Public voting has opened to decide the favourite of the five shortlisted designs in the final round of the architectural competition for Preston’s iconic bus station and new youth centre.
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Five anonymous entries were chosen recently by the judging panel, and each design proposal has been worked on in more detail based on feedback.
The designs can be viewed online and at a special exhibition within the bus station in bays three and four today and tomorrow. Extensive slideshows and design details can be viewed at www.lancashire.gov.uk/competition. Online votes need to be registered by 4pm on Tuesday 21 July to be counted.
Public votes will be taken into consideration, accounting for up to 10% of the final choice, alongside architectural considerations. The winner will be announced in the summer.
The plans will see investment in the grade 2-listed bus station site, owned by Lancashire County Council, to create a vibrant public space and a home for the new Preston Youth Zone – while preserving the building’s unique brutalist architecture.
The architectural competition is being run by RIBA on behalf of the county council and Preston Youth Zone.
Cllr Jennifer Mein, leader of the county council, said: “We strongly feel that it’s important to give people an opportunity to see and vote on these plans.
“This isn’t a full consultation on the details of each proposal, but it’s a chance for people to see the designs and choose which one they like. Their views will help the judges to decide which scheme is selected.
“The grade 2-listed bus station will continue to be a major transport hub, but we also want to develop an exciting new space for young people. I’ve seen the five shortlisted submissions and I certainly feel that we’ve got innovative entries that will result in stunning plans for the site.
“Things are moving along well, a lot of progress has already been made, with plenty more to come. I’m looking forward to finding out the winner in the summer.
“Improvements are being carried out on Fishergate and plans have been put forward for a new cinema and market quarter. Coupled with the work taking place on the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, this is shaping up to be a positive time. There is a lot of investment being made in Lancashire, which will create new job opportunities, provide new housing and make it easier for people to get around.”
Guy Topping, chairman of Preston Youth Zone, said: “We owe it to our city’s young people to make Preston Youth Zone the best it can be and we’re confident the selected designs have the potential to create a vibrant and exciting youth facility.
“However, we need the input of Preston’s local community to ensure the success not only of the Youth Zone, but for the overall transformation of the bus station. We’re passionate about giving the city’s young people somewhere safe and inspiring to go in their leisure time and I urge the public to get behind this development and have their say on the designs.”
As an independent charity Preston Youth Zone will be delivered as a result of a powerful combination of public, private and voluntary sector support led by OnSide Youth Zones, a charity dedicated to providing modern youth facilities based on the model of the highly successful and innovative Bolton Lads and Girls Club. Preston Youth Zone will contribute £1m towards the construction costs with Lancashire County Council investing £5m.
Almost 100 entries were submitted to the competition, which were anonymously judged by the panel led by Hugh Broughton, architect and RIBA appointed advisor.
He was joined by Rob Carter, OnSide’s deputy chief executive; County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools; Councillor John Swindells, deputy leader of Preston City Council and Edward Towers, a member of the Lancashire Youth Council representing young people.
The other members of the panel included architects from the county council; Phil Barrett, Lancashire County Council’s director of community services; and John Wilson as a community representative.
To find out more about the competition, visit www.ribacompetitions.com/preston.
Click image to launch gallery