Transport chiefs in the West Midlands have confirmed a final round of funding worth £9.5 million as work gets under way on two key railway station projects.
The board of the West Midlands Combined Authority has today agreed this latest fiscal support for the regeneration of the station at Perry Barr which will be a key transport link for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Contractors are also on site at the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston where the station is being revamped to cope with a huge predicted rise in passenger numbers.
Both projects are set to be ready for the sporting spectacle which starts on July 28 next year and is expected to see millions of visitors from around the world descend on the city.
Perry Barr station is the closest to Alexander Stadium which will host all the track and field activities.
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The £30 million plans include replacing the existing station with a new building containing a ticket office, toilets and baby change facilities, lifts and stairs to the platforms.
A row of shops there is also being demolished to make way for the new station, which will close for 12 months on May 10, while the neighbouring bus station is also being renovated.
The revamp is part of a wider £500 million regeneration masterplan for the Perry Barr area including new housing on what was supposed to be the athletes’ village before it was decided last year that the project would not be completed in time.
University of Birmingham station is also undergoing a £56 million regeneration with wider platforms, new lifts and ticket office, a retail unit and a bridge over the canal to provide new access to the campus.
The station was originally designed to cope with 400,000 passengers a year when it opened in 1978 but estimates suggest that figure could hit seven million by 2043.
The Perry Barr rebuild will be undertaken by contractor Galliford Try while Volker Fitzpatrick is leading the University of Birmingham project.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “I am delighted that, despite the pandemic, we’re pressing on with our ambitious station programme and will have both Perry Barr and University ready to welcome the world next summer for the Commonwealth Games.
“Not only will these stations provide upgraded facilities and much-needed extra capacity for millions of commuters for years to come but their construction also helps to create and secure local jobs at what is an incredibly difficult time for people’s livelihoods.”
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council and combined authority portfolio holder for transport, added: “The redevelopment of Perry Barr station is long overdue and a key component, along with the bus interchange, of the regeneration of the area.
“I am delighted that as a region we have been able to come together and get it fully funded.
“The Commonwealth Games have been the catalyst for getting these projects under way but they are about so much more than that and will provide a lasting legacy for this city – especially as we need to encourage more people to take more sustainable forms of transport to improve both our air quality and help us meet the climate change challenge.”