And to mark the occasion, three buses from the 1960s arrived at the new external coach station, ahead of the unveiling of a new plaque to mark the redevelopment.
The leader of Lancashire County Council, Geoff Driver CBE, joined the architect for the redevelopment John Puttick for this special occasion.
The Grade-II listed bus station is owned by the county council. The redevelopment work at the bus station is part of the county council’s contribution to the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.
Councillor Driver said: “This is an important moment in the life of this well-known Preston landmark. We’re proud of the redevelopment.
“This is an iconic Listed building, which means that we have a clear responsibility to maintain it, and make it a safe and welcoming environment. Major improvements have been carried out at the bus station, as part of the multi-million pound redevelopment.
“If you haven’t been to the bus station for a while, then you’ll notice that there has been a lot of redevelopment work taking place, especially on the car park levels.
“Some people didn’t like the bus station previously, but since the redevelopment it’s now a lighter, safer and much nicer place to be.”
The concourse has been fully renovated, with new lighting, seating, changes to the bus stands. A new external coach station has been created in the former taxi rank at the south end of the building, near the Guild Hall.
The architect for the work, John Puttick said: “It has been a privilege to work on a project that celebrates passenger experience in the way Preston Bus Station did when it opened. Our goal has been to bring back the clarity of movement achieved in the original design, as well as the sensitive details which bring a human scale to the building.”
Work has been completed on the car park levels including repairs to the concrete, improved lighting, new security cameras, and repairs and improvements to the ramps. The aim is to make the car park levels more welcoming and encourage people to park there.
County councillor Keith Iddon added: “We took over ownership of the building in 2013, and since then it’s undergone a major redevelopment to improve the experience for people who use it. This included making major repairs to the concrete structure itself.
“There’s been disruption at times, and we’d like to thank everyone for their patience during the work – especially bus passengers and drivers, the companies based here and other people who use the bus station.
“The development of the building has also opened up new opportunities. For example, we’ve been able to add extra space where the subways used to be. This has allowed us to create a new high-quality retail unit next to the café, which we hope to be able to lease soon.”
The retail area has been rearranged to improve and expand the spaces for businesses to operate in.
A new public space will be created on the former bus apron, now that all buses are running from the east side of the building.
City Deal is an agreement between Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and Homes England.
The City Deal will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.
For more information, follow City Deal on Twitter @lancscitydeal or visit www.lancashirelep.co.uk/city-deal.