Opinion: What should happen to the old Post Office?

the old post office

The top of the old Post Office which stands on the Flag Market. Photo by Tony Worrall

The former post office building situated right in the heart of the city is a beautiful, iconic building and is extremely important to the people of Preston.

Forming, as it does, one side of the civic square of the city, our wonderful Flag Market, it is grade II listed and is crying out for a heritage restoration project to bring it back into use. This may seem strange but I was looking at it the other day and it definitely has the look of a French chateau!

It is currently maintained by the city council basically to keep it watertight, although we are really keen to get the building back into use as quickly as possible.

We are speaking with a number of potential occupants, but it is clear that anyone serious about taking over the building will need a credible business plan.

A lot of money will be needed to convert the inside of the building which would be extremely difficult to adapt and modernise, as it is on different levels and extremely quirky with such details as rain gutters on the inside of the building.

Despite the problems it has much potential given its size, location and history and needs an investor whose aspirations and ideas for it match that of the people of Preston.

As a council we are always open to hearing from investors who have credible ideas and business plans that will ensure a bright future for the building and we are keen to explore different options e.g. boutique hotel, voluntary services hub, new building for the food market. Any other ideas?

What do you think the old Post Office should become? Let us know your views in the comments below.

This is a guest post from Peter Rankin, he is the Labour leader of Preston city council and a ward councillor for Tulketh

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