Gate 81 – Community invited to ‘Re-Imagine’ Preston Bus Station

gate81This is probably your best opportunity this century to help imagine what Preston Bus Station could be. I know it’s been debated for years and your probably all tired of the tooing and froing but buck yourselves up and realise that together we might just make a difference.. There’ll be all sorts of people there and you are bound to find some like minded souls.. as Mr Gillespie from Primal Scream said recently in The Quietus I know that thousands of people probably feel the same way that we do about what’s happening and just that little connection and understanding that somebody else feels like you do is a powerful thing. So lets get on it! All the info after the jump!Gate 81 – Arts community invited to ‘Re-Imagine’ Preston Bus Station

Saturday 11th May at Preston Bus Station – 8.30am – 7pm – Free entry with sign up

Gate 81 – a collaborative and creative project that opposes the proposed demolition of Preston Bus Station – are extending an open invitation to the arts community living and working in the city to join them for a free, all-day workshop on Saturday 11th May at the station.

The creative community are encouraged to add their unique voice in imagining a positive future for the threatened and controversial building. The aim of the day is to develop ideas and generate proposals for a viable and realisable future for the local landmark structure and its surrounding area.

Jamie Hawkesworth1Gate 81 believe that the striking brutalist building should be preserved and creatively adapted to serve the city and would like you to get involved. To celebrate the event, a series of newly commissioned public art installations will premier on the day with works from Chris Jones, Jamie Hawkesworth and 0point3recurring, as well as culture walks of the area.

Chris Jones, the celebrated sculptor and painter, has prepared a site-specific work, to be unveiled on the day. “It’s only now I’ve lived away from Preston for a good while that the everyday things I associate with the city have become important,” he says. “While working on this project I recalled the various ways I have navigated its structure over the years. If ‘houses are machines for living’ then arguably Preston Bus Station is this city’s engine.”

Chris’s work will stay in the Bus Station for a further month, with further site specific installations for an event in June to celebrate the building and all represents.

Art collective 0point3recurring have created a video installation for the event that captures both the Station’s interiors and its true ‘stakeholders’ – the people who use it every day – as they wander purposefully through the contentious space. Each person’s movement is “captured and aggregated in real time to produce a confluence of light as the biological and artificial collide”.

The Gate 81 website has been online since January, enabling the public to download the station’s plans and a 3D model, along with free software to view and manipulate it, and access links to Preston City Council’s reports and documentation. The event of 11th May is a great opportunity for artists to have their say about the future of this important and unique building.

The free event works on a ‘drop-in’ basis, with no obligation to attend all sessions. There’ll be talks from a number of speakers, including Stella Hall, director of Preston Guild 2012, workshops, culture walks and feedback sessions where people who care about the station can get their voices heard.

Gate 81: Reimagine Preston Bus Station starts at 8.30am and runs until 7pm, with no obligation to stay for the whole day.  If you wish to attend, simply register for free on Eventbrite –



8.30am – breakfast registration and open design workshop 1

10.30am – speakers

11.30am – open workshop 2

1pm – lunch, Preston art & culture walks & talks

2pm – speakers

3pm – open workshop 3

5pm – speakers

6pm – feedback session

7pm – pub / dinner



Jamie Hawkesworth

Jamie is a documentary photographer who ventures outside of his London base to ‘places unknown’. After making the switch from forensic science to photography at the University of Central Lancashire, Jamie has since been working to bring relevance to fashion materials outside the world of the fashion conscious. His work has been featured in a variety of international magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times Style Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Wire, Man About Town, Double, V Magazine, AnOther Magazine and Garage, and he has worked on high profile ad campaigns for Topshop and other clients.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones was born in Preston in 1975 and currently lives and works in London. He received his Masters in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London in 2002 and his Bachelors of Art from the University of Central Lancashire, Preston in 2000. Recent exhibitions include Bird Watching De Vishal, Haarlem and A Song Turning Inward, OneTwenty Gallery, Ghent, Belguim. Last year he enjoyed success with a solo show in New York’s Mark Strauss Gallery.


0point3recurring are an artistic collective based in Preston comprising of Leon Hardman, David Henckel and Dan Wilkinson. They work in many guises from live performance and installation through to film and sonic composition.

Confirmed speakers:

Stella Hall: Director Preston Guild 2012

Professor Tom Jefferies: Head of Manchester School of Architecture

Professor Kevin Rhowbottom: School of Architecture, UCLan

Dr Christina Malathouni: University of Liverpool / formerly of the Twentieth Century Society

(others to be announced)

What is Gate 81? Preston Bus Station has 80 gates. We’d like to keep it that way.

In December 2012 Preston City Council voted ‘in principle’ to demolish the building and replace it with a surface car park. According to Preston City Council demolition will not proceed until Lancashire County Council fund the construction of a new, smaller bus station on part of the site.

This building is a major cultural landmark and we believe that it should be preserved and creatively adapted to serve the city. It should act as a key space to make Preston accessible and temper the decay that is affecting our city, and so many other city centres across the UK.

Gate 81 is a set of downloadable documents and a design workshop. The documents are free and open so that anyone who is interested can create proposals for the Bus Station’s development.

We would like you to get involved. No design or building experience needed, only an active, creative interest in Preston Bus Station and its interaction with you and with the city. And if you have skills as an artist, designer, developer, architect, technologist, anywhere in the world, please use the resources to imagine a positive future for the building.

Access, participation, publication

You can access all the resources at www.gate81com. Please send your submissions via email to

We will showcase submissions online at Gate 81and at the hacklab workshop

Contact us if you would like to further explore how you can become involved

We welcome approaches from everyone including educational groups, professionals, organisations, students and private individuals.

About the project:This project has been set up by Sally Stone (@sallystone) and Dominic Roberts (@stoneroberts) of Continuity in Architecture, and Ruth Heritage (@ribbletonia) from creative producers TEC (@theyeatculture) for the citizen interaction project Then The City (@thenthecity). The project is supported by Manchester School of Architecture.

Site design is by Chris Mason & Designed2Perform.

We’re doing this because we live here, and care about Preston and its future.


Manchester School of Architecture / Manchester School of Architecture was formed in 1996 as an innovative collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester. The School draws upon extensive research and teaching in both institutions.


Continuity in Architecture / ‘Continuity in Architecture’ is a postgraduate teaching and research studio led by Sally Stone. It is concerned with building reuse, and the design of new buildings and spaces in the historic European city.


Then the City / Then the City, a TEC project, finishes the sentence…

Then the City…helps out – where we collectively help out the city through volunteering and direct action.

Then the City…makes it happen – where we work with groups to discover how they want to engage with culture in Preston, and co-commission a living active arts project and a programme for their space.

They Eat Culture / They Eat Culture is a creative intervention into the cultural life of Preston.They Eat Culture also helps shape the growth of Lancashire through arts engagement, develop audiences through online & in person cultural opportunity; reactivate disused spaces and places and create cultural centres; grow partnerships across local/county authorities, education, third / voluntary sector, and private enterprise; activate through networks & provide CPD opportunities; kick-start & deliver quality work through collaborating with communities and creatives; producing multi-artform interventions, installations and transmedia projects.



Ruth Heritage, Director They Eat Culture

Sally Stone, Continuity in Architecture

Thanks to Robyn Talbot at They Eat Culture for text and imagery

07976 936 219 / 01772 499 207