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Published on : Wednesday, January 13, 2016
The £750 million redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station is helping to support record growth for the City, with the station welcoming almost one million people a week in the lead up to Christmas.
Brighter, de-cluttered platforms, improved entrances, a range of new facilities and an abundance of natural light over the new, five times larger concourse, is also turning Birmingham New Street into a retail destination in its own right, attracting new brands and modern, high-specification fit-outs.
The redeveloped station opened in September 2015 and now features 43 shops at concourse level – including new brands for the region such as Oliver Bonas, Leon, Moleskin, Joe’s Coffee House and Five Guys. Opening of the new concourse retailers led to a significant increase in pre-Christmas retail sales, which were 63% higher than Christmas 2014.
Hamish Kiernan, director of retail for Network Rail said, “Feedback from our retailers at the redeveloped station has been very positive. We want to provide more choice and convenience for our customers and believe the mix of retailers we have in the station is right for passengers and other station users.”
Tim Hollidge, Chief Operating Officer at Oliver Bonas said: “We had a strong Christmas at our new Oliver Bonas store in the re-developed Birmingham New Street station. Our sales in December were up 73% from November and we welcomed many old friends, and new customers, into our store.”
The station is also a key footfall driver for Grand Central shopping centre, which sits above Birmingham New Street and provides more than 40 additional premium brands to choose from including a 250,000 sq ft John Lewis department store.
Evidence is demonstrating that Network Rail’s investment in the station is also providing a major catalyst for wider regeneration in Birmingham, supporting up to 30,000 new jobs and opening up the south side of the City for up to £2 billion in investment.
Deloitte’s recent Birmingham Crane Survey, released last week, showed the city is building offices at the fastest rate in 13 years thanks to momentum created by major projects like Birmingham New Street station and Grand Central shopping centre. According to the report, over 969,000 sq ft of office space was being built in 2015 (well above the 10 year average of 384,000 sq ft), hotel construction was three times higher than the 10 year average and student apartments are now being developed for the first time since 2013.
David Biggs, managing director of property for Network Rail said, “What we are increasingly seeing is clear evidence that investment in stations not only provides opportunities to create vibrant new destinations but is also a major catalyst for wider regeneration. Network Rail’s investment in Birmingham is already improving the experience for passengers and station users, and the station redevelopment is encouraging development in other areas of the City, creating jobs and supporting economic growth.”
Total retail sales across Network Rail’s managed stations1 increased by 4% in the Christmas period, a steady rise on record sales in 2014.
Source:- Network Rail