Bristol Temple Meads transformation at heart of enterprise zone
THE company which owns Temple Meads has drawn up a multi-million pound plan to transform Isambard Kingdom Brunel's iconic station.
The station is owned by Network Rail and the organisation has announced it is to launch a feasibility study into its ambitious plans.
The work will coincide with the £1 billion electrification of the Great Western line between Bristol and London.
As part of the scheme the approach to the station is to be closed off to traffic and turned into a pedestrian- friendly piazza.
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And there are also plans to create a new main entrance to the station at the side of the building. The move will mean the entrance would be in the same spot originally planned by Brunel.
The redevelopment work is also being planned to coincide with the creation of a new Enterprise Zone and is expected to be completed by 2018.
More than nine million passengers use the station every year and that total is expected to increase by around 50 per cent over the next decade.
The electrification of the Great Western Railway will mean that trains will arrive in Bristol from the capital every 15 minutes.
Two disused platforms are to be reopened and a new terminus built for the London services.
There are also hopes that rail links between Bristol, South Wales, the South West and the North will be improved.
A new subway under the existing forecourt is also on the cards, complete with shops and concession stands. It is hoped that improvement and refurbishment work can be carried out on the ornate facade of the station.
Work is also being carried out on platforms and junctions so the number of trains coming into the station can be increased.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: "Temple Meads is located right in the heart of the new Enterprise Zone and is among the busiest and fastest growing rail interchanges in the country.
"The rail industry, with support from the Greater Bristol area, including the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, is currently developing a strategy to transform Bristol Temple Meads station into a world-class gateway for the city by the end of the decade."
If all goes to plan the refurbishment will start in the spring of 2014 and would be completed by 2018, when the new super-fast service between London and Bristol is launched.
The Post revealed some details of the new Enterprise Zone yesterday. An official launch for the zone was taking place today at a temporary circus tent which has been erected on land normally used as a car park next to the station.
The Local Enterprise Partnership is the driving force behind the ambitious scheme which could create up to 20,000 new jobs in the city.
Coln Skellett, the chairman of the of the LEP, said: "What we want is a world-class station to welcome people travelling to Bristol to do business with companies in the Enterprise Zone. Temple Meads has been in need of some attention for several years and we want to see it restored back to its former glory."
Work by developers TCN UK has already started on Collett House, which is next to the station, to turn it into a creative and digital campus, called Temple Studios.
The scheme follows the first phase of their same company's Temple Gate project, which started with the redevelopment of the historic Bristol and Exeter House next to the current station approach.
As reported in the Post, the Government agency the Homes and Community Association has bought Brunel's Old Station building for £5 million
It will hand over the building to the city council and it will be used as a conference centre and hub for new businesses looking to move into the Enterprise Zone.
The nearby Pest Control Depot in Cattle Market Road is also being demolished to make way for a new bridge, which will connect the site earmarked for the long-awaited indoor arena to the Enterprise Zone and the rest of the city.