27th Feb, 2021

Green light for HS2 to start work with historic railway station

HS2 has received the go-ahead to begin the refurbishment of the Old Curzon Street Station, marking the next phase of work around the new high speed terminus in central Birmingham.

The agreement with Birmingham City Council who own the building, enables a long-term lease by HS2.

The Grade I listed building has been integrated into HS2’s plans for the new Curzon Street Station, which provide an enhanced setting to reflect the history of the old station as well as the Grade II listed Woodman pub.

The public space surrounding the station will feature the historic track alignments of the former goods yard that used to lie to its east, and the gardens and new eastern concourse façade have also been designed to complement the architecture of the building.

HS2 enabling works contractors LMJV are now ready to start a 12 month programme of work in early 2021, overseen by a conservation specialist.

The building was designed by Philip Hardwick and opened in 1838, and is now one of the world’s oldest surviving pieces of monumental railway architecture.

It was intended to be the boardroom and general offices of the London and Birmingham Railway but was extended to incorporate a hotel by 1841, then turned into a goods station for freight traffic between 1854 and 1860 and subsequently closed on December 30, 1965.

Having suffered extensive damage during the Blitz, and survived two applications for its demolition in the 1970s, it is now listed on the ‘Heritage at Risk Register’ maintained by Historic England.

The refurbishment will see this status change for the first time in over a decade, with future plans to use it as an HS2 visitors centre, with flexible facilities for office space, exhibition purposes and catering.

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