Forton M6 motorway services gets listed status

image captionThe tower used to be a popular restaurant but is now closed

A motorway service station in Lancashire has been granted listed building status by English Heritage.

The tower section of the Lancaster Service Area on the M6 has been made a Grade II listed building.

The building is no longer open to the public but previous owners Rank built it in 1964 and operated it as the Pennine Tower Restaurant.

A spokesman for new owners Moto said Lancaster was "the country's most iconic motorway services".

'The place to go'

The building situated between junctions J32-33 on the M6 has been listed for its "special architectural or historic interest".

The Moto spokesman said the unique building was often described as an airport traffic control tower or as resembling a space station.

He added: "The restaurant was extremely glamorous in its heyday with waitress service and it had the most beautiful views of Lancashire and in particular Morecambe Bay. It was the place to go."

"It has been closed for about 15 years but we still get hundreds of of requests a year about visiting it. People have very fond memories of it."

Founder of the website Mark Goodge said: "It would be even better if some way could be found to bring the tower back into public use, even if only as an observation platform rather than the original restaurant."

The owners said there were no plans to restore the tower building at present and it was closed to the public because it was in a "fragile state".

The service station was previously called Forton Service Area.

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