The station was dubbed Britain's worst in the Department for Transport's 2009 report Better Stations and the upgrade is part of £1bn of investments to boost rail capacity and connectivity in the north of England.

The centrepiece of the enhanced station is a new 8500m² roof consisting of 410 ETFE cushions which offers station users a lighter and more spacious environment. In addition, the work includes the incorporation of Metrolink light rail services into the station through four new platforms and three new tracks. New shops and cafes are also available to station users, while a new 60m bridge links the station with Manchester Arena.

"For far too long people travelling in and out of Manchester Victoria had to make do with a tired and dark station," says Mr Mark Carne, NR chief executive. "The contrast today is remarkable. Manchester Victoria station is a modern, clean and flooded with natural light; a station this great city so badly needs. It is a key part of our £1bn programme to modernise the whole of the railway for the north of England."