Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP visits Plymouth Railway Station and Intercity Place

The Government’s Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, has visited Plymouth to meet those responsible for the regeneration of Brunel Plaza.

The scheme involves an upgrade for Plymouth Railway Station, along with a major revamp of the surrounding area, including the redevelopment of Intercity House by the University of Plymouth to train the city’s future health professionals. There will also be a new hotel and multi-storey car park, improvements to public areas and links to the city centre.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said

“Our stations serve as gateways to our towns and cities, ensuring communities are connected, enabling access to education and employment and facilitating tourism. The Brunel Plaza Scheme will mark an exciting new chapter for Plymouth and I was delighted to visit the station to see first-hand how it will help transform the area into a vibrant catalyst for regeneration. This government will continue to invest in vital projects such as this to ensure we boost regional economies and build back better from Covid-19.”

Permission was granted in September 2019 for the Intercity Place project, which will involve the complete regeneration of an 11-storey building overlooking Plymouth Railway Station.

It will be reconfigured and refurbished throughout – with the exterior also being rejuvenated – so that the finished development creates a striking and welcoming entrance to Britain's Ocean City. The University has now signed a long-term lease on the building from Network Rail, and work will begin imminently to give it a new lease of life.

Once completed, it will house inter-professional clinical skills facilities for the University’s Faculty of Health and be used to train future nurses, midwives, paramedics, physiotherapists, and other allied health professionals. There will also be additional educational services, enabling staff to work together in one location to support the future health workforce.

Tim Brooksbank (centre) talks to Chris Heaton-Harris MP (right)
Tim Brooksbank (centre) talks to Chris Heaton-Harris MP (right)

Tim Brooksbank, Interim Director of Estates and Facilities at the University of Plymouth, said

“The Intercity Place project will be a landmark development in every sense and demonstrates our commitment to, and confidence in, the city of Plymouth. It will transform an iconic building on Plymouth’s skyline to create a modern and attractive welcome to the city for residents, workers, tourists and students alike. But its role in training future generations of health professionals means it can be an inspiring place for all those who work and learn there, and enhance our place as the largest provider of health care training in the South West.”

Read more about the Intercity Place development

Other developments as part of the project involve improvements to the station concourse, which will double the capacity of the existing gate-line and offer better shops and facilities for passengers.

The car park opposite the entrance is also earmarked for demolition and a new hotel and second university building are set to be created in its place.

The masterplan proposes a new car park, almost doubling the capacity to 469 spaces, for the site of the RISC building. Station staff accommodation will be modernised and significant new public space created, including a direct pedestrian link to North Cross and the city centre.

Council Leader Tudor Evans OBE said

“This is huge and this is happening – you can already see change on the ground. The corner car park at Station Approach has been turned into a compound for contractors, diggers have been on site – and we’ve had a mural painted at North Cross to give a nicer welcome for visitors. We need to give people a much better impression when they arrive in Plymouth. We need them to feel this is a city going places, a city that is on the up. It’s an ambitious project that is coming together like a giant jigsaw, with key organisations each playing their part. It couldn’t come at a better time.”

Chris Heaton Harris MP talks to Tim Brooksbank
Chris Heaton Harris MP talks to Tim Brooksbank
Chris Heaton Harris MP talks to Tim Brooksbank

GWR Deputy Managing Director Richard Rowland said

"It is easy to see why the station is regarded as the gateway to the South West. Over the last two years, we at GWR have delivered new Intercity Express Trains and more frequent and faster journeys to and from the city, and I am delighted that this major upgrade work can begin creating the entrance the city deserves."

Network Rail Route Director, Western Route, Mike Gallop said

"Training future NHS staff is essential, and we are excited to offer Intercity Place back to the city in order to support the future of the NHS. We believe that Plymouth provides opportunities for young academics across the country and the world. This is why we are upgrading Plymouth railway station to meet the city's growing need of a transport hub that evokes an arrival that lets you know you have reached Britain's Ocean City."

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Aerial photo of campus and Hoe with Intercity House

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