Full steam ahead at Birmingham New Street

Nick Myall
Monday 21 Sep 2015

Birmingham New Street, one of Britain’s busiest inter-change stations, has reopened after a makeover

The redeveloped Birmingham New Street station, in the UK, opened its doors to passengers on 20 September after a five-year, £750m transformation.

Boasting an iconic new atrium over a huge passenger concourse - five times the size of London Euston’s - the station has been rebuilt while trains continued to run as normal for the 170,000 passengers a day who use it.

With brighter, de-cluttered platforms, improved entrances, a range of new facilities and an abundance of natural light over the new concourse, Birmingham New Street, one of Britain’s busiest inter-change stations, is also a retail destination in its own right. 

The new station will feature 43 shops at concourse level and above it sits the new Grand Central shopping complex, including one of the UK’s largest John Lewis department stores.

The 450,000 sq ft shopping destination, which will open its doors on Thursday (24 September), will create more than 1,000 jobs and is expected to attract more than 50m visitors a year.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “This £750m investment to modernise Birmingham New Street station is at the heart of our plans to use the power of infrastructure to build a more healthy, balanced and productive economy right across the Midlands.

Also commenting on the project Patrick McLoughlin, secretary of state for transport, said: “The transformation of Birmingham New Street is a prime example of how our record investment in the railways is improving journeys for hardworking people and helping to rebalance the economy by driving growth across the country.

“The improvements made at this important transport hub have made it into a truly impressive building that passengers and the people of Birmingham can use and enjoy.”

Reflecting on the scale of the project Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Birmingham New Street sits right at the heart of our rail network and the transformation which has taken place here is nothing short of stunning. The station is now bigger, brighter and better able to meet the needs of the growing number of people who use it each day.

“Rebuilding one of the busiest stations in the country without impacting on passengers’ journeys has been a major challenge, but I’m extremely proud to say that Network Rail and our partners on this project have done just that. That’s a significant achievement for everyone who has helped build this fantastic new station of which they, and all of Birmingham, can be very proud indeed.”    

The addition of a large retail shopping centre will be a major part of the scheme’s future success. Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham New Street station has undergone a magnificent transformation to become a vibrant, spacious and bright transport hub suitable for our city, and for the people of Birmingham to be proud of. The station redevelopment has been a key project for the city, stimulating economic growth and regeneration and, with the added creation of Grand Central; it has provided one of the best-connected retail spaces in the country. This is sure to have a catalytic effect on further regeneration of the city centre and attracting businesses to Birmingham.”

For further information on Birmingham New Street station visit www.newstreetnewstart.co.uk

A Birmingham Development Forum will be taking place on
7 Oct at UK Construction Week in Birmingham, on the main stage from 12.30 – 13.30     

Speakers include:

Ken Shuttleworth, Founder, Make Architects

Sir Albert Bore, Leader, Birmingham City Council

Liz Peace, Chairman, Shadow Board, Curzon Regeneration Company

Dan Smyth, Director of Architecture, BDP


Nick Myall

News Editor

Key Facts:

United Kingdom

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team