Sheffield firm hoping to play its part in solving ‘long-standing’ issues at city’s railway station
Long-standing issues at Sheffield railway station such as whether to have a public footbridge over the tracks could be solved thanks to the input of a city architects firm.
Merrett Houmøller Architects is part of the consortium that secured the contract to draw up a masterplan for Sheffield railway station.
Peter Merrett, from the firm, said it was ‘exciting’ for the company to be involved in the scheme, which could include up to £800 million of public funding.
As well as upgrading the station ready for HS2, the group is tasked with enhancing the surrounding area, improving links to and from the station by rail, tram, bus and bicycle, and maximising the opportunities for development the new services will bring to the region.
Mr Merrett said: “It’s a really big deal for us, as a small practice, to be involved. We have been investing in Sheffield for many years.
“Sheffield is a special place when it comes to its urban make-up and we are familiar with its problems and its unique offering as a city.”
The consortium will be led by Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, working in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield, Lambert Smith Hampton, Merrett Houmøller Architects and Quatro PR.
It was appointed by a partnership made up of Sheffield City Council, Sheffield City Region, London and Continental Railways, Department for Transport, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Transport for the North, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
Mr Merrett said: “It’s really exciting for us to be involved and it’s been great for us to work on something of this scale.
“The exciting thing is that no-one is shying away from taking some long-term moves to solve some long-standing problems.
"It has the potential to change the impression that people get when they come into the city.”
Sheffield will be served by a spur off the main line, with two trains an hour stopping in the city.
HS2 claims the new service will reduce journey times between Sheffield and London by over half an hour to one hour 27 minutes.
Mr Merrett said: “The other issues it aims to solve are the disconnect from the Eastern side of Sheffield to the city centre and whether the footbridge through the station is private or whether there should be a right of way.
“We were brought in as architects who have an understanding of the local issues.”
Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield Council, said: "This is a clear indication of how important the new HS2 station location is to Sheffield and the wider city region.
"The station is absolutely central to our city centre masterplan vision to deliver new jobs, businesses and opportunities to the region
"It must be delivered in tandem with improving connectivity to the station and in keeping with our ambitions for a green and sustainable city that works for everybody in Sheffield.
"I look forward to seeing the plans take shape to deliver thousands of new jobs for our economy."