HS2 Ltd has received the go-ahead from Birmingham City Council to begin the transformative refurbishment of the Old Curzon Street Station. This marks the next phase of work around the new high-speed terminus in central Birmingham.
The agreement between the council, which owns the building, enables a long-term lease by HS2, with work set to begin on the major revamp early next year by HS2’s enabling works contractor LMJV (Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy & Sons).
The Grade I listed building has been integrated into new plans by HS2 for the new Curzon Street Station. The plans provide an enhanced setting to reflect the history of the old station, as well as the Grade II listed Woodman pub. The public space surrounding the station will feature the historic track alignments of the former goods yard that used to lie to its east, and the gardens and new eastern concourse façade have also been designed to compliment the architecture of the building.
Having suffered extensive damage during the Birmingham Blitz, and survived two applications for its demolition in the 1970s, the building is now listed on the ‘Heritage at Risk Register’ maintained by Historic England. The refurbishment will see this status change for the first time in over a decade, with future plans to use it as an HS2 visitor centre, with flexible facilities for office space, exhibition purposes and catering.
Nicola Henderson-Reid, HS2’s Curzon Street Station Senior Project Manager, said: “We’re extremely pleased to get the go-ahead to start work on restoring this fabulous old building, and we’re grateful to Birmingham City Council for their help in developing these designs.
“HS2’s Curzon Street Station will be the first brand new intercity terminus station built in Britain since the 19th century, and will play a vital role in our regional economy while preserving this important piece of Birmingham’s history.”
Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Ian Ward said: “This is an important milestone in the transformation of this amazing old building and the new Curzon Street Station will be one of the real show pieces of the entire HS2 network.
“High speed rail is a game-changer for Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, bringing jobs, homes and opportunities to our city region and for the HS2 Generation – the young people currently growing up across the city – this project will shape their lives and careers.”
The refurbishment will be undertaken by infrastructure specialists KN Circet, which has offices in Solihull in the Midlands. The work will include a new steel structural frame to strengthen the building, a new lift giving access to all four levels, new glass balustrade for the historic staircase, internal fit-out, roof repairs and structural repairs to the external masonry.
Planning applications for the new Curzon Street Station were approved by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee in April 2020, with the Council’s report concluding that the station design “is truly world class”. Eventually, there will be nine trains an hour running in each direction from the station.
The Curzon Street Masterplan outlines proposals for 141 hectares of regeneration, along with £724m million in investment into the surrounding area. It envisages the creation of 36,000 new jobs, 4,000 new homes and 600,000 square metres of commercial development.
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