With plans being approved for the National Railway Museum’s new building called Central Hall, it was announced that contractor GRAHAM will be the one delivering the pre-construction services. The transformation of this major attraction marks the beginning of the wider York Central development scheme.
The regeneration of York’s Central Hall will allow the museum to reach its full potential as the cultural heart of York Central, while uniting the museum for the first time. Located between the museum’s Great Hall and its Station Hall, Central Hall will become a new welcome space and gallery that will connect the existing museum buildings.
“We are very pleased the planning committee has approved the Central Hall plans which will have transformative benefits for York and the wider region. This approval will allow the museum to realise its potential as the ‘world’s railway museum’ by improving our offer, welcoming more visitors, and helping us to inspire the next generation of engineers and problem-solvers,” said Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum.
Central Hall means more to the city than the transformation of a landmark; it is a cornerstone of Vision 2025, the museum’s journey to transform its offer and become the world’s largest railway museum. As a condition of the Stopping Up Order for Leeman Road, the development will not be stopped up until the alternative highway routes are in place: pedestrian, cycle and vehicle, and construction is already underway on these routes.
This vision also includes Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery, an interactive gallery aimed at inspiring children to think like engineers through experience, interactivity and play. Meanwhile, Central Hall itself will feature a Railway Futures Gallery showcasing the latest innovations in rail technology, a café overlooking the new museum square, a shop, flexible event space and new visitor facilities.
“The museum aims to be the cultural heart of York Central and this decision brings us a step closer to realising that ambition. We remain on track for opening Central Hall in Autumn 2025, in time for the Museum’s 50-year anniversary. As we move towards construction, we will continue to engage with residents and visitors to ensure that the world-class museum we are creating can act as a true community resource for our evolving neighbourhood,” added Judith.
At the heart of the Central Hall design is sustainability and environmentally friendly design principles and materials have been used throughout, ensuring the development is designed with York’s rich railway history and the surrounding area in mind.
The Central Hall plans form an early stage of the delivery of York Central, the 45-hectare regeneration site which is a partnership with Network Rail, Homes England, City of York Council and the museum. Work is expected to start in early 2023 and it is expected to end by 2025, just in time for the celebrations.
Building, Design and Construction Magazine | The Home of Construction and Property News