Preston Bus Station has become a Grade II listed building. The move means the New Brutalist construction will not be demolished as part of plans to build a new shopping centre. The decision to remove the building had come in December 2012 on the basis that it costs £300,000 a year to maintain and is in need of significant capital investment estimated at between £17m and £23m to refurbish it and bring it up to modern standards. Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council are now considering the impact of the listing decision, assessing their options and next steps.
However, according to National Heritage, listing will not prevent changes being made, provided that the architectural significance of the building is protected. The organisation says it is aware that Preston City Council faces challenges in maintaining the structure and integrating it effectively with the city centre. It intends to continue to explore with the local authority how these challenges can be addressed so that the building can play a key role in the life of the city.
Leader of Preston City Council, Cllr Peter Rankin, said, ‘Obviously it’s not the outcome we were hoping for. We’ve always said the bus station is too big, provides relatively poor facilities for bus passengers and costs Preston taxpayers over £300,000 a year to maintain. We will have to take some time now to consider the listing decision and the options for moving forward. In particular, we need to look at costs and the impact on budgets and how it affects Preston taxpayers. We will work closely with Lancashire County Council as transport authority to consider the next steps.’