NEW images showing how Leicester’s railway station will look following a proposed multi-million-pound transformation have been shared by the city council.
Leicester City Council is planning to restore the historic station building back to its Victorian glory, relocating its main entrance so that it opens onto Station Street and directly faces the city centre.
The city council has already successfully secured £17.6million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to help realise the ambitious plans to revitalise the landmark building and create a more attractive and accessible gateway into the city.
Now, the city council, Network Rail and East Midlands Railway (EMR) are working in partnership to bring forward the ambitious proposals, with the support of key industry stakeholders.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Leicester’s railway station is a beautiful building but is in need of a radical overhaul to help it meet the needs of a modern city the size of Leicester.
“We have been working closely with rail industry partners to develop ambitious plans to revamp and revitalise the station. It is a major project that will make a huge difference to the city. It will help transform the area into a vibrant gateway and make a vital contribution to Leicester’s future growth and prosperity.
“We also have the chance to restore this historic, landmark building back to its Victorian glory.
“The award of over £17million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund is a tremendous endorsement of the importance of this project. Since then, we have been carrying out detailed design work and we’re very excited to share new images that show how the station will look following its ambitious redevelopment.”
Will Rogers, Managing Director for East Midlands Railway said “We’re delighted the investment at Leicester railway station has been approved and we’re excited to work alongside Leicester City Council and Network Rail to significantly improve the facilities for our customers.
“The investment will see the iconic Leicester railway station restored back to its Victorian glory. The development will transform Leicester, as the gateway to the city, by encouraging integration with the surrounding community and offering an improved customer experience to all station visitors.”
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “The new images show just how far this project will transform Leicester station entrance, bringing better facilities and creating a fitting gateway to the city.
“We’ll continue to work closely with Leicester City Council and East Midlands Railway to deliver these ambitious, major improvements for passengers.”
Under the plans, the area outside the entrance will be remodelled with a ramp and steps leading up to the main entrance to the main concourse and ticket hall. The ticket hall itself will be re-configured and opened up to provide more space for passengers. New skylights will be installed in place of the existing suspended ceiling to further enhance the sense of space and let more natural light into this part of the building.
A new secure cycle store will be created close to the new entrance.
Station Street will be closed to traffic and replaced with an attractive new pedestrianised open space, with trees and landscaping, that will link directly to the Granby Street super crossing and into the city centre.
Taxis will be relocated from inside the existing covered main entrance hall – or porte-cochere – to a new purpose-built looped taxi rank area off Fox Street, immediately adjacent to the new entrance. This will free up the glass-roofed porte-cochere to be revamped as an attractive new plaza for cafes, bars or retail.
The original Station Street façade of the Grade II-listed station building will also be revealed and carefully restored.
The proposed transformation will require the demolition of the Parcel Yard pub building and the next-door taxi office. The owners have been informed of the plans and negotiations are ongoing.
Planning and listed building consent will also be required before work can start on site. If given the go-ahead, work is expected to start on-site later this year.
Before then, people will be invited to have their say on the proposals when an online consultation and digital walkthrough of the plans launches next month. Full details will be publicised nearer the time.