CGI of how remodelled main entrance for Leeds Station could look
CGI of how remodelled main entrance for Leeds Station could look.
Nick Hill

New images unveil £500m transformation of Leeds train station

New images have been unveiled to show how the remodelling of Leeds Station could look.

The images have been released as part of a new report, the Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan.

The report provides the blueprint for the station’s transformation into a gateway hub of ‘international significance’ integrating national, regional and local transport services with HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The images show both internal and external plans of what the station, which is already the busiest transport hub in the north of England, could look like based on the set of principles for the masterplan approved by Leeds City Council last month.

These include new entrances, a new central common concourse, new platforms, new public space, a new roof, a new footbridge, external landscaping and the creation of a surrounding station campus for commercial, residential and leisure developments.

One of the images shows a new front entrance and adjoining landscaping work to create a main gateway entrance to Leeds.

Another shows the main new internal feature of the remodelled station – a central common concourse connecting HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and existing rail services, with an overbridge structure offering access to all other platforms.

The last image indicates one of the proposed new entrances connecting to the South Bank and the new city park, with public space, landscaping and a HS2 train in the background.

The station would provide an interchange for people changing trains, with the increased capacity and high-speed rail services resulting in huge increases in passenger and user numbers for the station.

The city centre’s road network would be remodelled with adjoining streets and those under the station being pedestrianised, with the dark arches being transformed into new retail and leisure spaces.

The masterplan sets out the potential for three million sq ft of new commercial development around the station, with a further 7,000 sq ms of leisure and retail space inside as part of the new common concourse.

The new images have been produced by development experts Atkins, which is leading a consortium of global design, engineering and project management consultants on the planning and design work for the remodelling of the station.

The images have all been created on behalf of the Leeds Station Board made up of Leeds City Council, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Transport for the North, Department for Transport and the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The remodelled Leeds Station is also expected to play a pivotal role as an economic and regeneration driver for the city and wider region.

This forms part of the city region’s HS2 Growth Strategy, highlighting how the region aims to work together and with the government to maximise the benefits of high-speed rail.

As well as improved journey times, rail capacity and connectivity, the Leeds City Region is committed to using new high-speed rail connectivity as a catalyst for job creation, education, and helping to tackle poverty in areas of deprivation.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: “These fantastic new images of what Leeds Station could look like show not only its exciting future as a distinct and welcoming gateway to the city, but how important it is to get this right by putting people and the visitor experience at the heart of all the plans.

“It must provide a stepchange not only for the future of transport and connectivity in our city and region, but also as a key economic driver for our future economy providing opportunities for all to benefit from through a clear people-first approach.

“The arrival of high-speed rail is essential to helping Leeds and the wider region fully realise its massive potential, and we hope by seeing these images and reading the report everyone can see the level of ambition we have for this project – Leeds deserves the best and that is our committed aim.”

Sir David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 Ltd, added: “It’s fantastic to see how much progress has been made since we first announced our plans to bring HS2 to Leeds. Working together with HS2 Ltd, the Leeds City Region, Network Rail and Transport for the North, Leeds has clearly seized the opportunity that high-speed rail represents both locally and regionally.

“HS2 presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity both to revitalise Leeds and, in the process, rebalance Britain. Leeds’ plans live up to that level of ambition and will leave a legacy that the city and the region can be proud of for decades to come.”

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