Leeds rail station is set to get a modern, contemporary overhaul, it has been revealed.
It comes after new images, sketched by Hiro Aso and released by Leeds City Council, show how the station could be expanded to a similar size as rail stations in European cities from as early as 2021.
The rejuvenation hopes to make Leeds become a “hub of international significance”, incorporating HS2, transpennine Northern Powerhouse Rail high-speed trains and other local and regional services.
Councilor 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 through a clear people-first approach.”
Leeds has been named as the UK’s second-most improved city in 2017, behind Birmingham, in Demos-PwC’s ‘Good Growth for Cities’ index, which has been seen as a sign of things to come.
The development is set to revitalize Leeds’s South Bank, creating 35,000 new jobs, developing the local economy and bringing more people to Leeds.
Leeds’s station is already the busiest hub in the North, being used by 100,000 people in a day.
Speaking about the development, Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, said: “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.
“Leeds’ plans will leave a legacy that the city and the region can be proud of for decades to come.”
If there are no knock backs, it will take 25 years for the redevelopment to be completed.
While this is a long time, it’s one of the biggest developments Leeds has ever decided to undertake, with the potential to cement its place on the map and generate a lot of income.