YORK Central, one of Britain’s largest regeneration projects, is to go ahead following the signing of a development agreement announced on April 8. Redevelopment of 45ha of former railway land surrounding York station, in northern Britain, will include improvements to the station and expansion of the nearby National Railway Museum (NRM).

Regeneration of the teardrop-shaped site has been planned for decades, but repeatedly stalled for a variety of reasons, including global recession and the Covid-19 pandemic. Now site owners Network Rail Property and Homes England have signed a strategic partnership agreement with developers McLaren Property and Arlington Real Estate, as well as other partners, including York City Council and the NRM, to progress proposals.

These include the construction of up to 2500 homes, as well as the development of around 100,000m² of commercial space, including offices, retail and leisure facilities, plus a new 7ha urban park.

A £135m programme of government-funded enabling infrastructure work is already underway on site, providing 2km of new roads, including bus lanes, segregated footpaths and cycleways, along with two new bridges. McLaren and Arlington are expected to submit a detailed planning application for the project later this year.

“York Central is a hugely important scheme,” says Mr Robin Dobson, Network Rail’s group property director. “Given its scale and significance to the region, signing the development agreement is a major step forward.”

“Infrastructure is at the centre of York Central’s success - from using our brownfield land to creating a new community delivering investment, jobs, new homes and amazing open space - all that neighbours the rail network.”