager and cost consultant. 

Park Hotel Preston

A five-storey extension featuring hotel rooms and offices will replace the demolished office block

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The new building is certainly an improvement on the current eyesore office block. However, it is still flat and featureless. In other words, a box. Why can’t the facade that faces the park and river, at least, be built more in keeping with the original magnificent Park Hotel. It is such an iconic building, one of very few left in Preston. Also when the Hotel is refurbished, I hope that doesn’t mean that all the historic and magnificent interior features like the tiling on the corridors and stair case, the plaster mouldings and cornices will be removed. Hopefully the grandeur will be retained.

By Tass Cotton

Doesn’t make sense keeping the ‘iconic’ eyesore 1960s bus station while demolishing this similar gem from the same period.

By Doris

I have been inside both the pre-refurbished bus station and the annexe to Park Hotel. It makes perfect sense to keep the bus station with its striking curves whilst demolishing one of the most shabbiest buildings I’ve seen or been in. The bus station recently had a major overhaul and refurb which has binned the weakest bits of the old interior and enhanced the existing features with quality replacements. The old market and indoor car park – now that was ugly – is now gone. It’s all about keeping the best.

Saying that though, the new Park Hotel building is a disappointment – why so bland? What is needed ideally is something that both respects the setting of hotel and park, and is great in its own right. The current timid proposal is no worce if we great a mass-housebuilder-style extension instead.

I can imagine Clitheroe’s excellent Staton Andrews Architects doing something great here. In fact, I can imagine Cassidy and Ashton doing something interesting here like they did with the Riley building at Bolton College – oh wait… this plans by by C and A. Clearly LCC wanted something boring then…

Preston actually has a lot of ‘iconic’ buildings.Though I think iconic is probably the wrong word. The city doesn’t shout loudly like some in the north west. The Harris Museum, Miller Arcade, the stage set of Winckley Square, the envy of many cities. Then there’s the Harris Institute near Avenham Park, Sessions House, the restored Baptist Church, Preston Minister, St Walburgh’s Church, the former Conservative Club on Guildhall Street. And Fishergate has never looked better. It also has a green public realm strategy which larger cities can learn from.

By SW

Really disappointing. Yes, by all means demolish the rotten 1960s block, but why not replace it with something which tries to complement and extend the fabulous Victorian hotel – even if only on the south facade?

By Matthew Jones