Grand Central and New Street opening date set

By on 31/07/2014 in Leader, News

With the atrium roof successfully lowered into place, the official opening of Grand Central and Birmingham New Street station has been confirmed as September 2015.

The next key construction milestone for the project involves an extensive demolition programme to remove approximately 6,000 tonnes of reinforced concrete, to create the stunning atrium space which, on completion, will be the size of a football pitch. Over 95% of the waste material will be re-used on site or recycled.

Nearly 85% of the floor space in Grand Central is now taken and joining the 250,000 sq ft John Lewis at Grand Central are Joules, Cath Kidston, Fat Face, Jolie Papier and Monsoon Accessorize. They join the already announced Kiehls, The White Company and L'Occitane and will be complemented by an exciting array of restaurants and cafes, most of which are making their debut in the city.

Brands including Giraffe, Carluccios, Caffé Concerto, Pho, Tortilla, Tapas Revolution, Crepe Affaire, Yo! Sushi and Square Pie will be opening at Grand Central, with additional restaurants and cafes available on the station concourse.

The opening of Grand Central and John Lewis will coincide with the completion of the world-class Birmingham New Street station which will transform rail travel for millions of passengers using it every year.

Grand Central and the redeveloped station will provide customers and passengers with a unique shopping and station experience, with easy access by rail or road from across the West Midlands and beyond, and over 50 million people are expected through the building each year. In addition to the 60 shops, restaurants and cafes in Grand Central, the development will include a further 60,000 sq ft of retail within the station.

Keith Stone, leasing director for Grand Central, said: “Grand Central is integrated with the modern, redeveloped station which will provide millions of people from across the region with unparalleled access to a range of exciting brands and a premium shopping experience. When Grand Central and Birmingham New Street are launched in September 2015, customers and passengers will see the amazing transformation that will provide a unique shopping and travel experience and a gateway to the rest of the city centre.

“With the vast majority of our retailers and restaurants opening new shops in the city, Grand Central will complement the shopping and entertainment already in Birmingham, making the city centre one of the best shopping and entertainment destinations outside of London.”

John Lewis has also today announced that Lisa Williams will become head of branch at its regional flagship department store in Birmingham. Lisa is currently head of branch at John Lewis High Wycombe and this month celebrates 25 years since she first joined the John Lewis Partnership. Born in Shirley, this new role will see Lisa return to her family base in Birmingham.

Lisa Williams, head of branch at John Lewis Birmingham said: “I'm absolutely thrilled to be taking on this new challenge in the UK's second largest city. I look forward to establishing our regional flagship shop in the centre of Birmingham and in the heart of the local community.

“This new role brings me back to Birmingham where I was brought up and where most of my family and friends still live. I can't wait to recruit a new team of Partners and reveal the shop to our customers during September 2015.”

Chris Montgomery, project director for Network Rail, said: “The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station will transform the experience for the millions of passengers who use the station every year and allow it to handle the ever increasing number of people who choose to travel by train. This project is also a great example of how investment in our transport infrastructure can boost the economy. The New Street redevelopment, complemented by Grand Central, will improve the city centre environment in Birmingham, creating new public space to stimulate regeneration and create up to one thousand new jobs for local people.”

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The opening of the second and larger phase of Birmingham New Street station will see the completion of a station here in the centre of the city and a fitting arrival point for those coming here for business or leisure. The parallel opening of Grand Central in time for Christmas will enhance the shopping and leisure offer in Birmingham and will complement the Bullring, Mailbox, independent shops, and the Jewellery Quarter. Grand Central will also be a great meeting point and with the range and variety of new restaurants it will give people an even wider choice of places to dine when they are here in the city for business or pleasure.”

Notes to Editors

Opening September 2015, Grand Central Birmingham will bring a full line John Lewis and over 60 premium retailers and quality restaurants and cafes to the city. Grand Central will be integrated with the world class New Street Station at the heart of the city's retail offer.

Grand Central Birmingham key facts

• Opening 2015.
• Nearly 500,000 sq ft of shopping and dining.
• Anchored by full line 250,000 sq ft John Lewis.
• Over 60 premium retailers and quality cafes and restaurants.
• Further opportunities at Concourse level - 60,000 sq ft retail, dining and cafes.
Overall regeneration of New Street station
• The project is backed by Birmingham City Council, Department for Transport, Network Rail and Centro and will be delivered by Network Rail alongside its delivery partner Mace.
• It's a £600 million project for the regeneration of the station, with a further £150 million investment in the transformation of the Pallasades into Grand Central Birmingham.
• • By 2015, New Street will be transformed into a 21st century transport hub, delivering:
– a light, bright concourse with better facilities and 3.5 times more space
– easier access to platforms with new lifts and escalators
– new entrances, better connecting the station and the Metro extension from Snow Hill station
– new public space and improved pedestrian links across the city, stimulating regeneration
• To allow New Street station to remain open to passengers, the project will be completed in two phases with most of the work happening behind the scenes:
• Phase 1 saw the first half of the new station concourse constructed offline next door to the existing station, which opened to passengers on 28 April 2013 when work switched to developing the existing station
• Phase 2 will see the construction of the new John Lewis department store, completion of Grand Central and of the station itself.
• The whole Project completes in 2015.
• The construction programme is extremely complex, both in terms of maintaining a fully functioning transport hub throughout the development works and also in terms of refurbishing a 1960s building.

For more information please contact:

Mel Evans, marketing manager, Grand Central: 07711 600929,

Rachel Groves, communications manager, Birmingham New Street, 07740 782 954,
Or – Media Relations (North West & West Midlands)
Office:  0161 880 3142

About Network Rail

Network Rail is the not for dividend owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations – the largest of which we also manage. We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use.

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