"Financing projects from £50,000 to £100 million"

Railway station unveils £10 million development plan

Railway station unveils £10 million development plan

Plans have been unveiled for a £10 million redevelopment project for a Northern railway station – just two years after a £7 million modernisation project was completed there.

Sunderland station, described in 2003 by its own council as the worst example of a main city station in the country, has received considerable property finance investment in the last five years.

The station’s lower concourse – including platforms and escalators – were revamped through a £7 million in a deal with the government, which was brokered by transport operator Nexus. The scheme was given priority after train company Grand Central announced that they were to between direct services between Sunderland and London Kings Cross from 2007.

Nexus advanced the commercial finance package in an agreement with the Department of Transport that allowed it to recoup savings made from reduced train services between Sunderland and Newcastle until 2023.

Completed in 2010, the concourse included a 144 metre light installation, ‘Platform 5’, conceptually designed by Jason Bruges Studio. The art consultant at Nexus, Andrew Knight, had described the station’s aesthetic as ‘horrendous’. But it is now thought that art aficionados may travel to the city specifically to view the light wall.

The new £10 million should see the demolition of the old main building, with a new public area and room for retail units. Despite boasting a direct route to London, the station currently has no dedicated parking, room for only three drop-offs, and it shares a back-street access road with the local station taxi firm.

The council bosses have agreed to contribute £200,000 towards the next stage of planning and development, while Network Rail and Nexus are expected to share the remaining cost of £400,000. The total finance package for the redevelopment is expected to be shared by equally by all three partners.

Sunderland Station (The Old)

Ken Mackay, director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, said: “We have delivered huge improvements to the below-ground platforms at Sunderland, which we always saw as the first part of a complete redevelopment.

A Network Rail spokesman added: "The designs are in the early stage of development but will complement the work that has already been completed in the below ground station and radically improve the passenger experience."

Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:09
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