Published:24th October 2013
Birmingham News Street is just past mid way into its huge rebuild and modernisation project. It will become a modern Gateway to Birmingham and the project is centred around the redevelopment. The project has announced that it will be holding its first exhibition since works commenced until October 30.
The first half of the development was opened at the end of April 2013 with the old station entrance closed and replaced by a far more spacious and modern facility. The aim of the exhibition is to tell passengers and users, not necessarily the same people, about what to expect for the second half of the scheme and what the endgame for the station and shopping centre is.
Network Rail (NR) owns and operates the station and has made an information stand in a specially built performance unit dubbed ‘The Box’ which has been designed to replicate the atrium roof when completed in 2015. NR has invited Birmingham based musicians, actors, dancers and artists to perform alongside this stand showcasing the city's talent and culture.
NR would like people to consider how the station and shopping centre will merge when completed and how the new Birmingham New Street will become a community hub in the heart of the city.
NR is currently refurbishing the old station concourse adding more lifts, escalators and entrances and creating new spaces within the station. The station when complete, will offer over 20 new cafes, 40 premium shops and the largest John Lewis department store away from London. These will be located on a floor above trains and platforms allowing passengers and non-rail users alike to enjoy modern facilities and to forget the dreary 1960s concrete development that is rapidly vanishing now.
As with the Kings Cross and Waterloo developments, those with time to spare will be able to while away some time people watching from above the concourse.
Branded Birmingham New Street and Grand Central, the aim is to create a new destination and to provide Birmingham with a great gateway to create first impression to a vibrant city helping regeneration.
NR has asked YOU to join in by using the hashtag: #wordonthestreet to share your thoughts and photos on the exhibition and development. They may appear on the big screen about to be erected within the station.
A deal has just been agreed to complete in 2015, to build a100,000 sq ft of offices above the station which will become an integrated travel and retail hub in the centre of Birmingham.
The developers Cannock, will start the building early in 2014 once the £600 million railway development is far enough advanced to allow building to commence over the station and shopping centre to be called Grand Centrail’.
Cannock's Mike Tracey added: "Without doubt this is an exciting and significant project for the Cannock Group in Birmingham and we are delighted to have been appointed to bring forward One Grand Central. A complete back to frame refurbishment of the building will ensure that this landmark building is highly attractive to modern office occupiers at a time when the quantity of quality office stock in the city is diminishing."
John Griffiths, of agents GBR Phoenix Beard, is advising Cannock. Commenting on this major new development, he said: "The development of 100,000 sq ft of Grade A offices at One Grand Central will provide a major boost to the central Birmingham office market at a time when supply is running out. Major transport hubs have proved hugely attractive to businesses across the UK and early interest in One Grand Central is further proof of this."
Chris Montgomery, Network Rail project director, said: "This planning application marks another important milestone in our extensive project to redevelop Birmingham New Street station. When complete, the new offices will have unrivalled travel connectivity, with the new integrated station incorporating the city's metro extension right on the building's doorstep."