The blueprint for Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan, an ambitious transformation into a gateway hub of international significance integrating national, regional and local transport services with HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail has been unveiled.
Computer-generated images show both internal and external indicative images 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.
The new-look station aims to provide a seamless 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 station masterplan sets out the potential for three million square feet of new commercial development around the station, with a further 7,000-square metres of complementary leisure and retail space inside as part of the new common concourse.
The new images have been produced by construction firm Atkins, who are leading a consortium of design, engineering and project management consultants on the planning and design work for the remodelling of the station.
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 step change 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.”
John Cridland, Chair of Transport for the North, said: “Working closely with our partners in the development of Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan has provided us with a unique opportunity to ensure that Leeds City Region is well-connected within the north.
“It’s vital that the future Northern Powerhouse Rail programme, as well as future local rail services, are reflected in the plans for HS2 infrastructure investment.
“With this station masterplan we are taking the first step towards creating a truly integrated transport hub, combining local, regional and high-speed rail services, including our transformational Northern Powerhouse Rail programme.
“Northern Powerhouse Rail will provide faster and more frequent connections between Leeds and other major hubs in the north, transforming connectivity.
“Creating a shared vision for the future of Leeds station ensures that Leeds and the wider city region will get the most out of this major infrastructure investment, creating a fitting gateway for the vibrant city and providing a catalyst for future growth.”
Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail, added: “We know that a world-class station has the potential to drive the transformation of the surrounding area, driving further investment and improving social opportunities for the community the station serves.
“The masterplan has a clear focus on the future and the arrival of HS2 but can be implemented in phases, bringing benefits to passengers and the city at each stage.
“We will be working closely with our partners, funders and stakeholders to secure the funding which will make this vision a reality.”