Work has begun to install the cladding at the redevelopment of Coventry Railway Station as the major £82 million project remains on track to be completed for UK City of Culture.
Three contractors are carrying out the latest phase at the landmark building which is due to be completed this spring.
Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd is installing 7,200 sqm of grey and red cladding at the purpose-built station building which will include five retail units, waiting rooms and toilets, and a 633-space multi-storey car-park.
EHS is adding cladding around the lift stairwells which will involve cladding panels interlocking with one another and being fixed to cladding rails that run along the lifts. The construction will commence from the ground level and go up to the eighth floor.
Millers Fabrication has been appointed to erect the steel frame and, as part of their contracted works, they will also install the feature cladding around the new station building and multi-storey car-park.
The cladding panels will be installed with a small spider crane, which has been designed to be situated on the top floor of the car-park. The crane will lift the cladding panels into position from the lower levels upwards, which will then be fastened back to the steel structure.
Cladding on the building meets modern safety standards and the materials being used have passed stringent fire safety tests.
Coventry City Council is working in partnership with Network Rail, Avanti West Coast and other rail operators, Transport for West Midlands, Friargate JV Project Ltd and other stakeholders on the massive project.
The Coventry Station Masterplan project is being funded by £39.4 million from the West Midlands Combined Authority Devolution Deal and £27.5 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and funds from Coventry City Council.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, said: “It’s really great to see the station building and car-park taking shape – this is another important moment in the project and it’s looking really smart. A fitting arrival point for visitors to the city.
“Once the work is finished we will have a modern extension to the station, which will be connected directly into the city centre via an impressive pedestrian route.
“I know lots of local people have been employed to work on this project, including a number of young people who are gaining really important work experience in the construction sector. New jobs will also be created once the work is complete so it’s a real boost to the economy too.”
Tony Minhas, a board director at the CWLEP, said this was the latest visible sign in the major redevelopment of a significant gateway to the city.
He said: “The start of the work on the façade is another major milestone in creating a landmark building which we can all be proud of.
“It was great to see the cladding work get underway and the project is certainly gathering momentum as we head towards the opening of the new-look Coventry Railway Station later this year.
“The finished result is certain to give a bright, positive welcome to the thousands of visitors who will be arriving in Coventry throughout UK City of Culture and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as well as boost the local economy.”
Further parts of the scheme include installing a new footbridge over platforms one, two and three and four to provide more capacity for increasing passenger numbers which will be connected to the multi-storey car-park as well as there being a second entrance to the station via Warwick Road.
The new transport interchange will be connected directly to the new station building by an access tunnel under Warwick Road and public realm works will be carried out from the front of the station to the city centre. Highway improvements are also being undertaken on Warwick Road and around the station area.