Nottingham Station progress – February 2014
I have been very close to the developments at Nottingham Station since last summer when the re-signalling works were successfully completed and the station took a more noticeable direction and the changes really began to take place.
As we approach the end of February 2014, the structural and aesthetic stage of the Hub project is nearing completion. I took a behind the scenes look at the work on a very fresh Monday morning. This visit was destined to be very different for the group of us on the tour to previous visits, mainly because we were being granted access to what is effectively a building site. Hard hats and high visibility clothing were essential; no fashion statements necessary here! As you can see from the picture on the right hand side, we made for a very fetching group!
The work on the interior and exterior of the station is superb. The sense of space and the open feel to it really hits you when you enter the main concourse. Where there once stood the taxi ranks now stands an open plan paved concourse area, ready to be equipped with shops and cafes, with a backdrop of refurbished terracotta brickwork and glass frontages to the entrance of the station, with glass electric sliding doors to make the most of every beam of light that can be extracted into the building. A new glass roof is in place which again lets in lots of natural light and opens the space up tremendously.
As we walked further into the heart of the building, the area that used to be reserved for the information screens, cafes and ticket office has been opened up and again refurbished, making the most of features already integral to the building’s charm. As a listed building, many of the original features have been preserved and restored to their former glory. A clever and wise decision, giving the interior the look and feel of a grand museum rather than a commuter hub. A new ticket office has also been constructed, where WHSmith once stood through one of the arch ways and spaces have been allocated for the many shops and eateries ready to move in once the building completely re-opens to the public.
The most impressive part of the visit for me was the new Southern Concourse on Queen’s Road. Completely glass fronted, containing new toilet facilities as well as a lift and escalator access to the existing and new tram lines (opening later this year) and customer multi-storey car park. The Southern Concourse is an impressive modern addition to the building. Footfall is set to dramatically increase as a result of linking the different forms of transport together through this concourse, with current annual footfall at 7 million and the projected footfall expected to grow to 10 million per annum.
Projects don’t come much bigger than this and at this stage with completion expected next month, it’s all hands to the deck to get the work completed. Everything is running to schedule and I for one am very excited to take my first steps into a renovated, exciting and fresh looking Nottingham Station. For many visitors to our city and county, it is the first place they see as they arrive, so it is imperative that their experience is one that grabs their attention immediately and makes them say ‘WOW’. Nottingham station will certainly achieve this, making commuters and tourists feel welcome in our glorious city and most importantly of all, make people want to come back time after time.
To keep up to date with the progress and see even more images from my visit last week please visit our Facebook page. You can also access all the previous blog posts in the series by clicking on the relevant link below: