The first stage of redevelopment work has started at Preston Bus Station, with repairs to the concrete and improvements on the parking levels.
This work is part of the wider plans, which include improvements to the concourse, the creation of new public space, and a new youth zone on the site.
Work on the concrete will involve repairing the car park levels of the grade two-listed building, with improvements also being made to the parking facilities, and new lighting and payment machines being installed.
The bus station is owned by Lancashire County Council. Cllr Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “These repairs and improvements are vital to ensure the bus station can continue to fulfil its role as a major transport hub. As well as maintaining and improving this iconic building, we’re also working on our plans for a new building for young people.
“This is an exciting time for this part of the city with major plans for the Markets Quarter including the proposed cinema complex, a new hotel in the former post office and new plans announced to further develop the Guild Hall. The bus station is a key part of these plans, which will redevelop this part of the city centre and bring new commercial opportunities into the city.
“Our plans are part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, which is already delivering improvements to roads and public transport. This will make it easier for people to get around and bring new people into the city, which benefits the local economy.”
Due to the bus station’s listed status, the aspirations of Historic England and The 20th Century Society were taken into account as part of the design work.
John Puttick, the New York-based architect leading the redevelopment, said: “It’s exciting to see work starting on site for this very significant project. The improvements to the car park and concrete structure are the first step in restoring Preston Bus Station for the future. We are looking forward to moving onto the concourse renovation and new Youth Zone building as the project progresses.”
Planning applications have been submitted for the redevelopment. If approved, the Youth Zone would be housed in a new free-standing building next to the bus station, on the city centre side. The buses would continue to use the opposite side of the building.
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 and Lancashire City Deal.