The leading architect on the masterplan for the historic Middlesbrough Railway Station has told how the design can be a further catalyst for city-scale developments.
Peter Jenkins, Architect Director and Head of Transport Sector at BDP – global leaders in their field – said the proposals would also preserve the history of the iconic Victorian-built station and provide big benefits to passengers.
The proposals are the result of a commission - led by Middlesbrough Council with support from Network Rail, Tees Valley Combined Authority and the rail franchisees – to provide a long-term vision for the rail station and the surrounding area.
Middlesbrough Council and Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald are now working alongside the rail industry in the form of a joint programme board to realise both the site’s ambition and strategic potential over the coming years.
Award winning Mr Jenkins, who has been recognised for his work on the major redevelopments of Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly stations, said: “Our designs are focused on celebrating the qualities of the existing station alongside the creation of new facilities to accommodate additional intercity services.
“The fine qualities of the listed buildings and unique activities such as Platform Arts cannot be fully appreciated today and we want to make sure all visitors can understand more of the historic station.
“The forthcoming introduction of direct services to London, and the need for additional platform capacity, are an opportunity to transform the northern aspect of the station which the design intends to benefit from.
“It goes without saying that the Virgin Trains East Coast services will have a transformative effect on the town in terms of the train connections provided.
“Our design aims to unlock further value from this change, with the new platform and canopy structures combined with a new entrance and interchange facility on Bridge Street. This will transform the appearance and identity of the station from Middlehaven, catalysing developments to the north of the station.
“Many station masterplans can lack the impetus to become reality; this is not the case in Middlesbrough, where infrastructure expansion (VTEC services to London) and local support can ensure a successful redevelopment of the station complex, to the benefit of both rail passengers and local residents alike.”
The Middlesbrough concept – which offers short term proposals and a longer term vision – includes:
- The re-opening of the southern entrance.
- A stunning new glass frontage and concourse on Bridge Street.
- An additional platform.
- New commercial units.
- Additional passenger facilities and;
- Improved access for sustainable modes of transport such as buses, taxis, cars and cycles.
It will build upon work which is shortly to be complete in the form of Network Rail’s station renewals project that will see the completion of a 13 month, £3m project to repair the roof and stonework of the main station building.
Additionally, direct trains to London are due to begin from Middlesbrough in 2020.
The BDP plans have already been praised by Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald as fitting “entirely with our European City aspirations” and as an “absolutely breathtakingly impressive proposal”, while Middlesbrough’s Elected Mayor Dave Budd said the plans were now a “central part of Middlesbrough Council’s investment plans to grow the local economy in line with our city scale ambitions”.