City chiefs in Lancashire have decided in principle to demolish Preston's main bus station with private developers already expressing an interest in the site.
The nine-storey station, known for its 'Brutalist' architecture, would require up to £23m to regenerate, according to the city council, which said it could not afford all the necessary repairs in its current guise.
Council leader Cllr Peter Rankin said: "Our preferred option would be to refurbish Preston Bus Station.
"We have spent time and effort looking at refurbishment as an option. But at up to £23m it is simply beyond what the council can afford.
"We are in the age of austerity and are facing huge cuts to our budgets and services.
"The building is also expensive to run – costing taxpayers £297,000 a year just to keep open."
The bus station was built in 1969 and the cost of refurbishing it has been estimated at between £17m and £23.1m whereas the price of building a new one is expected to be between £10.8m and £15.3m.
Cllr Rankin said it would be cheaper and better value for money to taxpayers to demolish the site and work with Lancashire County Council to build a new one.
He added: "That is not to say that the bulldozers will arrive tomorrow, next week or indeed next month.
"We've already had some private developer interest in the building. We will talk to any serious investors with a proposition to invest in it for the future.
"However, we cannot wait forever. The deteriorating state of the building and moreover the council's finances means that we must move ahead soon."