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The History of Preston Bus Station

Whether you love it or loathe it – Preston Bus Station is undoubtedly an iconic landmark. The bus station was designed by two members of the Building Design Firm – which was founded by Prestionian architect George Grenfell Baines – Charles Wilson and Keith Ingham. Work on the building began taking shape in 1968 and was efficiently completed in 1969. It was, and still is, one of the largest bus stations in the world! We’re so glad to be celebrating 50 years of this fantastic Prestonian building.

Iconic Brutalist Architecture

Brutalism was at the epicentre of the architects’ plans when they designed this magnificent Grade II listed building. This was a modernist architectural style that was the preferred choice for many architects from the 1950s until the 1970s. In particular, the government took to this style for many official buildings, with many a building possessing the fortress-like structures, exposed concrete and distinctive sculptural qualities.

The History of Preston Bus Station
(Source: WikiCommons)

Many original features are still in place at Preston Bus Station, with their most striking (asides from the prominent exterior!) the bold signage with Helvetica font and huge Swiss-style clocks. The Twentieth Century Society described the bus station as “one of the most significant Brutalist buildings in the UK.’

After a short spell of uncertainty in 2012 and being threatened with demolition in 2013, the building was finally granted Grade II listed status, pinning it as a building of special architectural interest. In 2014, Lancashire County Council announced big plans for a 23-million-pound renovation project that would include “youth zone” facilities for young people in Preston.

The Next Big Tourist Destination?

The bus station’s western edge is currently undergoing a period of renovation, with an ‘urban park’ set to find a home within the bus station’s grounds. New lighting, seating and paving is to be installed in the area, making way for a city centre space perfect for different activities and events for tourists and locals alike.

The History of Preston Bus Station
(Source: WikiCommons)

The station’s latest refurbishment works have even been listed for a North West RIBA award, recognising the brilliant multi-million-pound face-lift by John Puttick Associates with Cassidy + Ashton. If Preston Bus Station wins, then the building will go through to compete in the national finals for Building of the Year.

Could this mean that Preston Bus Station could become the next big tourist destination of the North?

Stay in One of Preston’s Listed Buildings

Luxury hotel developer Signature Living, the company behind Liverpool’s historic 30 James Street and the football-themed Shankly Hotel, has recently tabled plans to turn another amazing Grade-II listed building into a new Preston hotspot. The Old Post Office building will be turning into a boutique hotel that will follow in the footsteps of The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool.

preston lancashire
The Carriage Bar and Restaurant, Shankly Preston

The project includes 60 luxury rooms, a restaurant and bar, spa, pool and a function suite for Prestonians and visitors to celebrate weddings and events.

We may not have opened yet, but building works are well underway and we will be soon. Call 0151 601 8801 or email to get your stay booked in. The response is already huge, so don’t miss out!