THE BIGGEST piece of infrastructure in the Coventry Station Masterplan is underway – a major milestone in the £82million project.
Steel erection for the new station building has begun after Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, following a competitive tender process, placed the order for steel fabrication and erection with Miller Fabrications Limited.
A total of 1,955 tonnes of steel will be used to construct the new building and car-park as part of the scheme to upgrade one of the fastest growing stations outside London.
The 7.5 storey building, which will be 84 metres long, 50 metres wide and 33 metres high, will house five retail units, new passenger waiting rooms and toilet facilities, and a 633-space multi-storey car-park.
When complete, the new building will be accessible from both Station Square and Warwick Road and offers step free access to all platforms via a new footbridge and lifts.
Coventry City Council is working with Network Rail, Avanti West Coast and other rail operators, Transport for West Midlands, Friargate Coventry LLP and other stakeholders to complete the project by Spring 2021.
The project is funded by £39.4million from the West Midlands Combined Authority Devolution Deal, £27million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), and funds from Coventry City Council.
The new station building and car-park is being delivered by Coventry City Council, working with Network Rail and Buckingham Group Contracting Limited (BGCL).
The overall investment also involves building a new footbridge, a new transport interchange connected directly to the new station building by an access tunnel under Warwick Road, highway improvements and public realm works to create a traffic-free boulevard from the front of the station.
Coun Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s jobs and regeneration spokesman and CWLEP board director, said: “Work has continued on the station over recent months but this news is a welcome step in the redevelopment of the station.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in ways we could have never imagined but it is absolutely vital that we help to restart the economy.
“Being able to see construction taking place for such a key development project in the city is not only exciting, it’s also essential.
“We know that in the short-term new developments mean some disruption for shoppers, visitors and local people but all partners involved are committed to creating a transport hub that will help to stimulate growth for the city.
“Most of the work so far has been behind the hoarding – but once these big steel frames are in place people will begin to get a good feel for how things will shape up.”
Nick Abell, interim chair of the CWLEP, said creating the steel framework for the new station building and car-park marks a significant milestone in the Coventry Station Masterplan.
He said: “Coventry has experienced significant growth in rail passengers over the last 10 years and the current Grade II listed station is at capacity so these additional facilities will be welcomed by the thousands and thousands of visitors to Coventry Station each year.”
“The cranes used to put the steel in the ground will dominate the Coventry skyline and once it is finished, it will be great to increase more variety for passengers through the food and refreshment outlets as well as improve car-parking facilities.
“This will be a fantastic new gateway to Coventry as the city welcomes visitors from across the UK and the globe as part of Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham the following year.”
Marc Riley, Deputy MD (Rail) of Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be working with Coventry City Council and Network Rail to deliver the design and build contracts for the new station, multi-storey car-park, footbridge, lifts and platform canopies.
“Buckingham Group has been involved at various stages throughout the scheme’s development from early contractor involvement to its current status.
“We are proud to be a part of the Coventry Station Masterplan and look forward to delivering a scheme that will make a significant development to the area. The site works are progressing well, with safety and social distancing measures at the forefront of the team’s considerations.”
Steel erection commenced on Monday (June 29) and the whole building frame is due to be completed by December 2020.