Plans to renew the canopies and remove part of the redundant spine wall at Kirkgate station have today been granted Listed Building consent by Wakefield District Council planning committee.
Phil Verster, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “This is the news we have been waiting for at Kirkgate. Our team is already on site completing preparatory works and will press ahead with the full scheme immediately.”
Ambitious plans to transform the listed station building have been drawn up by Groundwork Wakefield with support from Network Rail, Northern Rail, West Yorkshire PTE (Metro), Wakefield council and Railway Heritage Trust.
“Our project is in addition to the wider scheme to transform the station building which is being led by Groundwork Wakefield” added Phil Verster. “We expect to complete our work in November when the station building scheme is expected to begin.”
The Network Rail work on the station is worth approximately £1.5m and is being funded by the company with a contribution from the Railway Heritage Trust. Bricks which are removed from the spine wall will be cleaned and reused in the supporting wall for the new ramp.
“I’m delighted that the planning committee has given its consent, and that the next phase of work at Wakefield Kirkgate rail station can now go ahead,” said David Hoggarth, director, development at Metro. “Through partnership working between Metro, Network Rail, Wakefield Council, the train operators and Groundwork Wakefield, we are on the road to delivering a much needed step-change in facilities for passengers.”
Richard Allen, area Director for Northern Rail comments: “We are thrilled to continue to be part of the transformation at Wakefield Kirkgate. The improvements being made at the station are an excellent example of a successful partnership achieving real results for our customers.”
Ken Taylor, executive director for Groundwork Wakefield, said: “Groundwork, along with partners, is committed to bringing the station back to its former glory and it will be a catalyst for the regeneration of the entire Kirkgate area.”
“Not only will the redevelopment provide a safe and welcoming gateway to the city, it will provide facilities for local communities, enterprises to grow in and foster a sense of community pride into the area.”
In 2009 and 2010, Northern Rail, Network Rail and Metro secured improvements to the CCTV system and subway as well as improvements to signage, a new help point and refurbished entrance lobby. The car park was also resurfaced, allowing the free bus to call at the station. This was mainly funded through the National Stations Improvement Programme, a joint rail industry initiative funded primarily by the Department for Transport.