Bus station project wins architects an excellence award

The Preston office of architectural, planning and surveying practice Cassidy + Ashton has been awarded the RTPI North West Planning Excellence Award for the second year running.

The practice won the 2019 Heritage and Culture Award category in recognition of its involvement in the redevelopment and refurbishment of Preston’s iconic bus station.

The Heritage and Culture Award is given to an outstanding scheme in the North West that demonstrates a significant improvement in the quality of a place through the conservation and enhancement of its historical built environment.

The RTPI North West judges were particularly impressed with Cassidy + Ashton’s consultation, engagement and commitment to investing in Preston’s transport hub, along with the quality and level of repair and refurbishment carried out.

Bev Watson, regional co-ordinator at RTPI North West Region, said: “The judges concluded in their feedback that the result is an exemplary project that retains the clarity and purity of the original iconic 60’s design yet transforms the visitor experience into one which is safe, legible and connected.

“Preston Bus Station retains its status as 20th century modernist classic of national significance.”

Preston Bus Station, which was threatened with demolition, was bought by Lancashire County Council in 2014 which then unveiled a £19m redevelopment scheme to turn it back into a modern transport hub.

After extensive refurbishment the building was officially re-opened in July 2018.

Cassidy + Ashton acted as planning and heritage consultant for the scheme. It provided advice and contract management throughout the construction period for the concourse refurbishment as well as being lead architects for the retail units and car park works.

The Cassidy + Ashton teams on the project were led by directors Alban Cassidy and Lawrence McBurney.

Alban said: “Preston Bus Station is a local icon and a building I have known all my life. From travelling on a bus with my mother in the ‘70s to the present day, I have always had a close affinity with it.

“The bus station really is one of the few buildings in Preston that is not only known locally but indeed it’s world renowned. To have had the chance to influence its future was hugely exciting.”

Cassidy + Ashton’s planning team is currently working on a range of projects including an extensive commercial development in the Blackpool Enterprise Zone; the Whyndyke Garden Village, a collaborative project that will deliver 1,400 new homes on the Fylde Coast; as well as a major housing development in Lytham.  The total value of these three projects alone is over £500m.

The Cassidy + Ashton team will officially receive its award at the RTPI NW annual dinner to be held in Manchester later this month.