25 October 2013

Rail experts from Burges Salmon have acted for the regeneration charity, Groundwork Wakefield, negotiating the terms of a long-term lease to it of Wakefield Kirkgate railway station from Network Rail.

Groundwork Wakefield has raised £4.6 million for the ‘transformation’ of Wakefield Kirkgate station, which was named one of the 'worst in Britain' in 2009, by the then transport secretary Lord Adonis.

Following the huge fund-raising exercise over the past two years, Groundwork is restoring the Grade II listed station building. The ambitious plans seek to bring the station back to everyday use with space for a café, offices, meeting rooms, ticketing and shops. In addition, the station will provide an important gateway to the city of Wakefield and be the catalyst for the regeneration of the Kirkgate area of the city, which includes the internationally renowned Hepworth Gallery.

Burges Salmon's specialist Rail stations, Depots and Real Estate team, led by partner Philip Beer, acted on the deal to agree the long lease terms with Network Rail.

Commenting on the successful outcome of the negotiations, Philip Beer said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Groundwork with this project and to agree terms for a long-term lease of the station from Network Rail.

'Kirkgate station has been in need of attention for many years. Groundwork's plans will restore the station, improving the journey experience for passengers. The regeneration of the station will also help to transform the local area – with new facilities being created for the local community and local enterprises. This is another great example of station-led regeneration which we are proud to be involved with.'

Ken Taylor, Executive Director of Groundwork Wakefield commented: 'Regenerating the derelict station building and the surrounding area has been a major high profile project, not least because we have wanted it to become a viable, community rail station that is safe, attractive and an asset to the city. To achieve this we knew that we needed the very best legal advice, from specialists in rail. To this end, we chose Burges Salmon who have done a fantastic job.”

The partners that have agreed to fund the scheme include: 

  • Network Rail
  • Wakefield Council
  • Metro
  • Railway Heritage Trust
  • Grand Central Rail
  • Northern Rail
  • Groundwork Wakefield
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Headley Trust
  • Eggborough Power Station.

Additional funding has been secured from the Station Commercial Project Facility and National Stations Improvement Programme, which are administered by Network Rail. Funding from the European Union has been secured as a part of their programme to 'Invest in your Future', to complete the funding package.

Key contact

Philip Beer

Philip Beer Partner

  • Real Estate
  • Transport
  • Energy and Utilities

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