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Design team meets over the £13m development of Preston Bus Station

Wednesday, 2nd December 2015

Work has continued on the plans for the Youth Zone Plus at Preston Bus Station, with a meeting of the design team.

The team met recently at County Hall to continue development work on the new Youth Zone, which will provide a wide range of activities for young people.

The plans will see a multi-million pound investment in the Grade II listed bus station site, to create a vibrant public space and a home for the new Preston Youth Zone Plus - while preserving the building’s unique brutalist architecture.

Preston-based Cassidy & Ashton architects have joined the project as planning consultants, bringing their local knowledge and experience.

The team is working to the winning concept design from the London-born architect, John Puttick. While the team have met previously, this was their first meeting in Preston.

John, who grew up in London, has already made several visits to the city, as part of the normal process to finalise the proposals, before the planning application is made around April.

Some repair and maintenance work will be taking place on the bus station from April 2016, with the main Youth Zone and other development work following in 2017 - subject to planning approval being given.

Other members of the design team for the project include BBUK (Landscape Architect), EngineersHRW (Structural Engineers), Skelly & Couch (Buildings Services Engineers) and Charcoalblue (Acoustics Specialist), along with representatives from Lancashire County Council.

There'll be opportunities for public involvement and consultation as part of this process. Planning approval will be required for the Youth Zone Plus, as well as listed building consent and approval from Historic England, before any building work can start.

Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, explained: "The design will still be largely based on John's winning entry. Since winning the competition a lot of work has taken place to develop his proposals and create a design that meets the needs and requirements of the young people.

"John continues to lead this process and has visited Preston many times. He's also brought a wealth of experience into the team with Lancashire-based Cassidy & Ashton.

"Local knowledge and OnSide's experience of running other successful youth zones are all important factors to consider, as part of creating a really high-quality place for young people to use and enjoy."

New York-based John Puttick Associates was chosen by the judges as the winning design from the five anonymous shortlisted entries. This was the same design chosen by people as their favourite in the public vote.

The architectural competition was run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), on behalf of Lancashire County Council and Preston Youth Zone.

John Puttick, the architect behind the chosen design, said: "We have a very experienced design team for the Preston Bus Station project, and have been working hard together to develop a design that is exciting and functional for the users and also sensitive towards the important existing building. We are looking forward to sharing the latest work and consulting with the public as we move towards the planning application."

Guy Topping, chairman of Preston Youth Zone said: "I am delighted the Preston Youth Zone project is moving forward. John Puttick and the team have been working hard to create a successful design that will give the young people of Preston an exciting and purposeful place to spend their leisure time.

"As with any OnSide Youth Zone, Preston Youth Zone will give young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to and we are all excited to move the project on further in the months to come.”

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.

Photograph shows (from left to right) Harriet Bourne and Jenia Kalugina both from BBUK, John Puttick from John Puttick Associates, Mark Maidment from Skelly and Couch, and Alban Cassidy from Cassidy and Ashton.

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