THE firm responsible for the Sydney Opera House has been appointed to carry forward Leeds Council’s vision for a new high-speed rail station for the proposed HS2 line.
Consultant Arup is teaming up with Gehl Architects to deliver the master plan for a 136-hectare site around the old Tetley brewery.
Plans, due to be completed by the end of year, will explore location and footprint of a railway station as how it will connect with the existing station.
The ambition is to create a world-class interchange while reducing the need for car travel to the station.
Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for transport, said: “The redevelopment of the South Bank...will be the biggest change the city centre has seen in more than 100 years. It is absolutely vital we shape it in the right way because people will have to live with what happens over the next few decades for many generations to come.
“This is a huge and very exciting opportunity and it is essential to get top-class consultants on board to ensure that potential is realised. Arup is a prestigious organisation with a stellar reputation and Gehl have an ethos which is very much in line with our aspirations for the city. For such a major project it is clear that we need to have the best people creating a master plan for Leeds.”
Jerome Frost, of Arup, described the project as a “tremendous opportunity for Leeds”, adding: “It is a key area for future growth and the arrival of HS2 will help to accelerate this. The Arup team is looking forward to bringing our global expertise to develop a visionary plan to support regeneration and economic uplift and create efficient transport and pedestrian links. Arup has a strong history of working successfully with Leeds City Council and we are excited to be taking this master plan forward.”
Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin today promised strong government support for Leeds and other cities to reap the full benefits of the north-south HS2 railway.