Lancashire County Council is to invest £23m in the refurbishment of Preston's listed bus station, to develop better services for passengers and create a new venue for charity Preston Youth Zone.
Central to the scheme are plans to invest £7.4m to create a 36 bay bus station and four bay coach park on the side of the building facing Ringway, and reroute vehicle access, to leave the side of the building facing the city open for the location of the Preston Youth Zone Plus.
The smaller bus and coach facilities would take up around half of the inside of the ground floor of the building.
The £6m Youth Zone Plus will feature sporting and artistic facilities, and young people's services, occupying around half of the remaining space on the Holiday Inn side of the building, with a separate sports hall on the apron outside.
Preston Youth Zone will be an independent charity, delivered through a combination of public, private and voluntary sector support led by OnSide Youth Zones, a charity dedicated to providing modern youth facilities. Preston Youth Zone will contribute £1m towards the construction costs with Lancashire County Council investing £5m.
The facility will feature an indoor sports hall, outdoor pitches, a climbing wall, fitness suite and areas for music, dance, arts and crafts.
Further plans for the bus station will see a £2m investment to develop the apron on the Guild Hall side next to the Youth Zone Plus into an open public area, with improved access to the bus station.
The 1,100 bay multi-storey car park above the bus station will be repaired and preserved to extend the life of the building for another 25 years. Estimates put the cost of repairs at £6.4m, and improvements to the apron at £2m, with a further £1.5m to be spent on highways improvements.
A proposed timetable for the redevelopment will see a full proposal put before the county council's cabinet in March 2015, with applications for listed building consent and planning permission to follow in April 2015. The timetable would see work start on site in October 2015.
The bus station was built by engineers Ove Arup & Partners and architect BDP in the Brutalist architectural style in 1968. It was granted grade two-listed status in 2013. 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."