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Revealed: The new New Street station

The Birmingham Post can today reveal this finalised design for a £500 million redevelopment of New Street Station and surrounding city centre area.

Artist's impression of the new New Street
Artist's impression of the new New Street

The Birmingham Post can today reveal this finalised design for a #500 million redevelopment of New Street Station and surrounding city centre area.

After four years' planning this is how city bosses and transport officials intend the infamously subterranean station to look.

However, previous hopes to have the new-look station completed in time to help the city capitalise on the 2012 London Olympics have been dashed.

Work could start in 2008 but, because of the need to keep parts of the station open at all times, construction will be completed by 2013 at the earliest.

The "Birmingham Gateway" scheme will see greater passenger capacity, relieving the congestion that first prompted transport bosses to look at redeveloping the station in early 2002.

Birmingham City Council and station owners Network Rail, alongside other public and private partners, are expected to unveil the plans at a press conference today.

They will promise: Brighter, cleaner and clearer platforms; A "high-tech transparent roof"; Better access to platforms via 42 new escalators and 14 new lifts; A new concourse three and a half times bigger than the current space; The concourse transformed into a giant atrium, flooding the station with natural light; New, "airport-style" departure lounges; Improved customer information systems.

The station exterior is intended to blend better with recently redeveloped parts of the city centre and will feature two new open public spaces: a piazza on the south side of the station and a public square opposite the Bullring.

It will also allow better links across the city centre for pedestrians - removing the barrier the station currently represents for city walkers - and public transport interchange with the planned Midland Metro stop in Stephenson Street.

It is understood a business case analysis has shown the scheme represents good value for money and meets regional and national transportation and regeneration objectives.

However, it is still not clear how the project will be funded.

The Birmingham Gateway "partners" will spend the next year working on funding arrangements and submitting the scheme for assessment by the city's planning committee and Department for Transport.

It is understood #350 million - formerly the quoted price tag for the whole scheme - will come from the public sector.

This week, Transport Secretary Alistair Darling told the House of Commons that a "substantial" financial contribution would be found from the DfT or the Department for Trade and Industry.

The scheme has been submitted for Transport Innovation Fund cash - a DfT funding pot linked to a possible West Midlands trial of road pricing.

It is envisaged a further #150 million worth of private investment can be levered in by commercial redevelopment on the south side.

The new plans still show a Pallasades shopping centre, although the current building which sits above New Street will be demolished and replaced by a completely new retail area.

Last night Birmingham Chamber of Commerce policy director Jerry Blackett said improving public transport was vital in cutting congestion.

"This looks like a great fix to that visible running sore in the city. New Street will be a symbol of the world-class city we have become."

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