Remodelling Leicester Railway Station
The plans for the £17 million remodelling of Leicester Railway Station, the city’s most crucial gateway, are exceedingly important. They will have a lasting impact on the prosperity, not just of the station and adjoining areas, but the city as a whole.
What we at Leicester Civic Society have seen so far appears to be a huge improvement in the overall appearance and functioning of the station, redirecting its entrance and providing much-improved access to the City Centre. The ambition to revitalise the station, its surrounds and the Granby Street corridor is to be applauded. The prospect of the station itself being restored to its Victorian glory is immensely exciting, while the economic revitalisation of the nearby area is so essential.
Alas, it comes at the expense of the Art Deco block and facade at the north end of the station which for a number of years has housed the excellent Parcel Yard pub and Hansom Taxi office. This would be a major loss. It is a pity that the façade, and even the pub itself, have not so far been incorporated, perhaps by way of moving, into the new development.
As with most projects, the devil is in the detail. It is essential that these broad brushes are backed up by meticulous and imaginative design and the use of high-quality materials that will give the project an enduring lifespan appreciated by all who use it. Shoddy and cheap would be a disaster for such a prestigious development.